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A study of the work of the inspectorate provides illuminating insights into school conditions, pedagogical approaches, curricular implementation, assessment issues and the general progress of the school enterprise. Through examination of the training, roles, mode of operation and career pattern of the inspectorate, much can be revealed about emerging concepts of education, of ideas of teaching and of evaluation of pupils’ learning, all of which enriches knowledge of the developing Irish school system.
This book locates the work of the inspectorate within the changing political, social, educational and administrative contexts of Irish society at different stages of its development. The impact of all major reports and policy landmarks on the inspectorate is analysed. This study, which is heavily based on original source material, is enriched by interviews with the many inspectors whose ‘memoire collective’ sheds valuable light on the culture of the Irish school inspectorate. Dr. John Coolahan is Professor Emeritus at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He published numerous books and articles in both Irish and international journals in addition to serving as an advisor on education policy in Ireland and as a consultant on education for the EU Commission, the Council of Europe, the World Bank and the OECD. Dr. Patrick F O'Donovan has taught in Dublin and Kerry before pursuing post-graduate studies and research in UCD. He has long experience as an inspector of schools for the Department of Education and Science.