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Reforming food in post-Famine IrelandMedicine, science and improvement, 18451922$
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Ian Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088865

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088865.001.0001

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Reforming Irish domestic and agricultural education

Reforming Irish domestic and agricultural education

(p.130) 6 Reforming Irish domestic and agricultural education
Reforming food in post-Famine Ireland

Ian Miller

Manchester University Press

By 1900, it seemed to many contemporaries that post-Famine Ireland was in an unremitting condition of physical, social and economic decline. Ireland's food economy remained hindered by an inability to modernise while the poor seemed chronically underfed. This chapter argues that turn-of-the-century educational reformers harnessed the Irish education system to ensure that teachers offered practical agricultural and domestic training, a step taken to address and resolve pressing post-Famine food concerns. Their intervention formed part of an ambitious social reform that promised to lay the foundations of a stable, prosperous Irish society. This chapter explores the reconfiguration of Irish agricultural and domestic education in 1900 and identifies the motivations that underpinned this radical overhaul. Reformers advocated adjustment in both agricultural and domestic instruction as they saw these as complementary and mutually reinforcing elements of the broader project of improving the nation. This mindset allowed reformers to focus on, and attempt to intervene in, two key decaying sites: the agricultural workplace and the home.

Keywords:   History of education in Ireland, History of domestic education, History of agricultural education, Irish social history, History of medicine in Ireland, History of education

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