Academic journal article Social Education

The Great Irish Famine

Academic journal article Social Education

The Great Irish Famine

Article excerpt

Foreword

IN 1997, the people of Ireland and of Irish descent around the world observed the 150th anniversary of the worst year (1847) of the Great Irish Famine, a catastrophe precipitated by a fungus that first destroyed the potato harvest of 1845 and led to mass starvation and emigration through 1849. To commemorate that anniversary, the New York State Legislature voted that study of the famine in Ireland be included in the state's human rights curriculum along with the study of slavery in the Americas and the European Holocaust. A team of scholars centered at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, are composing a set of interdisciplinary lessons, units of study, and projects on the Great Irish Famine for grades 4 through 12.(1) The lessons emphasize the complexity of history by presenting multiple perspectives on the causes of the famine and the many related events that followed.(2) Middle Level Learning features some of these materials (for grades 5-8) in this issue. Teachers can organize these lessons and activities to suit their needs. For example, some teachers begin with a description of notable Irish Americans, while others start with a discussion of the Columbian exchange and the lowly potato as an agent of historic change.

The lessons in this issue are based on material prepared for the New York State Great Irish Famine curriculum guide. The principal authors and editors are Maureen Murphy and Alan Singer of Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. Contributing authors and editors include Maureen McCann Miletta of Hofstra University and Judith Y. Singer of Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York.

The Great Irish Famine provides teachers with a case history for exploring areas of social studies such as history, culture, economics, public policy, civics, ethics, religion, and demographics. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.