Approaches to teaching case studies

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Approaches to teaching case studies

  1. 1. Phase 3, Session 2: Approaches to teaching case studies Each case study involves an in-depth investigation of a particularly significant or representative aspect of an element of the topic (S11). Note that work on the case studies has a crucial role to play in the achievement of many key syllabus objectives, e.g., Understanding procedural concepts. Recognising nature of historical knowledge. Developing evidence-handling skills (G36). Students at both levels should be able to recall issues and events in case studies; give narrative account. look at contentious issues from more than one point of view; particular reference to case studies. describe role of key personalities in elements (S13). In addition, Higher Level students should be able to recall main events; show good understanding of causes and consequences. recall issues and events in Case Studies; give discursive account. evaluate role of key personalities – awareness of current as well as contemporary attitudes, where appropriate. show understanding of relevance of key concepts to the topic (S13). Later Modern Ireland, Topic 3: The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912-1949 Three associated case studies The Treaty negotiations, October-December, 1921. Belfast during World War II. Eucharistic Congress, 1932 (S36). The case study does not stand-alone but is closely related to other elements. In their study of the topic, students must know the role of certain key personalities (relevant to case study). Another “key” to developing understanding is learning to identify the main issues through key concepts. An enquiry-focused approach: to arouse the curiosity of students. to focus on issues, and problems. Outcome: the importance of evidence becomes apparent to students. History In-Service Team, Supporting Leaving Certificate History, Spring 2005, phase 3 page 13
  2. 2. Case Study: The Treaty Negotiations, October-December, 1921 An enquiry-focused approach: 1. Should de Valera have gone to London to negotiate the Treaty? 2. Was Craig an invisible negotiator at the Conference table? 3. The negotiators were either envoys plenipotentiary or they were not. What were they? 4. What were the weaknesses of the Irish team and of their position? 5. Collins was head of a military revolutionary underground movement. Once he went to the conference table, was it possible to go back? 6. Could a deal have been done without Collins? Why? Why not? 7. Lloyd George threatened “immediate and terrible war” if the negotiations failed. Did his threat intimidate the Irish negotiators? 8. Was Arthur Griffith the maker and shaper of modern Ireland? 9. After signing the Treaty Collins wrote “Early today I signed my death warrant”. What did he mean? Group Exercise on the Oath of Allegiance: Key questions relating to the oath of allegiance, membership of the Commonwealth, “external association”, and Ulster can be examined by reference to three important documents: The British draft Treaty 1 December 1921 Irish counter proposals 4 December 1921 The Treaty signed 6 December 1921 Which Irish delegate wrote this in October 1921? Lloyd George is a humorous rascal. He talked today of the vast amount of produce England bought from us. I said, “You don’t buy it for love of our beautiful eyes”. Whereupon, with a smile he yielded, saying, “No, on account of your beautiful butter” Useful teaching resources The Treaty directed by Jonathan Lewis, RTE, 1991 Treaty, Treaty Debates, and Document No. 2: www.ucc.ie/multitext/ Anglo-Irish Treaty, http://www.nationalarchives.ie/topics/anglo_irish/dfaexhib2.html Seven Ages, produced and directed by Seán Ó Mórdha, RTE, 2002 Discovering Women in Irish History (Department of Education, Gender Equality Unit, 2004) History In-Service Team, Supporting Leaving Certificate History, Spring 2005, phase 3 page 14
  3. 3. Group activity: The Treaty Negotiations October–December 1921 Compare the following three texts in relation to the oath of allegiance. These documents were presented within days of one another and during the final week of negotiations. British draft treaty 1 December 1921 The first document is an extract of the British draft treaty presented as a final offer on 1 December 1921. The entire Irish delegation returned to Dublin to discuss this document in a full meeting of the Irish Cabinet meeting in the Mansion House on 3 December 1921. Irish counter proposals presented 4 December 1921 The second document consists of an extract from Irish amendments of, and counter proposals to, the British draft treaty. These amendments were drafted in the Mansion House during and after detailed discussions, as the Cabinet and certain officials went through the British draft treaty line by line. Articles of Agreement as signed 6 December 1921 The third document is an extract from the final treaty. It was signed by the British and Irish delegates on behalf of their respective governments in the early hours of the morning of 6 December 1921. The last Irish delegates signed at 2am. Read and consider each document carefully and then answer the questions on the following page. Each extract deals with one key issue: the oath of allegiance to the