Reads of the Week #13

A little late this week, here are the best five things I read last week

First, Laura June on Dr Seuss, repetition and parenting

Then there’s Diarmaid Ferriter on the elephant in room as we prepare to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising

Next there Tom Healy on the need to place education at the centre of any economic recovery

Here’s Hannah Arendt’s guide to thinking: Education was, for Arendt, an expression of that care – “the point at which”, as she wrote in her 1954 essay on “The Crisis in Education”, “we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it”.

And finally here’s Heidi Stevens on how the internet hates her hair

Find all my Reads of the week on Twitter here

And the archive on previous posts is here 

Pic credit 

Happy reading!


5 thoughts on “Reads of the Week #13

  1. Does it not worry anyone that a historian as reputable as Diarmaid Ferriter continues to describe the junior cycle reforms as ending compulsory history, when in fact it is not compulsory in half Irish 2nd-level schools for junior cycle, yet is taken by 90% of students for Junior Certificate? I am all for promoting the subject, and encouraging its uptake (I study it at postgraduate level right now myself), but find it ironic and a little disturbing how much a top historian chooses to ignore the facts when making the case for it. If he can be so selective in his description of the situation in which the facts are openly available, how much context or vital information does he leave readers and students unaware of when presenting and publishing his research from primary source material not as easily accessible to the public? It is surely the job of a historian to make context know to the audience, we’ve seen plenty controversy in Irish history in recent years in circumstances where selective use of material was used to further particular arguments, which were subsequently weakened when the evidence was probed…

    1. I think Dr Ferriter knows the context and knows his audience very well, the point he makes remains: under the reform as proposed no Irish school will be required to provide classes in History (or indeed Geography).
      For clarity the percentage of students who attend schools where History is not compulsory is below 35% and of those a third do not study the subject. If that is repeated throughout the education system after the reform, 60,000 students per annum will not take History. That is the context.

      1. I’m aware of the context, my point is one about the historian and academics who have been supporting the case for history, not about the reform itself. It would just make the case stronger, perhaps, (to my mind) if advocates like those were less selective in the way they make the argument. By the way, do you not mean 20,000 students per year or per annual cohort, making 60,000 across the three years of junior cycle at any given point in time? ( I understand around 60,000 students sit Junior Cert each year, so assume you are applying the formula of one-third not studying it where it’s not compulsory?)

      2. Understood. Like I said, preaching to the converted re importance if history; it is more the wider credibility of Diarmaid Ferriter – and others – on history generally that I am concerned with here.
        On that note: I have an essay I need to stop procrastinating about, best get back to it…

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