History of Education

3752 words 16 pages
“The period between 1965 and the end of the 1980s witnessed significant developments, not only in the provision of post-primary schooling in Ireland, but also in the way in which schooling was understood.”


The period between 1965 and the latter end of the 1980s witnessed significant developments in the provision of post primary education in Ireland. This coincided with changes in Irish and indeed worldwide society. What makes the changes that came about so significant was the fact that for so long education policy in Ireland had remained practically untouched. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Ireland was still a place where education was seen as Ideological and a “preserve of the middle classes”. The church/religious orders
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The problem with these schools was that they were poorly resourced, and it was expensive to fund this. The public was becoming increasingly aware of the correlation between spending on education and the increase in the standard of living. There was a growing demand for access to education for all.

The OECD report which was commissioned in 1962 was produced in 1965. The report by the OECD was commissioned to analyse the education system in Ireland, identify areas of weakness, and recommend changes for the future. It was also supposed to identify the “manpower needs” of Ireland over the following 15-20 years. What the report did do was highlight the inequalities that existed in terms of opportunity when it came to access to post primary and 3rd level education and a host of other issues. This was to prove a catalyst for change throughout the following 25 years.

The OECD report was the most thorough investigation of the Irish education system conducted in decades, if not ever. The 1991 OECD review of Irish National Policy has referred to the report of 1965 as “a landmark both in the national and international memory”, and “remarkable for its comprehensiveness, its studied detachment, its theoretical underpinning, its systematic accumulation of a mass of baseline data, its detailed estimates of quantitative trends and not


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