Education This teaching and learning resource has been produced by the Irish Qualitative Data Archive as part of the NUI Maynooth/NDLR Learning Innovation Community Support Project, “Teaching and Learning Through the Archive”. The presentation includes short interview excerpts from the Life Histories and Social Change Project, where the respondent have given their consent to be identified.Irish Qualitative Data Archive, 2012 Additional teaching resources are available at www.iqda.ie Development of this resource funded by National University of Ireland Maynooth / National Digital Learning Repository Attribute as follows: Irish Qualitative Data Archive [distributor], 2012.
Education Image courtesy of The National Library of Ireland
Concept: Modernity“A series of historical changes or processes in the material world [which also involve] intellectual assumptions that legitimate and sanction those changes” (Tovey and Share 2003, p. 20)
Education is intricately bound up withquestions about modernity: it is seen as a keyto modernisation and as a…driver of social,economic and cultural change.” (Tovey and Share 2003, p. 188) Image courtesy of The National Library of Ireland
Areas covered by this presentation 1. Education in the 1920s and 1930s: Independent Ireland 2. Education in the 1950s: economic decline 3. Education in the 1960s: industrialisation Image courtesy ofThe National Library of Ireland
Themes running through presentation Education and modernity in Ireland • Decline of traditional authority • Growth of meritocracy • Meeting requirements of industrial society The contradictory effects of education • Reproducing inequalities Image courtesy ofThe National Library of Ireland
1. Education in the 1920s and 1930s: Independent Ireland
Education in the 1920s and 1930s: Independent IrelandEducation was“a major instrumentin the political Image courtesy of Jane Grayconsolidation andrejuvenation ofindependent Ireland”(Fahey quoted in Tovey,Share and Corcoran,2007)
Education in the 1920s and 1930s: Independent Ireland The School Attendance Act of 1926 made school attendance compulsory for all children from six until fourteen years of age. Sanctions for non-compliance extended from visits and formal warnings to fines on parents and, ultimately, committal to ‘industrial schools,’ where children could be detained up to the age of 16 (Fahey quoted in Tovey, Share and Corcoran, 2007). This had significant impact on the contribution of children’s labour in the family, particularly in agriculture. Fahey (1992) calculated that the Image courtesy of implementation of this Act had direct consequencesThe National Library of Ireland for about a third of families with school-age children.
Think about... Listen to the interview excerpt on the next slide and think about the following questions.Q1. The interview participant describes having to leave school at 14, “to earn your living slaving for people”. How did the requirement to attend school conflict with other demands for children and their families?Q2. The Education Act (1926) meant that all children were required to attend school to the age of 14. How did “The modernising effects of education…*lead+ to a significant reordering of the relationships between children, families and the state” (Tovey and Share 2003, p. 203)?
An account of school in the 1930s Audio clip Source: Life Histories and Social Change Project. http://www.iqda.ie/content/life-history-and-social-change-projectINT: When did you start going to school, can you remember?RESP: What age was I?INT: Yeah.RESP: Between six and seven, it was that time.INT: That would be about 1930.RESP: Yes and finished at 14 and out the road then to earn your living slaving for people, and it was literally slaving.INT: What can you remember from school?RESP: It was the same as above, the same as there today as it was then, they put a wing onto it extra since.INT: How many people were in the school at the time?RESP: I dont know around 110 Id say.INT: Pupils? My goodness that’s big. And did you have much of a walk to it?RESP: We had to walk about a mile and a half and in the summer without a shoe on our foot of course. Then the roads werent tarmacadamed, they were sandy and stones and youd hit your toe on a stone and youd be bleeding and the dirt going into it, there was no such talk about [unclear] or nothing, no disinfectant, you let nature deal with it.INT: And did all of you go to the same school, was it mixed?RESP: It was mixed, it is mixed today too. My grandchildren go to the same school there up above.INT: And all 5 of you went there but you were all staggered. Yourself [sister]RESP: [sister 1], myself, [sister 2], [brother 1], [brother 2]INT: And the three girls were first. Can you remember those first days, did you have a favourite subject?RESP: No I dont remember the very first days but I remember short after, I remember the teacher was there, two teachers, one of them was a right devil. We were in 2nd and 3rd class that time now, she used to bring us out on the playground, we used to get long summers at that time, I dont know where they have gone to, but we used to get big long summers and she used to bring us out on the playground and shed sit in the middle in a chair and wed be standing around her and shed be teaching our lessons. And if you missed something shed send you over there in the hedge to pull a bunch of nettles to swat yourself. And we used to be up at night with the itch in our legs with the nettles, they got all itchy at night. Wasnt she cruel? ... [continues about corporal punishment]
Education in the 1950s The 1950s, ‘a miserable decade for the Irish economy’, when real national income virtually stagnated and net emigration reached its 20th century peak (Ó Gráda quoted in Tovey, Share and Corcoran, 2007). New emphasis on meritocratic education in the development of human capital (Breen et al. quoted in Tovey, Share and Corcoran, 2007). Despite the objective to modernise education, little changed in day-to-day schooling, particularly for working class and rural Image courtesy of households.The National Library of Ireland
Think about... Listen to the interview excerpt on the next slide and think about the following questions.Q1. Why were the interview participant’s parents reluctant to intervene when the teacher “dished out corporal punishment”?Q2. The interview participant talks about the “voluntary contribution” of fuel (turf) that each farm was expected to contribute towards heating the school. How did such practices reproduced traditional power relations within the school?
