This history of Irish education traces and analyses all facets of formal education as it developed over a 200-year time span. Part I focuses on the four foundational pillars – primary, secondary, vocational/technical and university education – up to 1960. Part II, covering the period 1960 to 1980, focuses on a major transitionary phase when the state took a much more proactive reforming role in educational provision, linked to its realisation that education was crucial to its policy for economic and social development. The period from 1980 to 2016 is examined as a paradigm shift in policy as the state gradually opts for education as a lifelong learning experience. It incorporates provision from early childhood learning through all life’s stages to old age, with a qualifications authority facilitating accumulated achievements. The book contains a broad overview of this eventful era and examines in detail, through seven chapters, the policies and developments that have taken place in each sector of the system.
During this period Ireland engaged more with international agencies on educational issues and established impressive comparative educational achievements in relation to other developed countries. Educational developments are placed in their political, religious, social and economic contexts.
Throughout the study reference is made to the extensive source material on which the analysis is based. This material is listed in the references for individual chapters and in the extensive bibliography covering the entire period under review.
As the study covers all aspects of the formal education system over such a long and formative era, it is hoped that it will meet the needs of many readers – teachers, education students, educational leaders, policy-makers, researchers, parents, industrialists and students of comparative education.
List of tables
Part I: Irish education 1800–1960
Chapter 1. Primary education
Chapter 2. Secondary (intermediate) education
Chapter 3. Technical/Vocational education
Chapter 4. University education
Part II: Educational developments 1960–1980
Chapter 5. An overview of educational change, 1960–80
Chapter 6. Primary education
Chapter 7. Special education
Chapter 8. Post-primary education
Chapter 9. Teachers and teacher education
Chapter 10. Higher education
Chapter 11. Adult education
Part III: Towards the era of lifelong learning, 1980–2016
Chapter 12. Overview of the era, 1980–2016
Chapter 13. Early childhood education
Chapter 14. Primary education
Chapter 15. Post-primary education
Chapter 16. Higher education
Chapter 17. Further education and training (FET) and adult education
Chapter 18. Teacher education
Chapter 19. The school inspectorate and the Department of Education and Skills