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Controversial new science curriculum for Irish schools
Science laboratory at Waterpark College, Waterford in 1900. Photo: National Library of Ireland, P_WP_1137

Controversial new science curriculum for Irish schools

Dublin, 12 January 1917 - The Intermediate Education Board is set to reintroduce the system of uniform examination of science for pass students in Secondary Schools.

This move is being seen by many teachers and headmasters as a retrograde action, removing the elasticity in teaching methods which has reaped educational success in the last decade.

The Board has rejected any compromise despite the almost unanimous opposition of teachers and teaching authorities. One headmaster says that the the introduction of the new system would mean that the spirit of investigation and research that is central to the scientific method would be replaced by a focus on simply passing the exam. Another says that students would be in danger of cramming instead of pursuing a sound and rounded education. One commentator summed up the views of many concerned parties in saying that examinations were ‘destructive of the happiness of boyhood’ and counterproductive.

Protests made by the Irish Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons have also proved futile and no change is expected now despite all the opposition.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.