crown. OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE CROWN British draft treaty 1 December 1921 4. The oath to be taken by members of the Parliament of the Irish Free State shall be in the following form: I...solemnly swear to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State; to the Community of Nations known as the British Empire; and to the King as Head of the State and of the Empire. Irish counter proposals presented 4 December 1921 5. The Oath to be taken by members of the Irish Parliament shall be in the following form: I do swear to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of Ireland and to the Treaty of Association of Ireland with the British Commonwealth of Nations, and to recognise the King of Great Britain as Head of the Associated States. Articles of Agreement as signed 6 December 1921 4. The oath to be taken by Members of the Parliament of the Irish Free State shall be in the following form: I do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established and that I will be faithful to H.M. King George V, his heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of Nations. (Texts courtesy of Multitext, UCC). History In-Service Team, Supporting Leaving Certificate History, Spring 2005, phase 3 page 15
  4. 4. The Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations: The Oath of Allegiance In the case of each of the three documents answer the questions below. British draft treaty Presented 1 December 1921 Irish counter proposals Presented 4 December 1921 The Treaty or Articles, Signed 6 December 1921 1. What name was to be given to the new state in Ireland? 2. What name was given to the British Empire/ Commonwealth of Nations? 3. What name was given to the parliament of the new state in Ireland? 4. To whom or to what was allegiance to be sworn or recognition given? Indicate the order. 5. What differing views are expressed of the king’s status or function? 6. Do these documents differ in any other matter? History In-Service Team, Supporting Leaving Certificate History, Spring 2005, phase 3 page 16
  5. 5. Questions on the case study: The Treaty Negotiations, October – December 1921 The following questions may help students to come to an understanding about the Treaty negotiations, depending on the material and approaches taken by the teacher. They deal with the important issues that arose during the course of the negotiations and are set out chronologically. Students who can answer these questions will have an excellent grasp of the issues involved in this Case Study. The television film The Treaty directed by Jonathan Lewis, 1991, is very useful and answers to these questions are to be found there. They can be used in class in several ways – group work by students on crucial issues to find answers, or individual homework for students. 1. Given that the British Government had described the Sinn Féin leaders as a ‘murder gang’ for the two previous years: (a) was it difficult for political leaders in Britain to negotiate with de Valera and Collins? (b) Was it harder for Tory members of the coalition Government and if so why? 2. To what extent did these factors encourage peace moves: (a) the view of senior British military leaders that the alternative to a truce was all out war; (b) the cost of such action and its political consequences; (c) a determination to investigate all other options? 3. 12 July, London. (a) What clear differences of view were there between Lloyd George and de Valera during their July talks of 1921? (b) Why did the July talks fail? 4. 3 September, Dublin. (a) Why did de Valera accept an invitation to London for comprehensive talks on September 13? (b) Had Lloyd George insisted that the prospect of a Republic was not open for discussion? (c) Did de Valera insist on a Republic in all his correspondence with Lloyd George in the summer of 1921? 5. Who decided the following two key issues: (a) the membership of the negotiating team? (b) the most desirable outcome? 6. (a) What body appointed the Irish delegates? (b) To what body were the delegates to report? (c) Why did de Valera choose not to be part of the negotiating team? (d) Were negotiations likely to meet popular, inflated expectations? 7. (a) What was the status of the delegates? (b) How were they described and what did their titles mean? (c) What written instructions did de Valera issue them? (d) Did these instructions limit them? 8. (a) How sound was the plan of referring proposals back to the Cabinet in Dublin for detailed consideration? (b) How many members of the Irish Cabinet were in Dublin and who were they? (c) How many members of the Irish Cabinet were in London and who were they? 9. ‘Draft Treaty A’ was given to the delegates at a cabinet meeting in Dublin before their departure. (a) Did it include de Valera’s formula, ‘external association’? (b) What did de Valera mean by ‘external association’? 10. (a) Why did the British consider “external association” a dangerous concept? (b) Did it compromise the authority of Crown? (c) Did it threaten to diminish the influence of the British Government and Commonwealth? 11. (a) Did the British field the A team in the Treaty negotiations? (b) Did the British take the negotiations seriously? (c) Who was the head of the British delegation? (d) What were the positions and the experience of its members? 12. Where did the negotiations take place? What forceful declaration of their aims did the British make during the first plenary session? Did broad-ranging exchanges on both sides in plenary sessions accomplish much? 13. Why were negotiations conducted increasingly by small sub-conferences? Who were the most active and influential members on the Irish side? Did work in sub-committees rather than in plenary sessions increase the likelihood of agreement being reached? Were there internal divisions within the Irish delegation? Why were Barton and Duffy uneasy at their exclusion from most of the sub-committees? History In-Service Team, Supporting Leaving Certificate History, Spring 2005, phase 3 page 17
