This book provides the first complete account of Patrick Pearse’s educational work at St. Enda’s and St. Ita’s schools (Dublin). Extensive use of first-hand accounts reveals Pearse as a humane, energetic teacher and a forward-looking and innovative educational thinker. Between 1903 and 1916 Pearse developed a new concept of schooling as an agency of radical pedagogical and social reform, later echoed by school founders such as Bertrand Russell. This placed him firmly within the tradition of radical educational thought as articulated by Paulo Freire and Henry Giroux. The book examines the tension between Pearse’s work and his increasingly public profile as an advocate of physical force separatism and, by employing previously unknown accounts, questions the perception that he influenced his students to become active supporters of militant separatism.
The book describes the later history of St. Enda’s, revealing the ambivalence of post-independence administrations, and shows how Pearse’s work, which has long been neglected by historians, has had a direct influence on a later generation of school founders up to the present.