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(Ireland) Teacher: 'We know that 1 in 4 of our children has a special education need'

July 20, 2021, RTE Radio: "It is probably the least meaningful system I've worked in."

You may remember a running column in the Irish Examiner, The Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher. Well, the previously-anonymous author of this piece has gone on to write a book in the hopes of starting an earnest conversation about the meaningful change she believes is needed in the Irish Education System. She spoke to Oliver Callan – sitting in for Ryan Tubridy – on Monday. … Now back in Ireland, she tells how she loves working at home and how wonderful her staff and school is, but does say that: "At senior cycle, it is probably the least meaningful system I’ve worked in, and I find that very difficult." Jennifer goes on to describe how she feels the Irish Education System is so similar to that of the school in the film Dead Poets Society (which inspired the title of her book) where there is huge pressure on students to succeed in particular professions (such as medicine or law) or to follow their parents career path. And the teacher is working in a system where the focus is to earn as much money as possible, cut back on your interests and passions and focus on the race. … "8% of children in Ireland live in consistent poverty - that’s two or three in every class. We know that 1 in 4 of our children has a special education need.


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