An account of school in the 1950s Audio clip Source: Life Histories and Social Change Project. http://www.iqda.ie/content/life-history-and-social-change-project LH202. Male respondent[describes starting school – a school with two classrooms that was run by a married couple, with about 100 students; each teacher talkingabout 50 students each, the wife taught Junior Infants (about 5yrs old) up to First Class (about 7 yrs old), the master taught children fromSecond Class (about 8 yrs old) to Sixth Class (about 13 years old)].INT: Were [your teachers] strict, were they fair?RESP: She was extremely fair and was strict to the degree of control but not over. He should never have been a teacher, he was diabolical, absolutely and totally diabolical. Corporal punishment was dished out like nobodys business, he would lose the head several times during the week and he threw chairs around the room, hammered the blackboard, hopped the chalk at people, you were slapped every day. If you arrived in and were given 10 sums to do and for every sum that you had wrong youd get two slaps. If you had spellings, for every wrong spelling you had one slap. You could come home in the evening and your hand would literally be raised... Actually I remember one time I arrived home and I had a cut up along there where I was actually cut with the cane and he had poked the fire, there was one fire up at the very end with a pipe coming out of it and extending down the floor, but the master stood with his back to the fire, and the teacher in the other room done exactly the same thing, but he used to poke the fire with his cane and hed use the same rod. And I remember being cut and an infection in here and my wrist being bandaged.INT: Did you ever tell your mum or dad that you thought this guy was over the top?RESP: Well they were aware because if you were getting dressed and iodine was applied to everything and it would sting the living daylights out of you but it was applied to you. And if you cut your hand youd just get the iodine, I can remember that. And they were very reluctant to do anything about it because they felt if you done anything about it that you would be selected, perhaps even more so. And there was an expected voluntary contribution and the contributions used to consist of turf from the bog and each farmer that had a farm was expected to contribute the turn and I remember even being conscious of the fact that he used to take note of the amount of turf being brought up by horse and cart at that stage, no tractors. And the turf would be heaped outside the school wall and the older kids would be asked to bring it in and stack it up in the hall way. When you went to the school there were doors on both ends and the junior school was to the right and the senior school was to the left and you walked into a hallway where there were rows of hooks to hang your coats, there wasnt even lockers at that stage, some of them would be coming in Wellington boots even. And some of them had shoes and some of them hadnt either. But this turf used to be stacked all along the wall inside to keep it dry. And he sort of referenced that other people didnt come with as much, I still remember that.
Education and Industrialisation from the 1960s From the 1960s: policy change towards export- oriented strategy and attracting foreign investment Development of new employment opportunities, increase in middle-class and skilled manual work 1965: Publication of report on Investment in Education. “It was positioned very much against the background of the programme of industrialisation and the opening up of the Irish economy and was centred on the idea of manpower planning” (Tovey and Share 2003, p. Image courtesy ofThe National Library of 203) Ireland
Education and Industrialisation from the 1960s, continued Growing emphasis on “equality of opportunity” ‘Free’ secondary education was introduced in Ireland in 1967 Despite this, strong distinction between types of school perpetuated social exclusion of certain groups, so that secondary and boarding schools catered for middleclass children, while children from working-class or small-farm families attended local vocational schools Image courtesy ofThe National Library of (Whelan and Hannan quoted in Share, Tovey Ireland and Corcoran, 2007).
Think about... Listen to the interview excerpt on the next slide and think about the following questions.Q. The interview participant says that, “everybody wanted to get into the other schools in Dublin”. How does this contradict the idea of “equality of opportunity” that was promoted in education at this time?
