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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title History of Irish Education and Current Issues
Module Code PR106
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Brendan Walsh
Semester 2: Brendan Walsh
Autumn: Brendan Walsh
Module TeachersBrendan Walsh
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The module aims to facilitate students in considering the development of Irish Education in its historic context with particular emphasis upon the evolution of the Irish language and its place in post-primary schooling. In doing so it contextualises developments concerning schooling, and the place of the language, within the arena of nineteenth-century pedagogic understandings and change; the evolution of the Irish language revival; the work of the Gaelic League and Irish language policy during and after the independence period. In particular, the module examines political understandings of the place of the language in schooling and national life in the post-independence period and assesses the extent to which policy and practice were married in government action and considers other imperatives which entered the discourse, particularly in the post 1960s period.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe and be able to analyse the historic evolution of the Irish education system at both primary (pre-independence period) and post-primary levels.
2. Describe and analyse the roles of concerned parties in the evolution of schooling in Ireland prior to independence, in particular, church bodies, government, commissioners of education, language revival movements and teacher bodies.
3. Describe and analyse the evolution of the post-primary system of education in Ireland from 1878 to the modern period.
4. Describe and analyse the factors influencing curriculum developments in the Irish education system with particular reference to the Irish language.
5. Describe and analyse policy developments in the modern era (i.e. post 1965) with particular reference to assessment, changes in the curriculum, management and the place of the Irish and modern languages.
6. Analyse and write intelligently upon any of the above but also upon themes which students may wish to engage with which run parallel to the main module themes.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Independent Study53No Description
Assignment Completion50No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The historical development of the Irish education system; the role of government, church bodies and others (colonial and independent) in the formation of education structures, curriculum, ethos and practice; education in independent Ireland including the role of nationalism, economics, vocationalism, state provision, curricular change, education policy, legislation and the Irish language. Learning Activities: Reading, attendance at lectures, engaging with online resources provided on Loop.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Donald H. Akenson: 1970, The Irish Education Experiment: The National System of Education in the Nineteenth Century, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., London,
  • Seán O Connor: 1986, A Troubled Sky: Reflections on the Irish Educational Scene, 1957-1968, Educational Research Centre, St. Patrick's College, Dublin,
  • Brendan Walsh and Rose Dolan: 2009, A Guide to Teaching Practice in Ireland, Gill and MacMillan, Dublin,
  • John Coolahan: 1981, Irish Education: History and Structure, Institute of Public Administration, Dublin,
  • Séamus Ó Buachalla: 1988, Education policy in twentieth-century Ireland, Wolfhound Press, Dublin,
  • Brendan Walsh (Ed.): 2011, Education Studies in Ireland: Key Disciplines, History of Education in Ireland, Ch. 2, Gill Education, Dublin,
  • Eileen Randles: 1975, Post-Primary Education in Ireland 1957-1970, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 0901810983
  • Tom Garvin: 2005, Preventing the Future: Why was Ireland so poor for so long?, Gill & MacMillan, Dublin,
  • Brendan Walsh: 2007, The Pedagogy of Protest: The Educational Thought and Work of Patrick H. Pearse, Peter Lang AG,
  • Sheelagh Drudy: 2009, Education in Ireland : challenge and change, Gill Education, Dublin,
  • John Walshe: 1999, A new partnership in Education: from consultation to legislation in the nineties., Institute of Public Administration, Dublin,
  • James Norman: 2003, Ethos adn Education in Ireland, Peter Lang, New York,
  • Judith Harford: 2007, The opening of university education to women in Ireland, Irish Academic Press, Kildare, 9780716528548
Other Resources

