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The Development of Infant Education in Ireland, 1838-1948

Epochs and Eras


Maura O'Connor

Winner of the Kevin Brehony Book Prize, awarded by the History of Education Society (UK)

This is the first published historical analysis of the development of infant education in Ireland. It spans the period from the opening of the Model Infant School in Marlborough Street, Dublin, in 1838 to the introduction of the child-centred curriculum for infant classes in 1948. A study of early childhood education in Ireland in this period provides an understanding of how the child, childhood and the early years of school were viewed by society. Child-centredness had become a feature of educational practice in Europe in the early eighteenth century and was developed further by Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel. How it manifested itself in schools in Ireland is critically explored in the book through an examination of key reports, as well as through new original primary source material not previously in the public domain. The curricular content, pedagogical approaches and organisation of infant schooling reveal much about the attitudes of those in authority to the youngest children and their educational needs. Interviews with kindergarten advisors, national (primary) school inspectors, lecturers on early childhood education, teachers of infants, and adults who were students in the early decades of the twentieth century provide further insights and enhance our understanding of policies and practices of the time.


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Bibliography 271


Bibliography Arrangement I. Manuscript and Unpublished Source Materials II. British Parliamentary Reports and Sources Relating to Britain (a) Reports of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland (b) Royal Commission of Inquiry into Primary Education (c) Commission on Manual and Practical Instruction III. Some Inspectors’ and Organisers’ Observation Books which Were Examined IV. Of ficial Publications of the Government of Ireland V. Parliamentary Debates VI. Unpublished Theses VII. Newspapers, Periodicals and Articles VIII. Contemporary Publications to 1920 IX. Later Publications 272 Bibliography I Manuscript and Unpublished Source Materials National Archives General Organisers – Miss Brady: Organisation of Infant Departments of National Schools. National Archives, Box 600, File 26494. Miss Annie Beamish, Discharge from Public Service. National Archives, Cabinet s 8967. Miss Eliza Pedlow, Discharge from Public Service. National Archives, Cabinet s 8968. Women, Position under Constitution 1937. National Archives, Cabinet s 9880. National Library Minutes of the Meetings of the Commissioners of National Education. 1872 – Ms. 5553 1898, 1899, 1900. Mss. 5572–5574. Minutes of the National Boards Proceedings, 1901–1904. British and Froebel School Society Archive Centre, Borough Road, London Selection of information including correspondence from the files of Eleonore Heer- wart and Emma Eason. Seventy-eighth Annual Report of the Committee of Council of Education for 1883. Seventy-ninth Annual Report of the Committee of Council of Education for 1884. Ninety-ninth Annual Report of the Committee of Council of Education for 1904. National Froebel Foundation, London Minutes of the Meetings of the Froebel Society. London Minute Book 8, 1898–1903. Bibliography...

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