Irish Journal of Education, Vol. 14, 1980

PARTICIPATION IN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION BY GENDER AND GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

Thomas Kellaghan and Patricia J. Fontes

Rates of participation in university education were calculated for each county in the Republic of Ireland for the academic year 1977/78. Rate was defined as the number of 17 to 30 year olds with permanent residence in each county attending university (described in the Higher Education Authority’s Accounts and student statistics, 1977178) as a proportion of the population of 17 to 30 year olds living in each county (described in the 1971 Census figures). Participation rates were calculated separately for males and females. Overall participation rate was found to be higher for males than for females. Considerable differences in participation rates were found between counties. Seven variables were selected to predict county participation rates in regression analyses. Three of the variables — distance from a university town, proportion of students aged 12 to 17 attending secondary, community, and comprehensive schools in each county, and proportion engaged in agricultural employment — predicted 78% of the variance in male participation. The proportion engaged in commercial employment in addition to these three variables predicted 80% of variance in female participation.
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JEREMY BENTHAM AND THE EDUCATION OF THE IRISH PEOPLE

Brian W. Taylor

Jeremy Bentham, inspired by the Principle of Utility, regarded education as a prime vehicle for maximizing the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Since there were no geographical limits to the doctrine of Utility and since Irish people, wheresoever, deserved equally to share in this happiness, Bentham attempted to ameliorate their condition through education. Two schemes resulted: one was an outline of a plan for Irish education, the other was an attempt to ‘rescue’ Irish labourers in New York. This article describes the major features of these schemes and attempts to account for Bentham’s interest in the subject.
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TEACHERS’ RATINGS OF READING ATTAINMENT AS A FUNCTION OF PUPILS’  SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS

Peter Archer and Michael Martin

This paper describes an empirical study of the widely-held view that teachers tend to exaggerate the importance of socio-economic status as a determinant of individual pupil performance. The inter-relationships between socio-economic status, teachers’ ratings of pupils’ reading performance, and pupils’ scores on a standardized test of reading for a sample of 28 second-standard teachers and their 804 pupils were examined. The relationship between teacher rating and socio-economic status was found to be stronger than the relationship between reading test score and socio-economic status when data for the total group of pupils were examined (thereby providing some support for the hypothesized teacher bias). However when analyses within individual classes were carried out, the tendency for socio-economic status to relate more closely to teacher rating than to test score all but disappeared.
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RELIGIOUS ATTITUDES IN TWO TYPES OF URBAN SECONDARY SCHOOL: A DECADE OF CHANGE?

E. B. Turner, I. F. Turner and A. Reid

A Likert-type religious attitude scale was administered to 800 boys selected randomly from 4 age groups in a controlled (local education authority) and in a maintained (Catholic) secondary school in Belfast in 1969 and 1979. The results indicate that religious attitudes became significantly less favourable with age. At all age levels, and at each end of this decade, the mean scores of pupils attending the maintained school were significantly higher than those of pupils attending the controlled school. There were no overall decade effects but significant decade-by-school interaction effects were found.
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OPINIONS OF THE IRISH PUBLIC ON EXAMINATIONS

Patricia J. Fontes and Thomas Kellaghan, George F. Madaus and Peter W. Airasian

In a survey of a representative sample of the Irish adult population (n: 994) respondents were asked in interview their views on a number of issues relating to school examinations. Regarding changes in examinations, a slight majority (56%) believed that a change would be for the better; a large majority (81%) thought that the abolition of Irish as an essential subject to pass examinations was a change for the better, and a smaller majority (57%) that paying teachers bonuses for good pupil-examination results would be a change for the worse. Over two-thirds of respondents thought that public examinations are a fair assessment of what a child has learned at school (69%) and that the skills measured by the examinations matter in later life (67%). Having the Leaving Certificate was seen by majorities of respondents as affecting one’s choice of further education (93%), the kind of job one gets (90%), one’s promotional prospects (73%), and one’s social status (61%), but not the amount of money one makes (52%).
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TEACHER PROFILES, SCHOOL ORGANIZATION, AND TEACHING STYLES IN CONTRASTING SOCIO ECONOMIC CONTEXTS

Denis O’Sullivan

Teachers (N:153) in 6 predominantly middle-class and 15 predominantly working-class primary schools in Cork city were contrasted in terms of socio-demographic, career, professional, and extra-curricular profiles, school and classroom organization, and teaching style. Few significant differences were recorded. The implications of the findings are considered in relation to equality of educational provision between schools, the differential socialization of middle and working-class pupils, and the socializing forces and structural constraints impinging on the teacher’s classroom behaviour.
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ORDER AND CONTROL IN JUNIOR SCHOOLS AN EXPLORATORY STUDY

Stuart Marriott

Forty five teachers in three English junior schools were interviewed about aspects of their classroom work including their perspectives on and practices of control. It is argued that the typically isolated nature of the teachers classroom performance necessitates the centrality of order since in the absence of other means it is used as a signal to significant others and by them as an indication of general professional competence. Teachers themselves however legitimate their stress on control in terms of perspectives summarized in this paper as domino theory and decline and fall. In essence teachers argue that due to the inherent nature of children and because of the condition of family life the educational system and society in general order is under perpetual and ever increasing threat. Thus constant vigilance and the avoidance of certain classroom practices (such as those that teachers characterize as informal’) are essential to the task of averting chaos.
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