He who controls the past, commands the future. He who commands the future, conquers the past.”
The study of history gives us insights into ways of life and ways of thinking that may be far removed from our own, thus developing our appreciation of the human condition. Students of history gain an understanding of how human life and human institutions have undergone change over time.
“It (History ) should provide young people with a wide tapestry of past events, issues, people and ways of life through which they can come to perceive patterns such as cause and consequence, change and continuity. It is in the past that they will find the roots of the contemporary world” Dept. Of Education JC History Syllabus
At Junior Cycle, students gain a broad understanding of history through the ages, from the Celts to the American Revolution to the Irish Civil War. This course gives students a base from which to explore their interest in the subject, culminating in the Junior Certificate examination. Various methodologies are incorporated into the teaching of history at Junior Cycle in order to make the subject more accessible and alive to all students for example, notes, handouts, illustrations, videos, quizzes, DVD’s and ICT. Students are encouraged to participate in class excursions, discussions and to complete projects on allocated topics.
This year three groups of students from second year are participating in the Discover Cork School’s History Project. Project titles include “The life of Michael Collins”, “Dan O’Mahony-Champion Wrestler”, and “The Durrus Famine House”. A representative from the Cork County Council’s Heritage Unit will visit the school in February to offer the students guidelines and advice in completing their research.
At Senior Cycle the subject becomes more specialised. The Leaving Certificate syllabus has changed considerably making History a much more enjoyable and approachable for students. The new syllabus aims to promote understanding of the present through the development of a historical perspective on issues of contemporary importance.
“Students should acquire knowledge and develop understanding of how the actions and experiences of previous generations have helped influence the world of their successors” Dept of Education LC History Syllabus
Students study four topics: two from Irish history and two from Europe and the wider world. The main areas of study may be categorised as follows: administrative, cultural, economic, political, religious, scientific and social. This year, students are studying Movements for political and social reform 1870-1914, The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition 1912-1949, Dictatorship anddemocracy in Europe 1920-1945 and The United States and the World 1945-1989.
Students also have the added advantage of completing a research study of a particular historical subject that particularly appeals to them. The study is submitted prior to the Leaving Cert exam and is worth 20% of their overall grade. It provides students with an excellent opportunity to both pursue their own interest and excel in the subject as a result.
Technology is a vital tool for the budding historian and sixth year students benefit from weekly access to the college’s computer facilities. Students are encouraged to use the internet wisely and to develop their judgement of valid and un-biased sources. An invaluable asset to the students is the recent availability of The Irish Times archives online, free to all schools. This is a wonderful catalogue of primary source material and a glimpse of life in Ireland from the 19 century to the present day.
The subject is taught by Alison Hodnett, Nicola Mc Cormick, Julie Mc Mahon and Catriona Regan
The Senior Cycle students, got the opportunity to visit Poland as part of their History