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History no longer a core subject In Secondary Level

  • 25-09-2018 5:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 33,104 ✭✭✭✭


    So now that history is no longer a core subject at second level. What could be the impact. Certainly from a political / social point of view I believe that having history as a core subject as allowed Irish society to maintain a more worldly outlook. It part i think it actually has assisted our view of the European project and our place within it.

    So the question is, Who made this decision. Why was it made and who backed it. Certainly from a novices stand point it appears that everyone and their aunty (so to speak) was against its removal.


    So why then, its Ireland joining England and Albania as european countries that doesnt have history as core to education.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    listermint wrote: »
    So now that history is no longer a core subject at second level. What could be the impact. Certainly from a political / social point of view I believe that having history as a core subject as allowed Irish society to maintain a more worldly outlook. It part i think it actually has assisted our view of the European project and our place within it.

    So the question is, Who made this decision. Why was it made and who backed it. Certainly from a novices stand point it appears that everyone and their aunty (so to speak) was against its removal.


    So why then, its Ireland joining England and Albania as european countries that doesnt have history as core to education.

    I think it's very sad. 'Doomed to repeat' as the saying goes. I would hope political and social policy history is given attention.
    I honestly have no idea what merit there is to down grading it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,242 ✭✭✭✭banie01


    It's a travesty.
    History, its appreciation and the effort to try and understand what shaped our past is of inestimable value in ensuring that we don't fall into the trap of repeating it.

    We are a generation with access to more information than ever before, and we often waste it!
    A well thought history curriculum gives students the tools to study, question and synthesize, to extrapolate!
    Now we are rapidly turning to Google for the immediate answer!
    Rather than using our intellect, to assess and create answers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,302 ✭✭✭Heebie


    What eejit made that stupid decision?

    Obviously someone who wants history to repeat, or to ignorant to know that history does repeat when people don't know what happened!

    Are they trying to make young Irish folks as ignorant as Americans?


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,104 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    I think it's very sad. 'Doomed to repeat' as the saying goes. I would hope political and social policy history is given attention.
    I honestly have no idea what merit there is to down grading it.

    Me either, hence the question as to 'why'

    Is see Ruari Quinns name was attached to the original decision. Is that accurate, what was his reasoning and how did it gain any traction with every facet of its implementation saying it was a bad move.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,048 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    The same eejit (or group of eejits) that have us blindly follow everything the UK does, 10-15 years later.

    The reasoning is always to save money.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,104 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    spurious wrote: »
    The same eejit (or group of eejits) that have us blindly follow everything the UK does, 10-15 years later.

    The reasoning is always to save money.

    But surely as we can see demonstrated from the likes of the recent Brexit referendum, These decisions have a wider socio economic implications.

    I have watched various programs recently from Sky to the bbc to Ch4 and the Guardian travelling around numerous areas in the UK to reveal that the average person on the street doesnt have a clue. About various topics. History or the wider non doorstep area being top of the list.

    It doesnt make sense if we want to keep ourselves a centrist country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,606 ✭✭✭✭martingriff


    Heebie wrote: »
    What eejit made that stupid decision?

    Obviously someone who wants history to repeat, or to ignorant to know that history does repeat when people don't know what happened!

    Are they trying to make young Irish folks as ignorant as Americans?

    It has been for a long long time. When I did the Leaving Cert in 99 I was the only 1 who did it

    Edit: Rang title wrong thought it was about Leaving Cert my bad


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,104 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    It has been for a long long time. When I did the Leaving Cert in 99 I was the only 1 who did it

    No it has not, Its was a core subject up to Junior Cert Cycle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,606 ✭✭✭✭martingriff


    listermint wrote: »
    No it has not, Its was a core subject up to Junior Cert Cycle.

    Ops sorry read the title wrong I don't know why I assumed Leaving Cert. You are right I will edit my post


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,727 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus


    It should be a core subject up until Junior Cert imho.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,242 ✭✭✭✭banie01


    It brings to mind a favourite quote of mine from a book that was a backwards history lesson itself ;)
    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell,

    One wonders if our Government has paid any heed to the dystopian masterpieces?


  • Registered Users Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Rhineshark


    This is a terrible idea.

    What other changes were made?


  • Registered Users Posts: 39,284 ✭✭✭✭Itssoeasy


    Shocking decision. I did history is secondary school for six years and my primary school principle taught us history one day a week in 6th class. As others have said doomed to repeat comes into my head. I mean having an appreciation of history from many places is something I'm glad was passed on to me at a young age and it's something now I couldn't live without.

    I genuinely feel that you can't appreciate the present without knowing the past. And I'm taking about the good and bad parts of history because we as a human race have not done everything well.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    It seems English, Maths and Irish are the core.
    Michael D. said:

    It is ironic that at a time when the State is involved in promoting the decade of centenaries programme to mark the achievement of Irish independence a century ago, one of its arms, the Department of Education, has decided to downgrade history.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/a-senseless-downgrading-1.3486069

    That's partially why he's a great Pres IMO.