Audio clip Choosing schools in the 1980s Source: Life Histories and Social Change Project. http://www.iqda.ie/content/life-history-and-social-change-project LH315 INT: So where did you go to secondary school? RESP: [name of school in north Dublin town]. INT: How come you went to [name of school] and not in [town]? RESP: There was no schools in [town], no secondary schools in [town]. INT: There wasnt? Cos they used to go to the one in [village], didnt they? RESP: Yeah it was [village], well I think the deal was INT: Cos I went to [village], and the [town] bus used to come over RESP: Yeah the [town] bus would have come over via [village], and that was it, it was [village], [other town], or into Dublin. So I think the deal was you had to do entrance exams into the schools in Dublin and if you managed to get into a school in Dublin well done, otherwise you were on the bus to [village]. INT: So going to school in Dublin would have been considered better? RESP: Yes than going to the school in [village] cos what happened in [town] was youre going to have to get on a bus and the people who failed the exams for the Dublin schools were on that bus. That was the deal and because of that it was seen as theyre the dummies going across to [village] because they couldnt get into the other schools and everybody wanted to get into the other schools in Dublin.
Think about... Listen to the interview excerpt on the next slide and think about the following questions.Q1. The interview participant talks about struggling to get into his career of choice in avionics. How well did education’s objective of developing human capital for a modernising economy match the experience of the individual?Q2. What other factors, apart from education, were influential in “manpower planning” and the development of human capital?
Audio clip Choosing schools in the 1980s Source: Life Histories and Social Change Project. http://www.iqda.ie/content/life-history-and-social-change-projectINT: And what would you say your parents would have wanted you to get out of school at that time? Obviously if they sent you to the one in Dublin they were keen on education.RESP: YeahINT: What type of job would you say they wanted you to do?RESP: Well my dad would have wanted me to get an apprenticeship that was from the word go an apprenticeship, get yourself a job.INT: A trade?RESP: Get yourself a trade, yeah. Hes only had two jobs, he worked in the Air Corps and he went to Aer Lingus and his move with Aer Lingus, sent him from Aer Lingus to SLR, but hes in the same job and working with the same people.INT: So a good steady, pensionable job.RESP: YeahINT: So he wanted you to get a trade and what would you have wanted, what type of job did you want?RESP: I wanted to get into, again I wanted to get into the airline industry. I wanted to get into avionics and stuff like that but there was no jobs available at that time and there was no apprenticeships. I left school in ‘87INT: Did you do your Leaving [final exams]?RESP: Yeah I did my Leaving Cert., I left school in ‘87 and couldnt get a job. I spent six months trying to get a job with ten pounds a month from my mum just to keep me inINT: There was no jobs around?RESP: Yeah there was no jobs absolutely nothing, and I wasnt allowed go on the dole that was one thing they were adamant about thats why she gave me money.INT: Thats interesting. Why?RESP: Her reason was you couldnt get a job in the bank if you were ever on the dole and at that stage if youd ever been on the dole, if you ever signed on you couldnt get a job in the bank.INT: I never knew that.RESP: MmmINT: Really?RESP: Yeah. So she saw it as a stigma, if youd ever been on the dole.
Think about... Listen to the interview excerpt on the next slide and think about the following questions.Q. Having listened to all of the interview excerpts consider the following statement:“While education has been associated with the development of scientific rationality, specific types of interpersonal relationships, achievement orientation and a facility with technology, it has also provided an arena for the maintenance of attitudes, behaviour and relationships that have been seen as barriers to the development of a modern sensibility” (Tovey and Share 2003, p. 205).
ReferencesLennon, Peter and Coutard, Raoul . Extract from: The Rocky Road to Dublin (1968), available on www.youtube.com at the following location, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05k59EhMEEITovey, H. and Share, P. (2003) A Sociology of Ireland, 2nd Ed., Dublin: Gill & McMillan.
Note on this teaching resourceIQDA Teaching Resources by Irish Qualitative Data Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://www.iqda.ie/content/life-histories-and-social- change-20th-century-ireland.Life Histories and Social Change was funded by the Irish Research Council (IRCHSS).Images on slides 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 16 and 18 courtesy of The National Library of Ireland. Reproduction of this images is with the written consent of The National Library of Ireland only.IQDA would like to acknowledge Ruth Geraghty, Linda O’Keefe and Aileen O’Carroll for their work on these teaching resources.Irish Qualitative Data Archive, 2012