Irish Americans in the United States today are at an advantage compared to the general population. They have a higher per capita household income than average. They have a better chance of graduating high school and obtaining a bachelors degree. Massachusetts has the highest percentage of Irish American population twice the national average
Irish Americans were not always in the position that they are in today. When their immigration first started to the United States in mass in the 1840’s as a result of the potato famine in Ireland they were looked upon as inferior and ignorant. They were often employed as servants and had little to no chance of prosperity. They were looked down upon because of their Catholic religion by those of the Protestant faith.
Any hair color May or may not have an alcohol problem May or may not have a quick temper Full range of the intelligence scale Any religion Many different occupations
Children were often unschooled and forced to work in factories prior to educational reforms Currently have an advantage in the educational system 92% have a high school diploma 32% have a bachelors degree or higher 40% in employed in management positions
Once the Irish population in our country were considered below the level of slaves on the social and intellectual level. Now they have all the rights and opportunities that they did not have and have excelled with a higher per capita income and graduation rate than the majority of the United States population. There are currently 36.9 million Irish Americans compared to 4.5 million actual Irish whom live in Ireland.
Pay attention to the cultural experience of students Be cognizant of the differences in demographics Recognize differences as valuable Do not change your expectations Educate yourself about Irish American culture and history Don’t give in to stereotypes
To sum it up you should expect the same of all of your students. It is important to recognize differences when you come across them. You need to take these differences in nationality and educate yourself about what they mean. Irish are not a culture of Ignorant Catholic drunks. Rather they are a culture that has risen from the bottom levels of society to a place where they are successful and looked up to in many areas.
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