Northern Ireland - a Question of Education?

By Heaney, Liam F. | Contemporary Review, October 1994 | Go to article overview

Northern Ireland - a Question of Education?


Heaney, Liam F., Contemporary Review


FEW who have read widely on the subject and who have regularly watched news reports on Northern Ireland would disagree with the statement of Dermot Quinn, that 'the Northern Ireland problem has deep roots'.(1) There is quite clearly a religious, cultural and a political dimension to Northern Ireland's 'troubles' each intricately intertwined and interlinked like the gossamer threads in a spider's web. Indeed, such are the complexities of the Northern Ireland situation that Rose in 1976 concluded that 'the problem is that there is no solution'.(2)

Much has been written about Northern Ireland over the years and many researchers have sought to assess the effects of the persistent violence on the population at large and on children and young people in particular. Indeed, Children in Conflict (1973), A Society Under Stress: Children and Young People in Northern Ireland (1980), Children of the Troubles (1983), Caught in Crossfire: Children and the Northern Ireland Conflict (1987) and Growing up in Northern Ireland (1989) to name but a few, are some of the publications that offer in depth studies of life in Northern Ireland. In these works, and in others, there is an attempt to explore a range of factors, such as unemployment, poor housing, poverty, absenteeism, attitude formation, social identity and stereotyping, that impinge upon and influence the lives of those who live in Northern Ireland.

Other works, such as, Northern Ireland: A Psychological Analysis (1980), Interpreting Northern Ireland (1990), Chains to be Broken (1992) and Understanding Northern Ireland (1993) offer psychological, historical, political, religious and social perspectives on Northern Ireland's problems.

However, in spite of the intense search for understanding and for a solution to the problems, the conflict and the turmoil continue unabated since August 1969, when the troops were sent in to restore order. From political commentators and seasoned journalists it would appear that violence in Northern Ireland is unlikely to end for some time to come. This is quite clearly a pessimistic and some may say a hopeless situation, where Dante's memorable, if not chilling description, 'Abandon hope, all ye who enter here' would not be too much out of place. However, hope is something that we all must have if we are to cope with the daily hardships of life. This is particularly relevant for those living in Northern Ireland.

However, there is another side to life in Northern Ireland, one which does not achieve front page coverage or much media recognition yet arguably it offers the most positive and encouraging prospect for the future. The education system and school life in general in Northern Ireland continues to function effectively and succeeds in achieving and maintaining high standards, a normality and a sense of order, in a society that has been beleaguered by violence for more than twenty-five years.

Harbison (1980) in A Society Under Stress, showed that children in Northern Ireland were resilient and were able to cope with the stress of violence.(3) Having worked with children from a variety of social and religious backgrounds for more than eighteen years, it would appear that children in Northern Ireland do indeed have a resilience which helps shield them in some way from the violence in their environment. This is not to say that children are oblivious to or that they are unaffected by the troubles that are part and parcel of their daily lives. Indeed, Heskin (1980), among others, has shown that the conflict and strife in Northern Ireland society may have long-term effects on children.(4)

However, there does appear to be a 'coping mechanism' which children are particularly adept at using in such circumstances. Of course, it is important to remember that children are individuals and each responds to violence in different ways. Clearly, some children will be emotionally traumatised by what they hear, see and experience of the Northern Ireland conflict. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Northern Ireland - a Question of Education?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.