INFORMAL TEACHING IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL: CHARACTERISTICS AND CORRELATES
A questionnaire on teaching approaches and practices was sent to a national sample of primary teachers at all grades in Irish national schools; 675 (or 66%) responded. Responses to the questionnaire were reduced to 25 variables, including 21 factor scores, which referred to curricular priorities and organizational practices in the classroom. With the exception of two variables (emphasis on basic skills in English and Irish) all referred to some aspects of informality. Responses were grouped by a cluster analysis, producing two final groups of teachers, one of which (n=312) outscored the other (n=363) on every aspect of informality. Teachers in the informal group were more likely to teach lower grades and to be in girls’ schools. They were also more likely to be women than men. Certain specific aspects of informality were also linked with school size, class size, college of education attended, and teaching experience. Informal teachers placed a little less emphasis on some skills of written Irish and English in the lower grades.
OPINIONS OF THE IRISH PUBLIC ON INNOVATIONS IN EDUCATION
Thomas Kellaghan, George F. Madaus, Peter W. Airasian & Patricia J. Fontes
In a survey of a representative sample of the Irish adult population (n:994), respondents were asked in interview their views on innovations in Irish education. A majority (55%) thought that there was ‘about the right amount’ of change in schools. Majorities also thought that six specific changes were for the better: the raising of the schoolleaving age to 15 (93%); change in school management (76%); the provision of sex education in schools (76%); having boys and girls in the same class (68%); comprehensive schools (65%); and the abolition of corporal punishment (58%). The only change that a majority of respondents did not perceive as being for the better was the closing of small schools; while 39% thought this was a change for the better, 48% thought it was not.
EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH IN IRELAND: A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF EMPIRICAL WORK 1 9 6 0 -1 9 8 0
Titles are presented of reports, books, journal articles, and articles in books which deal with empirical research in education in Ireland and which were written between 1960 and 1980. There are 148 titles in the bibliography. Titles are presented in alphabetical order. There is also a subject index.
LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY PROVISION FOR ADULT EDUCATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Local Education Authority (LEA) provision for adult education in the United Kingdom since 1944 is reviewed. Such a review necessarily involves a clarification of the term ‘adult education’ and its relationship to such other concepts as ‘further’, ‘permanent’, and ‘continuing’ education. Local authorities generally have given adult education a low priority in their overall educational provision. Current arrangements are described and subjected to a brief analysis. An attempt is made to indicate what might be the role and responsibilities of LEAs in adult education in the 1980s.
TRAFFIC DENSITY AND SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT
Owen Egan and Ronan Reilly
Traffic density was measured in the streets adjacent to 12 primary schools in Dublin city and the pupils (n=579) in these schools were tested in English reading at the end of third class and again at the end of founh class. After differences due to socio-economic status and gender were removed a significant drop in English achievement scores was observed in schools with high traffic scores. The effect of traffic density is not large accounting for only 1.69% of the between subjects variance and there is no effect for traffic on the gam scores of individual pupils during 4th class The implications of the findings are discussed.
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TIME SPENT TEACHING, CLASSROOM ORGANIZATION, AND READING ACHIEVEMENT
Patricia J. Fontes, Thomas Kellaghan and Maeve O’ Brien
Recent research has focussed considerable attention upon the relationship between scholastic achievement and two kinds of ‘manipulable’ variables, variety of teaching style and amount of time devoted to scholastic instruction. In this study, variance in English reading scores and in Irish reading scores (after the effect of verbal ability had been removed from these scores and from other potential predictor variables) was related to a set of measures of teaching style (whole/group/individual work; teacher/ pupil direction) and to a measure of time spent per week in English and Irish teaching. Verbal ability accounted for by far the greatest amount of variation in reading performance in both languages. No significant additional contribution to explaining English reading performance was made by time spent teaching English, but a significant contribution to the explanation of Irish reading performance was made, in a positive direction, by time spent teaching Irish. Only very small contributions were made by any of the teaching-style variables.
THE NATURE AND STUDY OF EDUCATION
Peter M Collins
The purpose of this paper is to suggest a structure of graduate studies in education in light of an analysis of several meanings of the term education. The first section of the paper is addressed to a description of three meanings of education, which is a basis for a prescribed meaning of the term directly pertinent to the study of education in a college or university. The second section includes an outline of a framework for graduate studies in education with some general comments on that framework. In the conclusion, the relationships between the two sections of the paper are analyzed and three topics of related research are suggested.