Irish Journal of Education, Vol. 25, 1991

IRELAND’S RESPONSE TO AFRICA’S EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Paud Murphy

An examination of educational provision in sub-Saharan Africa reveals many problems: access, low completion and achievement rates at primary level, maintaining quality while increasing access at second level, and the cost, and relevance of tertiary education. The development of Ireland’s official aid programme and current features are described. Mandatory commitments to the European Community and the World Bank take up more than half of all expenditure. Less than 10% of this goes to education and training. Bilateral aid is concentrated on Africa and education and training activities account for more than 40% of expenditure in recent years. An examination of the education projects funded between 1980 and 1990 reveals that most are located in third-level institutions and none has supported primary education.
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TEACHER EDUCATION: BACK TO THE FUTURE

Michael O ’Hara

Changes in the structure and content of teacher education in recent years in the United Kingdom are considered against a backdrop of the major theoretical and pedagogical issues which have, until now, been the source of creative tension in the field. Although the wide range of issues in teacher education which spawned such a substantial literature in the late 1960s and 1970s are no nearer resolution, they are rarely aired in the current discussions about changes in initial teacher training. Debates about proposed new patterns of teacher training appear to be increasingly taking place in political contexts where the main issues seem to revolve around cost effectiveness and speed of course delivery, with the result that professional educators are being marginalized by their political masters. It is argued that the constant changes in the arrangements for initial teacher training are creating a situation in which preparation for teaching is being pushed back to a skills-based, unreflective, and anti-intellectual activity.
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FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY: A STUDY OF MATURE FEMALE STUDENTS

Clive Cochrane

Six mature women students were interviewed about their first year at university. Overall they enjoyed their courses. All agreed that as a result of their year their outlook on life had changed; they felt more confident and independent. They differed from the majority of undergraduates in that they had to cope not only with their studies, but with a variety of personal, domestic, and child-care problems. The findings of the study are similar to those of other studies in Northern Ireland which have investigated the reasons why women leave the formal educational system between the ages of 16 and 25 and their attitudes and reactions to re-entering education as mature students.
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IRISH JESUIT SCHOOLING IN VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

David H. Murphy

Although Austrian Jesuits were already operating in South Australia, Archbishop Goold of Melbourne, Victoria, in 1865, secured Jesuits from the Irish province to staff St Patrick’s College. A second boys’ college, Xavier, established in 1872, soon dominated St Patrick’s though itself challenged by brothers’ schools. By 1901, the Irish Jesuits had amalgamated with the original Austrian, while Xavier had achieved the status of public school at the expense of St Patrick’s. Xavier went on to develop two preparatory schools, one situated close to the archiépiscopal palace of Dr Mannix. In 1950, the creation of the Australian Jesuit province meant the loss of the Irish province. Another loss lay ahead: the closure of St Patrick’s in 1968. Now the Australian province of the Jesuits is squarely aligned with Asia rather than with Europe. Further, it is developing educational initiatives with new focuses.
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POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE AND PLACE-LOCATION SKILLS OF IRISH AND UNITED STATES ADOLESCENTS

Vincent Greaney and Dermot Kavanagh

Adolescents’ knowledge of major international and national political figures and their skills in place location (judged by ability to locate places on a world map) in the United States (N:306) and Ireland (N:558) were compared. Irish adolescents, although somewhat younger than their American counterparts, were more successful in identifying both international and national figures. Irish students also performed better in identifying places (mostly countries) throughout the world. Males scored higher than females in each country on both tasks. In both countries, knowledge of international and local political figures correlated significantly.
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