1st Edition

New Turns in the History of Education in Ireland From Policy to Practice, from Theory to Lived Reality

Edited By Deirdre Raftery Copyright 2023

    The chapters in this book offer a range of impressive new studies on the history of education in Ireland, based on detailed research and drawing on important sources. This book also serves to show the healthy state of the history of education in Ireland. In particular, the book also seeks to understand how both teachers and pupils in Ireland experienced education, and how they ‘received’ education policies and education change. The lived reality of education is woven through the chapters in this book, while the impact of policy on education practice is illuminated many times, and with great clarity. This book is a very important contribution not only to the history of education, but also more widely to social history, women’s history, church history and political history. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal History of Education.

    Introduction: New turns in the history of education in Ireland: from policy to practice, from theory to lived reality

    Deirdre Raftery

    1. The evolving status of elementary teachers in Ireland (1831–1921): from ‘feckless and impoverished’ to ‘respectable’

    Thomas Walsh

    2. ‘Nobody’s ideal’: Augustine Birrell, William Walsh and the evolution of the Irish Universities Act, 1908

    John Walsh

    3. Emotional regulation and middle-class Irish education: a case study of nineteenth century Catholic convent schools

    Mary Hatfield

    4. More sinn’d against than sinning? The intermediate system of schooling in Ireland 1878–1922

    Brendan Walsh

    5. ‘Staying on in national schools’: a history of Ireland’s secondary tops, 1880–1980

    Catriona Delaney

    6. Education for the country girls: vocational education in rural Ireland 1930–1960

    Marie Clarke

    7. Irish history at school, its transnational nature and its international contexts, 1980s–1990s: convergence and divergence between the Irish state and Northern Ireland

    Karin Fischer


    Deirdre Raftery is a Professor of the history of education at University College Dublin, School of Education, Ireland, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Her areas of specialisation are nineteenth century education; university and higher education of women in England and Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; education and the Irish diaspora in the nineteenth century; convent schooling for girls; education for women in the Global South. She is the author of many books, most recently Irish Nuns and Global Education, 18301930: a Transnational History (2023), and Teresa Ball and Loreto Education: Convents and the Colonial World, 1794–1875 (2022). She is co-editor of Transnationalism, Gender and the History of Education (Routledge, 2017), Education, Identity and Women Religious, 1800–1950 (Routledge, 2016), Educating Ireland: Schools and Society, 1700–2000 (2014), and History of Education: Themes and Perspectives (Routledge, 2013).