    It seems Quinn proposed it and Jan O'Sullivan ran with it and Bruton sealed the deal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,104 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    It seems English, Maths and Irish are the core.



    That's partially why he's a great Pres IMO.

    It seems Quinn proposed it and Jan O'Sullivan ran with it and Bruton sealed the deal.

    Achieved nothing all the same, regardless of who said what It was still done.

    For what end ?

    incredible stuff when you think about it. Are we looking to create mindless drones around the country who dont have an appreciation of where we were, are and are going. Just like any town / city in the UK.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The general English ignorance of, well, everything outside their own country and lots of that within is ably assisted by their poor teaching of history.

    There's an argument for making it non-examinable but the same applies to much else of the JC, particularly Religion, Irish and the particularly odd grabbed bag subject branded as geography. That's not an argument to not teach it.

    Vastly too many subjects are examined at JC level


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 942 ✭✭✭Ghekko


    No history in our secondary school for years - not even to junior Cert. Son is in 5th year and it hasn't been taught since he started there, not sure about before that. There wasn't a demand to justify having it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,371 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    History was never core, it's just that most schools had it as a compulsory subject at Junior Cert. With the new Junior Cycle, students are limited to a maximum of 10 subjects which they can do for their examination. With that change, many schools (including my own) put History and Geography into their options in first year, where as previously they would have been compulsory in many schools.

    The result of that in my school is that numbers taking history and geography in junior cert has plummeted. We have only one class group for each subject in first year rather than three class groups for each. Obviously that will have a knock on effect at LC level in a few years time.

    Have a read of the threads on the new Junior Cycle in the teaching forum. Lots of complaints about poorly thought out courses and dumbed down material. But we will have a generation of students who are able to make powerpoint presentations and read wikipedia, who don't fail. Incidentally the lowest grade you can get in a subject in the new junior cycle is 'Not yet achieved'.


    I don't know any teachers who have anything positive to say about the new course, but our opinions are not listened to, and most of what is publicised about us in the media is negative. I feel sorry for the students that have to do this course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,622 ✭✭✭✭hotmail.com


    People will survive if they don't hear about Leonardo da Vinci or the US War of Independence. The crappiness of the Junior Cert curriculum makes it irrelevant if it's compulsory or not.

    Most Irish people learned about the reformer Martin Luther and the Reformation and most have no idea about it now. The same could be said for most of the course.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 809 ✭✭✭Blaizes


    listermint wrote: »
    Achieved nothing all the same, regardless of who said what It was still done.

    For what end ?

    incredible stuff when you think about it. Are we looking to create mindless drones around the country who dont have an appreciation of where we were, are and are going. Just like any town / city in the UK.

    So true I was teaching in the UK before and the lack of basic general knowledge in my classes was shocking.An average student of the same age here would have run rings round them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,775 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    I went to secondary school (vec) in the mid 80s.

    History was not a subject, core or otherwise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,700 ✭✭✭Mountainsandh


    History was never core, it's just that most schools had it as a compulsory subject at Junior Cert. With the new Junior Cycle, students are limited to a maximum of 10 subjects which they can do for their examination. With that change, many schools (including my own) put History and Geography into their options in first year, where as previously they would have been compulsory in many schools.

    The result of that in my school is that numbers taking history and geography in junior cert has plummeted. We have only one class group for each subject in first year rather than three class groups for each. Obviously that will have a knock on effect at LC level in a few years time.

    Have a read of the threads on the new Junior Cycle in the teaching forum. Lots of complaints about poorly thought out courses and dumbed down material. But we will have a generation of students who are able to make powerpoint presentations and read wikipedia, who don't fail. Incidentally the lowest grade you can get in a subject in the new junior cycle is 'Not yet achieved'.


    I don't know any teachers who have anything positive to say about the new course, but our opinions are not listened to, and most of what is publicised about us in the media is negative. I feel sorry for the students that have to do this course.

    +1

    Languages in some schools have lost a class weekly (it's up to principals to allocate subjects and make time for courses and the 4 classes weekly minimum has been removed).

    My students have to learn the same curriculum in the same length of time with one class less weekly than my daughter in a different school. They will have the same assessments at the same times as my daughter in the other school, with less classes clocked up.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    With the new Junior Cycle, students are limited to a maximum of 10 subjects which they can do for their examination. With that change, many schools (including my own) put History and Geography into their options in first year, where as previously they would have been compulsory in many schools.
    There's a lot of choices for the students there alright.


    Some like "coding" seem like a good idea. Its important to keep up with the times.
    Some, like CSI (is that the Miami version) and Visual Arts, I suspect might be a bit of a doss. The danger with giving students too much choice is that some people will just pick the subjects that seem easy and fun.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 809 ✭✭✭Blaizes


    People will survive if they don't hear about Leonardo da Vinci or the US War of Independence. The crappiness of the Junior Cert curriculum makes it irrelevant if it's compulsory or not.

