Title

Gaelicizing Ireland's Youth: The Creation of St. Enda's School for Boys

Presenter Information

Christina Bartholet

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Patrick Pearse, famed leader of the 1916 Easter Rising, was an influential educationalist in Ireland in the early twentieth century. He believed that the British-run school system was harmful to Irish children and that Ireland’s youth needed a more Gaelic education. After writing on education for numerous years, Pearse decided to open up a secondary school for boys in 1908. He asked for support from other Gaelic revivalists, many of whom sent their children to St. Enda’s. Pearse focused his school on the idea of a child-centered curriculum and allowed the students freedom to choose their own activities and classes. If desired by the parents, Pearse and the other teachers would prepare a student for the examinations, but he claimed that this was not the focus of the school. Instead he focused the school on Irish culture, infusing the school with Irish mythology and history. Students were encouraged to speak as much Irish as possible in their free time and many of the classes, when possible, were taught in Irish. Pearse wanted his students to become bilingual, using English for official business, and Irish in their private lives. Overall, he created an innovative Irish school that successfully imparted on the students a love of Ireland and its culture.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jason Knirck

Additional Mentoring Department

History

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May 16th, 12:20 PM May 16th, 12:40 PM

Gaelicizing Ireland's Youth: The Creation of St. Enda's School for Boys

SURC 271

Patrick Pearse, famed leader of the 1916 Easter Rising, was an influential educationalist in Ireland in the early twentieth century. He believed that the British-run school system was harmful to Irish children and that Ireland’s youth needed a more Gaelic education. After writing on education for numerous years, Pearse decided to open up a secondary school for boys in 1908. He asked for support from other Gaelic revivalists, many of whom sent their children to St. Enda’s. Pearse focused his school on the idea of a child-centered curriculum and allowed the students freedom to choose their own activities and classes. If desired by the parents, Pearse and the other teachers would prepare a student for the examinations, but he claimed that this was not the focus of the school. Instead he focused the school on Irish culture, infusing the school with Irish mythology and history. Students were encouraged to speak as much Irish as possible in their free time and many of the classes, when possible, were taught in Irish. Pearse wanted his students to become bilingual, using English for official business, and Irish in their private lives. Overall, he created an innovative Irish school that successfully imparted on the students a love of Ireland and its culture.