Students’ Experiences of the Teaching and Learning of Irish in Designated Disadvantaged Schools
International Journal of Education, Culture and Society
Volume 4, Issue 5, October 2019, Pages: 87-97
Received: Sep. 27, 2019;
Accepted: Oct. 12, 2019;
Published: Oct. 28, 2019
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Katriona O’Sullivan, Department of Adult and Community Education, North Campus, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland
Niamh Bird, Department of Adult and Community Education, North Campus, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland
Gareth Burns, Department of Adult and Community Education, North Campus, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland
Irish policy is increasingly focused on addressing the lack of teacher diversity. However, persistent challenges remain around the high standard of Irish required to enter primary level Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and the quality of Irish language teaching in schools that are designated disadvantaged in Ireland. This research aims to explore the relationship between these variables. Students from groups currently underrepresented in ITE and who are participating in a Foundation Course for Initial Teacher Education (FCITE) described their experiences of learning Irish in schools that are designated as disadvantaged, and then their journey through Irish language learning on the FCITE. Participants described largely negative experiences of learning Irish in school which contrasted with positive experiences of learning Irish while on the FCITE. Participants believed the communities they came from, and schools they attended, influenced the quality of teaching received; while teacher expectations of their language capabilities, and consequently their language proficiency impacted upon their Irish language learning. The findings indicate that specific measures should be put in place along the continuum of teacher education to ensure that there is an emphasis placed on not only improving the quality of Irish language teaching in schools located in communities experiencing social and economic inequality, but the parallel need to develop a model of social and political criticality amongst student and practicing teachers that addresses the problematic assumptions observed in this research about students’ language learning capabilities.
Students’ Experiences of the Teaching and Learning of Irish in Designated Disadvantaged Schools, International Journal of Education, Culture and Society.
Vol. 4, No. 5,
2019, pp. 87-97.
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