Irish Journal of Education, Vol. 24, 1990

PUBLIC FUNDING OF THEOLOGY IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY

Michael Nolan

An account is given of the provision of public funds for the teaching of Theology at third-level institutions in the countries of the European Community. Note is also taken of public grants to young people who have chosen to take a degree in this subject. The account is based on published information and on personal communications with rectors of European universities. All countries in the European Community, with the exception of the Republic of Ireland, fund the teaching of Theology either through the civil university system, through the direct funding of Catholic universities, or through indirect funding.
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MATURE STUDENTS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION IN IRELAND

Marie Morrissey

Interest in mature students and continuing education has increased considerably in recent years in Ireland. At the same time educational organizations and institutions have gradually responded more to the needs of mature students. This paper is concerned with the position of part time mature undergraduate students in the university sector. The main reports and documents concerning continuing education are reviewed. The admission procedures for part time undergraduates, the courses that are available to such students and enrolment trends between the years 1983/84 and 1989/90 are outlined. Two of the main barriers to the participation of adult students in continuing education finance and the availability of access courses are discussed.
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MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT IN SIXTH CLASS IN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Michael O. Martin

A criterion-referenced mathematics test was developed by the Curriculum Unit of the Department of Education to assess the level of performance of sixth class pupils across the mathematics curriculum. It was administered to pupils in a national sample of sixth classes in May, 1984. The present study investigates the utility of the test as an index of individual differences in pupil performance. Analyses show that the test exhibits the statistical characteristics of a good norm-referenced test and could be used as a satisfactory measure of individual pupil achievement in mathematics. Use of the test in this way revealed large differences in the levels of achievement of the most and least mathematically able pupils. On a test assessing mastery of 41 objectives, pupils scoring in the top 10% on the test as a whole achieved mastery on 30 objectives on average, while those in the bottom 10% achieved mastery on just 8 objectives.
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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND ADOLESCENT RELIGIOSITY IN NORTHERN IRELAND: SHAPING MORAL VALUES

Leslie J Francis and John E Greer

Five hundred and seventy one fourth fifth and sixth form pupils attending ten Catholic secondary schools in Northern Ireland completed a scale of Christian moral values and a scale of attitudes towards Christianity and answered questions of religious practice and belief. Analysis of responses indicates that a large proportion of Catholic pupils reject moral absolutes maintained by traditional Catholic teaching. Path analysis suggests that the formation of a positive attitude towards Christianity in general is a fundamental condition for the espousal of traditional Catholic moral values. The implications of these findings are discussed for the Catholic educative process.
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INTERGROUP COMMUNICATION ON RELIGION AND THE TROUBLES AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Maurice Stringer and Olaf Hvattum

The effects of intergroup contact between Protestants and Catholics on communication were examined in a questionnaire administered to 87 university students in Northern Ireland. Subjects were asked about their personal contacts with other group members the extent of communication with own and other group members on the topics of religion and the political troubles in the province their perceptions of the value of discussing these two topics and the outcome of such discussions with own and other group members. The results revealed differences in the way the two denominational groups related to own and other group members when discussing religion and the troubles. Degree of contact with other group members had a significant effect on subjects’ ratings of the value of such discussions but not on either the amount or the perceived outcomes of such interactions.
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ARISTOTLE AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF INTELLECTUAL EDUCATION

Peter M Collins

The purposes of the paper are to explain three philosophical principles in Aristotle’s metaphysics and to ascertain some implications of these topics for education especially concerning the cultivation of the mind. The first of the two major sections of the paper is devoted to an outline of Aristotle’s principles concerning act and potency causality and knowledge as found in the Metaphysics. The second major section consists of a search for educational implications of these philosophical principles with special attention to the goals of education the curriculum and the teacher student relationship and with some reliance upon Aristotle himself and two twentieth century philosophers.
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