St Enda’s School [Reports of Inspectors, 1909-10]

Author: Patrick H. Pearse

Book ID: 63346

Price: 450.00

Intermediate Education Board for Ireland. Reports of Inspectors, 1909-10. Confidential Printed for Members of the Board only. Volume Two: From No. 82 to 168.  Original half calf, cloth boards, title labels lettered in gilt to spine. Covers lightly scuffed & faded, contents in fine condition.

A bound volume of Inspectors’ reports for over 90 schools, including St. Enda’s School, Rathmines (date inspected 9th & 10th May, 1910).

The 17-page report gives a fascinating insight into the teaching methods employed in St Enda’s secondary school for boys, founded just over a year earlier by Irish nationalist Patrick Pearse. The three inspectors give an overall description of the ethos of the school & a detailed review on the various subjects taught. Along with Pearse as headmaster there were ten assistant teachers including Thomas McDonagh (twelve years’ experience in Rockwell College & St. Colman’s, Fermoy; well known for his literary work), William Pearse (distinguished student of Metropolitan School of Art) & Patrick Colum (well-known poet, dramatist, and literary critic). The introduction includes a general description of the schoolhouse, a list of school hours, holidays, discipline policy and a description of the recreation activities organised by the school. There follows a details report on the classes inspected including Greek, Latin, French, Irish, English, History & Geography & Mathematics. Of Pearse’s teaching method the inspector writes: ‘The teacher is a fluent speaker of Irish and conducts his teaching entirely in that language. In the prose texts conversation is substituted for translation-The progress made by some boys who, the teacher informed me, knew no Irish at their entrance to the school last September is certainly remarkable – In general the work done in this subject is very effective from an educational point of view.’ The concluding part of the report is entitled ‘Note on the Bilingual System followed in the School’ where the inspector J.J. O’Neill gives his analysis of the use of Irish & English as the general means of instruction. Concluding ‘there can hardly be any doubt that the introduction of a bilingual system by capable teachers would prove a decided educational stimulus.’ An important piece of social history.

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