Rethinking the Junior Cycle reforms


Sir, – Greg Foley’s letter “Education is not the same as training” (November 18th) highlights the fundamental problems associated with “progressive education” and how the Junior Cycle is a perfect example of this flawed philosophy being put into practice.

If readers require further confirmation of the disastrous nature of “progressive education” they need only ask any secondary school teacher about the standard of the professional development training they are getting from the State-supported Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) body.

Most teachers will readily admit that the JCT training they are receiving is disastrous. In general it involves experienced teachers having to listen to inexperienced presenters mindlessly repeating progressive education clichés. At no stage is discussion permitted about the flaws of “progressive” teaching and of the benefits of “traditional” learning. The training is woeful because it is built on an unsound philosophy which does not correlate with the realities of the classroom.

It is now time that somebody shouted stop and that a root and branch review of the Junior Cycle is urgently undertaken – starting with its guiding philosophical beliefs. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 15.