I've been of the view that algerba should be pushed more at a younger level and intergrated with a critical thinking/logic subject. Once students are thought to think, the subjects they choose are not so significant. Even those who are not naturally good at school would benefit from this emphasis on thinking over learning the right answer.
I spent 3 years doing a B.Ed and have taught in primary schools (temporary contracts and subbing) in Ireland. The aspects of ownership and rights of the church were never explained to us.
We were asked to swallow the most ridiculous crap. Also there was an extra Relgion dip that was studied along with the degree. We were warned that we would not get a job if we didn't have it. Again, I stress, it has nothingn to do with the degree itself.
I chose not to do it on principle and alas, I could not get a job and had to move abroad. The fact that Parish Priests are the Chairperson's of the Boards of Managment means that if you don't have the Religion Dip done, you're behind the pecking order from the start. A principal, the one with all the experience of running a school and working with teachers, can have chosen what he/she considers the best candidate for the job after all the interviews. But the priest has the final call. He can override the principals choice. If you don't have the Religion dip, you're screwed.
Add to that, on my final teaching practice which lasts 4 weeks of full time teaching, I was assessed by 3 people. Teaching practice constitutes 25% of the degree and if you have to repeat one of them (there are 5), the best you can get is a 3rd class degree. No matter how well you do in the other 75% of the marks over 3 years of study, you can't get a 2.2 or 2.1. Which is fair enough seeing as it's a teaching degree. But imagine my horror when I found out that the head supervisor on my final teaching practice was not even a teacher and had no education-related qualification. This is the person who sees you teaching more than the other supervisors and who has the final say on your mark.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems with education in Ireland. You wouldn't believe some of the other stuff if I told you.
Can someone explain what's invovled in getting the Catholic Church out of the education system in Ireland?
I mean specifically in relation to, what components do they own? The DES pays the salaries and owns the schools (as far as I'm aware), so why is getting the Church out such a difficult proposition?
The church in the vast majority of cases own's the land, and I'm fairly sure they own the school building too, in most cases.
Schools in Ireland are not state schools with church involvment, they are church schools with state involvment.
IMO, the simplest route is just to teach philosophy as a core subject.
And it would cost the State an awful lot of money to take over all the primary schools currently run by the Catholic Church.
Philosophy can get out of hand though - witness the first-year philosophy student who becomes swept up in each successive big theory. In fact, that's one of the problems with universities: too much big theory without an adequate grounding in basics.
Working with basic principles of reasoning could be a basis for teaching other subjects and subjects such as civics could develop a stronger basis in political philosophy and ethics.
It would be like Plato's academy but without the naked gymnastics.
The State already pays the entire cost of running the schools, except for whatever fundraising the parents do. The church doesn't pay a penny.
The only thing about maths that's pushed is how hard it apparently is. Primary school is spent learning nothing then in secondary it changes completely and everyone is convinced it's really hard and parents will agree with them.
They wouldn't hand over all that property for nothing.
Undergraduate philosophy courses are designed by people who have dedicated their professional lives to studying this stuff; personally, I'm content to mostly defer to them when it comes to deciding what first year students do and do not need to cover.
The history of philosophy, covering the major schools, the most prominent thinkers and the contexts in which they worked, and some central questions which philosophy as an ongoing discipline seeks to address, are the basics.
An attempt to incorporate these things by tacking political philosophy onto Civics (or Double Math, second period, as it was known in my school) or shoe-horning informal logic in somewhere sounds half-hearted to me, and potentially half-assed.
I would see greater benefit in teaching basic reasoning/logic - mostly in the form of problem solving - over the historical development of major schools of philosophy.
Our schools need to breed people who can think clearly - not specifically philosophers.
I'm not questioning the value of university courses or the authority of those who teach them. I was simply making the point that philosophy students are very impressionable when they first attend to the subject as they have not yet developed the skills and concepts to offer substantial critiques. This three year university level stuff - not, in my view, suitable or necessary for schools.
Pretty much. Honors LC Math throws too much at students at once. Trigonometry yay fine... but then eventually you miss one class and suddenly your teacher is rattling on about dy/dx anf f-prime which makes absolutely no sense to you and then 2 days later oh hai it's Integration lets do that thing you didn't quite understand and do it completely backwards. Then lets throw probability and statistics at you to see what sticks. Slow it down a bit. Those things take a good chunk of time to grasp. The earlier the basics are taught the sooner you can teach the more complicated stuff, and have more time to focus on it, rather than throwing it all at students at the end of their 2nd level education.
Indeed, maybe if people would stop telling children from go that it's the hardest thing in the whole world ever, they might have more hope
We don't specifically need to produce geographers, historians, literary critics, or biologists either, but we still teach these things. I wouldn't propose anything particularly challenging at that level either - just a basic grounding. They teach philosophy in French schools (in final year, I think), and there have been suggestions they may extend that to younger pupils. Personally, I think it could be a very useful subject to have in schools, particularly when you consider some of the nonsense that could make way for it...like Business (SWOT analysis! Synergy! Pro-active! Buzzwords!)
That's true. I think that happens more with students who are taking modules in Continental philosophy for the first time, doing Heidegger one week and Foucault the next. I don't think anyone emerges from an introductory lecture on Descartes or St Anselm going "Of course! It all makes sense now!" And it's something the students themselves become conscious of very quickly.