  6. 6. 14. Was de Valera getting regular written updates from Griffith? Had de Valera discussed the situation with the other members of the team during their visits to Dublin? How were relations between Childers and Griffith? 15. Why did the Irish consider it better to break on Ulster rather than on the Crown if talks collapsed? Why did the delegates insist that they should not be accused of compromising ‘essential unity’ on their return to Ireland? Was the Ulster question the stumbling block? 16. Was allegiance to the Crown the fundamental difficulty? Why were the Irish determined to hold firm against an oath of allegiance? Why were the British resolved to insist on an oath of allegiance? 17. Did Collins and Griffith accept the phrase ‘free partnership with the other States associated within the British Commonwealth’ on 2 November? Did they believe that this allowed the Free State to be associated with but remain outside the Commonwealth? Were they mistaken in their belief? 18. Why did Griffith agree in writing on 12 November that he would not “break on” the Ulster issue? Did this guarantee affect the negotiating strategy of the Irish delegates? Did this guarantee affect the negotiating strategy of the British delegates? 19. How important was Lord Birkenhead’s statement on 24 November, London that “any settlement which did not acknowledge some form of symbolic role for the Crown within Ireland would be unacceptable to both the British people and British Government”? Why was such symbolism a problem for the Irish? 20. Why did Lloyd George offer to put in writing any phrase which would copper-fasten Ireland’s equivalent status with Canada at a meeting on 28 November? Did Collins and Griffith believe that such a guarantee would prevent future British encroachments into Ireland? 21. (a) What direct communications were possible between Dublin and London? (b) Was it easy for the plenipotentiaries to keep in touch with shifts in Irish public opinion? (c) How did Collins ensure that he was kept up to date with issues involving the cease-fire and other military matters? (d) Why were delegates frequently obliged to travel in person to Dublin? 22. What difficulties were faced by the Irish delegates towards the end of November due to (a) several intensive weeks of negotiations (b) travelling over and back to Dublin (c) an intensification of British pressure? 23. Were British proposals for a treaty presented to the Irish negotiating team on 1 December? Did the Irish negotiating team travels to Dublin by boat and train on 2 December? 24. Did the full Irish Cabinet in Dublin discuss Treaty proposals on 3 December in Dublin? Did Griffith, Duggan and Collins express their belief that the document represented the final word of the British? Did Barton and Childers dispute this analysis and did they express their dissatisfaction with the terms? How long did discussions in Dublin last? What range of matters was discussed? What decisions were made about the Commonwealth and the goal of external association? What decisions were made about the Oath of Allegiance as worded in the British document? What was agreed about referring final agreement to the Dáil? 25. Why did Gavan Duffy’s observation that membership of the Empire was the crucial issue for the Irish team bring the conference on negotiating a treaty to such a dramatic end in Downing Street on the evening of 4 December? Where did this leave the Irish policy, which had been reaffirmed in Dublin the day before that any break should be on the Ulster question? 26. What psychological pressure was put on the Irish delegates during the final negotiations in London, 4 & 5 December? What diplomatic skills did the British use? What threats did the British issue? What glaring imbalance in the power possessed by the two sides became obvious? How and why did the threat of war, which had been understated but ever-present during the negotiations, become a real issue? 27. What explicit choices did Lloyd George give the Irish delegates, 5 December? Who was to bear the responsibility for the immediate resumption of war? Why was no delay considered to allow the Irish to take the text unsigned to Dublin for the consideration of the Dáil? Why did the whole Irish delegation agree to sign the ‘Articles of Agreement’ just after two o’clock on the morning of 6 December? 28. Why were all signatures of the Irish delegation in the Irish language? History In-Service Team, Supporting Leaving Certificate History, Spring 2005, phase 3 page 18

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