HIGHER EDUCATION IN IRELAND – COMMENTS ON THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION 1960-67
R A Breathnach, Bryan G ALTON, Declan M Larkin and Patrick Lynch
The Commission to investigate higher education in Ireland was set up in 1960 by the then Minister for Education, Dr P J Hillery, with the following terms of reference. Having regard to the educational needs and to the financial and other resources of the country, to inquire into and to make recommendations in relation to university, professional, technological and higher education generally, with special reference to the following (a) the general organisation and administration of education at these levels, (b) the nature and extent of the provision to be made for such education, (c) the machinery for the making of academic and administrative appointments to the staffs of the universities and university colleges, and (d) the provision of courses of higher education through Irish (2, p xxviii)
A SURVEY OF TEACHING AIDS IN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Thomas Kellaghan and Liam Gorman
In a survey of a representative sample (N 102) of Irish Catholic primary schools, information was obtained from teachers concerning libraries, general equipment (e g projectors, charts) and subject equipment in their schools. Seventy six per cent of schools had libraries, but the number of books per child was small. While 64 per cent of schools had charts, the number with other kinds of general equipment was small. Subject matter equipment (for mathematics, art and crafts, geography and music) was also meagre. There was a tendency for town and city schools to be somewhat better equipped than rural ones.
AN ANALYTIC COMPARISON OF READING IN TWO LANGUAGES
John MacNamara, Marie Feltin , Marcia Hew and Miriam Klein
By means of a series of tests all based on the same verbal material the reading process in each of bilinguals’ two languages was broken down into seven components (1) perception of individual words, (2) perception of strings of words in grammatical sequence, (3) interpretation of individual words, (4) interpretation of syntactic structures, (5) articulation of individual words (6) articulation of words in grammatical sequence, (7) anticipation through the use of the transition probabilities in language Ss (French English bilinguals in Montreal) were selected who had native command of one language and little more than school knowledge of the other. Comparisons were made between the corresponding components in the two languages. Significant differences were found for (3), (4) (5) and (7), and these differences were shown to be distinct one from another. Subsidiary findings relate to effect of truth value (true/ false) and syntactic structure (passive /active, negative /affirmative) on performance. Some of the theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
EXPERIENCE OF BUREAUCRACY AND ATTITUDES TO INDUSTRIAL TRAINING
Changes in attitude to industrial training which occurred among eighty-four engineering students in the University of Bradford were related to organizational characteristics of the training situation. The more favourable attitudes were found among students whose experience of bureaucracy was mild. Those who improved in their attitudes over a period of six months in industry were likely to have had more extensive contact with senior technical personnel and to have enjoyed a relatively protracted ‘time span of discretion’ in their work. There were indications that after their six months in industry the students were more likely to value tact and social skills but they were also more likely to claim the importance of independence of thought and opinion. They saw the organizations in which they worked as requiring tolerance, willingness and co operation, but also informality and a questioning mind.
THE DISADVANTAGED PUPIL
Jesse E Gordon
Certain generalizations (with implications for schooling) about the psychological characteristics of inner-city disadvantaged children and youth in America are drawn, 1 They are more motorically and less conceptually oriented than middle class children 2 They employ a different language structure serving different functions 3 They are oriented to the present time and not likely to defer immediate gratifications 4 They do not demand close matches between what they say and do 5 They are often creative 6 They tend to be person oriented 7 They are uncertain and fearful of the environment 8 They have difficulty in ‘taking the role of the other’ 9 They are less conscience-bound than middle class children 10 Peer culture is a more important source of values and security than to middle class youth 11 Sexual role learnings are in conflict with middle class norms 12 Poor children tend to stay within their residential areas 13 They are aggressive and hostile 14 School experiences often perpetuate the problems of the disadvantaged 15 Poor children learn contempt for themselves 16 Poor children need schools to serve as agents of social change.
THE CONTEXTUALIZATION OF SCHOOLCHILDREN’S BILINGUALISM
Martin Edelman, Robert L Cooper and Joshua A Fishman
Two contextualized degree of bilingualism measures, one designed to assess the extent to which each language is used, the other to assess relative proficiency in the two languages, were administered to 34 bilingual children of Puerto Rican background who attended a parochial school in Jersey City. The children reported that they used more Spanish, when talking to other bilingual Puerto Ricans, in the contexts of family and neighbourhood, than they did in those of education and religion. Their relative proficiency scores were in general agreement with their usage scores the greatest difference between English and Spanish proficiency scores being observed for the domain of education and the smallest difference for the domain of family.
AN EXPERIMENT IN THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH COMPOSITION
Students in second and third year of high school were taught English composition using either an ‘errorless’ or a ‘dialectical’ method. The progress of the students was examined using the STEP and Composition Rating Scales. Significant changes in the students’ scores occurred for both experimental methods over the period of a year. No differences were obtained between the students following the errorless and dialectical methods. The changes that occurred persisted into the fourth year of high school for those who had been instructed by the experimental methods within six months of the final testing, but not for those who had been instructed a year and a half earlier.
FORMATIVE EVALUATION INSTRUMENTS
Peter W Airasian
Formative evaluation provides a means for using test procedures to guide and foster learning. This use of evaluation techniques represents a departure from the typical use of evaluation to judge or grade teaching and learning. The paper discusses the use of hierarchical structures of tasks, tested and scored in terms of item response patterns, to provide information to the teacher, learner, and curriculum constructor regarding inadequacies in the instructional context.
A LIST OF THESES ON EDUCATIONAL TOPICS COMPLETED AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK
Michael W Murphy
This list of theses on educational topics completed at University College Cork was compiled from the library catalogue at the College and from calendars of the National Umversity of Ireland. It covers the period from 1914, when the first thesis on an educational topic at the College was written, to 1967. Thirty-nine of the theses were presented for the degree of Master of Arts, three for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Copies of all master’s theses and the most recent doctoral one (that of Halligan) are kept in the College library. The other two doctoral theses are kept at the headquarters of the National University of Ireland in Dublin. Most of the theses (thirty-two) were prepared in the Department of Education, ten others, though prepared in other departments, were thought to be of sufficient interest to educationalists to merit inclusion in this list.