Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

W YORK

Libriani 388080

ANT, 1.FNOX ANO TEN FOUNDATIONS

1905

TUK

SEVENTY-FIRST REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONERS OF NATIONAL EDUCATION

IN IRELAND,

FOR THE YEAR 1904,

TO

HIS EXCELLENCY WILLIAM HUMBLE, EARL OF DUDLEY,

LORD LIBUTENANT-OENERAL AND GENERAL GOVERNOR OP TRELAND.

May it please Your Excellency,

WE, the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, submit to Your Excellency this our Seventy-first Report. In this report the statistics of attendances, religious denominations, &c., in the schools, have been compiled for the year ended 31st December, 1904, while the statements connected with the expenditure of the Parliamentary grants, &c., refer to the year ended 31st March, 1905.

In view of recent changes we deem it advisable to give a brief statement on the organization of manual and practical instruction during the past five years.

When we determined, in 1900 (as a result of the recommen- Manual and dations of the Commission on Manual and Practical Instruction practica?

)

instruction to remodel the curriculum of the National schools, and to add organ. to the school course several new subjects, it was felt that the ization. latter could be introduced only by appointing experts, who, with the aid of assistants, should train the teachers in the procedure to be followed. It was also decided to try the new system of organization in the case of several subjects already included in the curriculum which were either ineffectively taught, or were attempted in only a comparatively small number of schools. The subjects included in the organization were :-needlework, vocal music, cookery and laundry work, hand and eye work, including manual instruction and drawing, and elementary science.

A

ver

Organiza- The organization of needlework was placed under the control tion of

of Miss Prendergast, while Mr. Goodman, the Board's exmanual and practical aminer in music, took charge of the singing. Miss FitzGerald, instruction. who had for some time been superintending, under the direc

tion of the Royal Irish Association for the training and employment of women, the classes in cookery conducted by four itinerant teachers in some districts of Ireland, was placed in charge of twelve sub-organizers, who were to train teachers in that subject in every part of the country. To promote manual instruction, Mr. Bevis, who had successfully introduced it into Birmingham schools, was brought over from England. Of four assistants granted to him he lost one in the middle of his work, so that he had to carry on the organization with a diminished staff.

Mr. Heller and his assistant were likewise brought from England. Mr. Heller had been engaged in introducing a new system of science instruction into some schools in the east end of London, under the London School Board. At first he had only five sub-organizers to assist him here, but within the last eighteen months two others were appointed.

The organizers' classes were the means of perfecting the teachers' knowledge, especially in the case of needlework and singing ; while the visits which the organizers paid to schools

the means of helping the teachers over the difficulties encountered in beginning subjects, with the teaching of which they were not familiar.

In the case of manual instruction and elementary science, and to a less extent in the case of drawing, the work was so new that the teachers, as a rule, were unable to grasp the subject intelligently, or to introduce it into their schools except in a very mechanical fashion, especially as the sub-organizers in the earlier period were rarely able to visit the schools for the purpose of aiding the teachers.

Some of the subjects required little apparatus, and that of an inexpensive kind, whilst for others a considerable and comparatively expensive equipment was necessary.

Ireland, being the poorest part of the United Kingdom, has always trusted mainly to the general exchequer for the furtherance of education, and very little local effort has ever been made to supply anything more than the absolutely necessary apparatus for school purposes. Hence subjects requiring much local outlay have generally remained unattempted.

Two of the subjects included in the organization-needlework and singing-did not require any considerable outlay for their promotion in the schools, and, moreover, had the advantage of general approval and popularity; hence their rapid progress could not be for a moment doubtful, when it was understood that improvement would be insisted on. Cookery was popular with the parents ; but the cost of the necessary equipment was, in many cases, an obstacle to the introduction of the subject in the schools. The subject was prescribed for all classes, and the annual cost was likely to be very heavy.

« ForrigeFortsett »