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Primary Education in Ireland, 1897-1990

Curriculum and Context

Series:

Thomas Walsh

This book critically examines the context, origins, development and implementation of successive primary school curricula in Ireland between 1897 and 1990. It focuses on three particular policy changes during the period: the Revised Programme of Instruction introduced in 1900, the curricular provisions implemented following the achievement of independence in the 1920s and the Primary School Curriculum of 1971. These three eras are distinctive by virtue of their philosophy of education, the content of the curriculum, the methodologies employed and the concept of the child inherent in the curriculum. The author analyses curricular changes within the complex web of wider educational and societal factors that influenced their devising and implementation.
In this way, he locates curricular developments within the climate of thought from which these policies emerged. The philosophy and ideology underpinning successive curricula are examined, along with the successes and shortcomings of curriculum implementation in each period. This historical analysis of the evolution of the primary curriculum in Ireland has much to offer researchers and policymakers in the contemporary context, amid ongoing curriculum development.

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List of Tables ix

Extract

List of Tables Table 1.1 Pupil Attendance in National Schools 1888–1904 22 Table 1.2 Percentage Passes of Each Class under Payment-by-Results Examinations 1897–1898 26 Table 2.1 Extent to which Additional Subjects were being Taught in National Schools in 1896 41 Table 3.1 Number of Schools in which Core and Additional Subjects were Undertaken in the Primary Schools from 1899 to 1904 61 Table 3.2 Courses attended by Teachers between 1900 and 1904 67 Table 3.3 Treasury Grant for National Education in Ireland 1900–1906 72 Table 3.4 Number of Schools and Fees Paid for Teaching Irish as an Extra Subject and within the Bilingual Programme 1900–1921 79 Table 4.1 Expenditure on Education in Ireland 1926–1961 95 Table 4.2 Number of Schools, Teachers and Average Daily Attendance 1925–1965 100 Table 4.3 Participation and Success Rates in the Primary Certificate Examination 1930–1966 102 Table 4.4 Number of Irish Speakers in the Fíor-Ghaeltacht and the Breac-Ghaeltacht 1926–1961 107 Table 4.5 Qualifications in Irish of all Teachers serving in National Schools 1924–1960 114 x List of Tables Table 4.6 Number of Pupils Enrolled in Secondary and Vocational Schools 1940–1970 122 Table 6.1 Number of Schools Teaching all Subjects through Irish under the Headings Fíor-Ghaeltacht, Gaeltacht, Breac-Ghaeltacht and Galltacht in 1936, 1946, 1956 and 1966 175 Table 7.1 Number of Religious Teachers (Qualified and Unqualified) on 30 June 1970, 1980 and 1990 211 Table 7.2 Number of Schools, Pupils and Teachers in Ordinary Schools...

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