It strikes me that perhaps many of you may know
some people who are interested in generating more interest and debate
around the topic of Junior Cert. History.
I'm a writer
interested in history and History, with offspring studying History
at third level. It is doubtful that without Junior Cert. History as it
stands they would have realised their respective interests in their
subjects; as is the case, I suspect, with many others.
outside of any particular interest, I think the study of history at this
stage is important to educational, social and aesthetic development and
to understandings of active citizenship.
I have made a
hashtag #JuniorCertHistory on Twitter - please take a look, post
comments & links, and pass it around. I am concerned that the whole
thing has not been garnering more significant attention, in a more
useful way, considering the people who have been speaking up on behalf
of the subject. This needs to run on social media as actively as
possible to keep it in the news, so to speak. Who can contact history
teachers, lecturers, museum staff, library staff? Is there already a
petition? If not , why not?
Business investing in the promotion
of basic computer literacies, coding, in Irish State Education is quite
short-sighted with relatively terminal short-term aims if it can not
recognise the worth of maintaining this history cycle; the empirical
knowledge and skills it builds alongside more tangential ones
are all equally necessary further on. I don't think many people
here envisage educating as if only for industry as it stands now,
particularly as industry and the factory floor will continue to change
rapidly as all areas are augmented by continuing technological
Removing Junior Cert. History or reducing
its significance is a retrogressive, dependent, and badly thought-out
step, overly-focused on relatively short-term results for
a technological business sector which would be biting off its own nose
to spite its face in the longer term.
A sustainable technological
sector in the longer-term does not just need more maths and science
experts and more workers coming through, very importantly it needs many
kinds of skilled researchers, analysts, archivists, knowledge experts,
Undermining the input of the Arts and
Humanities in our education system any further would be detrimental to
any real progression in the furtherance of innovation, entrepreneurship,
invention; whether that be in education, art, technology, the sciences,
business. Better to invest more in early education, primarily first
three years developmental stages and further to that, early
years literacy and numeracy skills.
Certainly there is a strong
case for introducing coding and programming skills as optional
modules for both Junior Cert. and Leaving Cert. cycles. I do not think
they should be, or need to be mandatory. However this should not occur
at the expense of existing academic subjects.