First published in 1975, Donald Akenson’s book was at the forefront of a radically new approach to the study of Irish educational history. Instead of investigating the evolution of the schools as an isolated process, he explores the complex interrelations of Irish education, institutions and society, treating the schools as cultural litmus paper. By presenting Ireland’s schools as a reflection of the society that produced them, Professor Akenson demonstrates that they are, in truth, "a mirror to the face of Kathleen ni Houlihan".
1. The Original Framework 2. Tinkering with the Machinery 3. The Magic of Words 4. Compulsion, but Gently 5. A Polite and Private Secondary Schooling 6. Investing in Children 7. The Catholic Church Triumphant 8. Protestantism Abashed 9. The Pauline Code 10. Looking Ahead