THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN YOUR AREA
Research the history of schools in your area.
Types of school include:
- Hedge schools
- Private fee-paying schools
- Endowed schools
- Charter schools
- Model schools
- National schools
- Free schools
- Mechanics' institutes
- Workhouse schools
- Industrial schools
- Boarding schools
- Secondary schools
- Technical schools
- Vocational schools
- Comprehensive schools
- Community schools
- Community colleges.
Sources of information include the following:
- Trade directories such as Pigot's, Slater's, Kelly's, Thom's, etc.
- Lewis, Topographical Dictionary, 1836.
- Griffith's Valuation, 1850s.
- Local, parish, county, diocesan and school histories.
- Local newspapers.
- School magazines, annuals, etc.
- School group photographs.
- Advertisements for schools.
- Institutional archives: schools, clergy, convents, monasteries, etc.
- Family archives: photographs, papers, letters, etc.
- Families of ex-teachers may have preserved photographs, lists, books, etc.
- Autobiographies, biographies, memoirs of local people.
- Interviews with older people. Record their memories and stories.
- School buildings. Visit them in the company of ex-pupils and record their memories and stories.
- Old school textbooks, copybooks, slates, pens, inkwells, maps, needlework, knitting, desks, blackboards, canes, certificates, etc.
- Samples of practical work such as needlework, cookery recipes, agricultural and horticultural instructions, etc.
- Census of population. You might analyse literacy/illiteracy statistics for your area and note any gender differences.
- Several reports and commissions of inquiry.
- A directory of sources for women's history in Ireland is an invaluable means of accessing primary sources for the history of women in Ireland. It contains information and descriptions of over 14,000 collections and 262 repositories. It is is available on CD ROM and can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.nationalarchives.ie/wh/
- Using the information given on the CD ROM, research French influence on Irish convent boarding schools for the period 1848-1878. Refer to prospectuses for convent schools in Convent schools pre-Intermediate in the Documents section.
- Find out as much as you can about Isabella Tod, Mrs Margaret Byers and Anne Jellicoe. Assess their respective roles in reforming girls' secondary and higher education in nineteenth century Ireland.
- 'The Intermediate Education Act was a landmark in the history of girls' education in nineteenth century Ireland.' Do you agree? Research this topic.
- Using material from the Intermediate Education Inquiry Commission (1898-1899) find out why some groups were in favour and some against a separate programme for girls first suggested by the Intermediate Education Board in 1881.
- 'Alice Oldham was one of the most significant figures in the history of women's secondary and higher education in nineteenth century Ireland, yet is still virtually unknown.' Examine this question, listing her achievements and find out why she has not received the recognition that she deserves.
EXHIBITION OF 'EDUCATION IN THE PAST'
Make a collection reminiscent of schools in the past. You might include some of the following:
- old textbooks, copybooks, slates, slate pencils, pens, inkwells, blotting paper, wall maps, needlework, knitting, desks, blackboards, canes, roll books, school reports, certificates, histories, prospectuses, advertisements, newspaper clippings, drawings, plans of buildings, old photographs of school buildings and of teachers and pupils, etc.
Exhibit your findings. Some of the information you find may be very important or it may be interesting or colourful but if you do not publish it in some way, it may be lost for ever, so do consider an exhibition, a publication or a performance.