    Most Irish people learned about the reformer Martin Luther and the Reformation and most have no idea about it now. The same could be said for most of the course.

    I have to disagree with you there.I learned a lot of History and Geography in secondary school.When I look up a place on an atlas at home I still use grid reference.How do I know about grid reference? I learned it in 2nd year from my Geography teacher a useful skill that I have never forgotten.


    And yes while it's true that many people may have forgotten the details of the History they studied at secondary school ( it's only natural especially if it was a long time ago ) they were still afforded the opportunity to explore History and Geography also; and in doing so broaden their understanding of how the world was and is shaped.Even if they didn't fully understand everything at the time they still as I have said got the opportunity and an introduction to these subjects. Later in life if they wish they can explore these subjects further through formal study or even though free open online courses ( some universities offer these now ).These subjects can even lead into hobbies for some.And if they are not interested in doing this absolutely fine but school gave them an introduction.

    But by making these subjects non compulsory we now could have a generation who may never even have heard of Leonardo Da Vinci, know what a compass is etc. They might not even have basic knowledge at a table quiz. And beyond that they could be competing in a global market place ( as the world is now) with people with far superior knowledge. That's not even mentioning entry to third level. Long rant I know but just wanted to explain things as I see them.Apologies if I sound preachy but I think it's important to say.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,048 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    I went to secondary school (vec) in the mid 80s.

    History was not a subject, core or otherwise.

    Ah, the days when there was a choice in Irish schools. Originally, VEC schools offered more practical 'vocational' subjects. I transferred to a Dublin vocational school in 1990 and had to set up a History class from scratch.

    Nowadays, most second level schools offer the same curriculum as the others in the area. STEM the current buzz word, regardless of a child's interest or abilities. Causes great fun for LC examiners of Biology when confronted with very poor scripts from the 'they told me to do a Science subject to keep my options open' group.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,048 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    The educational value of History was never in the facts that were taught. It was about spotting bias, questioning sources, constructing and backing up a point of view, recognising patterns in behaviour, cause and effect etc.. All the things that would fight 'fake news' and arguably the social media lies and nonsense that swayed the Brexit vote.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭HandsomeBob


    People will survive if they don't hear about Leonardo da Vinci or the US War of Independence. The crappiness of the Junior Cert curriculum makes it irrelevant if it's compulsory or not.

    If that's true then the same could be applied to English (as in how it's currently taught) and Irish.

    Kids of today and their parents are no longer willing to accept learning for the sake of it or any unneeded strife. To be fair as well I think if most of us are being honest with ourselves we can admit that did we spend these years doing subjects we felt forced to and that had no real value to us at the end of it.

    History won't be forgotten; it'll just mean students who actually want to learn about it will pick the subject. Smart way of utilising resources.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,104 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    spurious wrote: »
    The educational value of History was never in the facts that were taught. It was about spotting bias, questioning sources, constructing and backing up a point of view, recognising patterns in behaviour, cause and effect etc.. All the things that would fight 'fake news' and arguably the social media lies and nonsense that swayed the Brexit vote.

    Excellently put


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    spurious wrote: »
    The educational value of History was never in the facts that were taught. It was about spotting bias, questioning sources, constructing and backing up a point of view, recognising patterns in behaviour, cause and effect etc.. All the things that would fight 'fake news' and arguably the social media lies and nonsense that swayed the Brexit vote.
    I would not agree with this, nor would I agree with previous posters saying the English have no knowledge of history. They have knowledge of a different version of history. So while they know very little about Irish history and the "800 years of oppression" that has been drilled into many Irish minds over the years, likewise Irish students know nothing about the reigns of various kings and queens, or "1066 and all that".
    Even the fact that protestant schools tended to teach a different version of history to those schools founded under the Christian Brothers ethos, while keeping to the same broad state curriculum is telling. At second level it is just about the facts being taught. Third level history is more about spotting bias and checking sources.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 286 ✭✭abcabc123123


    History won't be forgotten; it'll just mean students who actually want to learn about it will pick the subject. Smart way of utilising resources.
    Tend to agree. My instinctive reaction to the topic title was the history-repeating-itself angle that plenty here have repeated, but what actual evidence is there to support it?

    Forcing some kids to daydream through a JC history cycle doesn't strike me as being an important bulwark against populist politics in adulthood. There are plenty of places other than the US and the UK that have populist forces on the rise and I doubt they all neglect history in school. I was required to learn Irish until I was 18; I wasn't interested and I can barely speak a word now. You could argue that there's a certain element of history repeating itself with AfD in Germany; I don't really think if some of those lads had been required to learn some history by rote when they were 14 that they'd be a tolerant bunch of centrists now.


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