32402, Hyland. A, & Milne. K, 0, Irish Educational Documents Vol. I. MAIN LENDING 370.9415 DCU, 32403, Garvin, T., Garvin, T., 0, Preventing the Future: Why was Ireland so poor for so long? MAIN LENDING 330.9417/GAR DCU Library. See chapter 5 in particular., 32404, O’Bucahalla, S., 0, Church and State in Irish Education this century, European Journal of Education, (1985, 20. (4) pp. 351-359). Available through the Library e-Journals., 32405, O’Raifeartaigh, M.A.,, 0, Changes and Trends in our Educational System since 1922, JSSISI: Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, 1847- (1958, Vol XX, Part 2). Available at www.tara.tcd/bitstream, 32406, Fitzgerald, Gareth, 0, Irish Primary Education in the Early Nineteenth Century: An analysis of the first and second reports of the Commissioners of Irish Education Inquiry, 1825–6., (an invaluable narrative of the events leading to the establishment of the national system), http://www.ria.ie/getmedia/695ce924-0a3e-49af-b7f0-3c784eb8cd6d/Garret-FitzGerald-education-intro.pdf.aspx, 32407, O’Sullivan, Denis, 2005, Cultural Politics and Irish Education since the 1950s: policy paradigms and power. (Dublin, IPA) 379.417/OSU, 32408, Walsh, Brendan, 0, The Pedagogy of Protest, The Educational Thought and Work of Patrick H. Pearse, (370.1/PEA) (See in particular, Chapter One; Pearse and Nineteenth-Century Pedagogy for overview of provision in that period), 32409, Walsh, Brendan, 2013, Boy Republic: Patrick Pearse and Radical Education, History Press, Ireland. Chapter Two., 32410, Walsh Brendan, 2014, Knowing Their Place? The intellectual life of women in nineteenth-century Ireland, see Chapter Eight, Girl’s Perceptions of School in Nineteenth Century Ireland., 0, 0, The History of Education Journal available at the address below – use your portal or go through DCU Library or directly, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713599897~db=all, 32412, 0, Irish Educational Studies available at the address below – use your portal or go through DCU Library, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t716100713~db=all, 32413, Walsh, John, 0, The Politics of Expansion : the transformation of educational policy in the Republic of Ireland, 1957-72 Main Lending 379.417/WAL*, 0, Education Act 1998, 0, Education Act, (Dept. of Education and Science), www.irlgov.ie, 32415, James Norman, 0, Ethos and education in Ireland (371.0712417/NOR), 32416, edited by Sheelagh Drudy, 0, Education in Ireland: challenge and change, Publisher Dublin, Gill&Macmillan; 2009. DCU Library, 32417, Susan Parkes and Deirdre Raftery, 0, Female Education in Ireland. Irish Academic Press, 2007 (371.822/RAF), 32418, Harford, Judith, 0, Title The opening of university education to women in Ireland Publisher Dublin. Irish Academic Press, 2008. 371.82209415/HAR, 32419, O'Flaherty, Louis, 1992, Management & Control in Irish Education: the Post-Primary Experience, Drumcondra Teachers' Centre, Dublin. MAIN LENDING 371.2/OFL, 32420, Susan Parkes, 0, A Danger to the Men: A History of Women in Trinity College Dublin 1904 – 2004 (particularly Chapter One) on order to DCU lib, 32421, Ciaran O'Neill, 0, Catholics of Consequence: Transnational Education, Social Mobility, and the Irish Catholic Elite 1850-1900. Available as an E-book through library portal, 32422, Walsh, B, 0, Essays in the History of Irish Education. Palgrave, UK, 2016. Useful essays throughout., 32423, online library portal, Denis O’Sullivan, 0, Cultural strangers and educational change: The OECD Report Investment in Education and Irish Educational Policy Volume 7, Issue 5, 1992, 32424, online library portal, Marie Clarke, 0, Educational reform in the 1960s: the introduction of comprehensive schools in the Republic of Ireland Volume 39, Issue 3, 2010, 32425, online library portal, Jim Gleeson, 0, , et al. Strategic planning and accountability in Irish education Volume 28, Issue 1, 2009, 32426, online library portal, Imelda Bonel‐Elliott, 0, Lessons from the sixties: Reviewing Dr. Hillery's educational reform Volume 13, Issue 1, 1994, 32427, History of Education Journal, Brian Fleming & Judith Harford, 0, Irish educational policy in the 1960s: a decade of transformation, History of Education, 2014, Vol. 43, No. 5., 32428, Studies:, Padraig Hogan, 0, ‘The Fortress of the Good and the Liberation of Tradition: A of Irish Education in the Late Twentieth Century’, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review (1986), http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/1108/1/Studies1986.pdf, 32429, Irish Educational Studies:, Paul F. Conway and Rosaleen Murphy, 0, A Rising Tide Meets a Perfect Storm: New Accountabilities in Teaching and Teacher Education in Ireland’, Irish Educational Studies 32, no. 1 (March 2013): 11–36., 32430, Irish Educational Studies:, Orla McCormack, Raymond Lynch, and Jennifer Hennessy, 0, ‘Plastic People in Pinstripe Suits: An Exploration of the Views of Irish Parents on the Publication of School League Tables’, Educational Studies, (July 9, 2015)., 31980, Note:, 0, Academic journals are replete with useful essays. Students will be advised of readings in the course of lectures but are expected to search journals for relevant articles in the preparation of assignments.,
Programme or List of Programmes
BEDLANBachelor of Ed. in Gaeilge and FR/GE/SP

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