Educating Ireland: Schooling and Social Change 1700–2000


Karin Fischer & Deirdre Raftery (Eds)

This significant study analyses the relationship between education and social change in Ireland from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The book details how Irish society was critically shaped and re-shaped by the various successes and failures of the education system in Ireland as it gradually developed over the last four hundred years.


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This significant study traces the relationship between education and social change in Ireland from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, marking the effects of the successes and failures of educational policy on the conditions of Irish society. Incisively written by a leading group of contributors,  this text is both sweeping and thorough in accounting for the various manifestations of education in Ireland from the 17th century onwards.

The book’s material measures how the education system altered the times as well as how it changed with them; issues such as the training of the Garda Síochána are illustrated along with the policing of the education system by the Church and State. Combining scholarly rigour and lively analysis, this material is presented in a manner that is varied yet thematically unified – it is a narrative concerning education that encompasses the character of the Irish nation as a whole.

Table of Contents

Preface:  Professor Jane Martin, University of London
Introduction:  Dr Deirdre Raftery & Dr Karin Fischer

Chapter One: The Irish Hedge School and Social Change.
Dr Antonia McManus

Chapter Two: “The well conducted school”? Charter schools, the vision and the reality,1750 -1850
Christine Lennon

Chapter Three: Superior Schooling: the legacy of the Endowed Schools Commissions (1791-1894) to Irish education.
Dr Christopher McCormack

Chapter Four: Irish women and elementary education for the poor in early nineteenth century Ireland. Dr Eilis O’Sullivan

Chapter Five: Thomas Wyse and non-denominational education in Ireland 1830-1845.
Dr Tony Lyons

Chapter Six: The Museum of Irish Industry and scientific education in mid-Victorian Ireland.
Dr Clara Cullen

Chapter Seven: The Presentation Order and National Schooling in nineteenth century Ireland.
Dr Catherine Nowlan-Roebuck

Chapter Eight: The Irish educational system and Irish language and history: the roles and reactions of the Church of Ireland and the State, c. 1920-1950.
Dr Martina Relihan

Chapter Nine: The Modernisation of the Recruit Training Policies of the Garda Síochána, 1922-1985.
Dr Brian McCarthy

Chapter Ten: The implementation of the greater schools co-operation policy and vocational education committees in 1960s Ireland.
Dr Marie Clarke

About the Editors

Karin Fischer is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Orléans, France.
Deirdre Raftery is a Senior Lecturer in History of Education, UCD.