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ERIC Number: EJ721963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-760X
Developing Citizenship Through Supervised Play: The Civics Institute of Ireland Playgrounds, 1933-75
Kernan, Margaret
History of Education, v34 n6 p675-687 Nov 2005
Prompted by a concern regarding the large numbers of unsupervised children playing on the streets of Dublin in the 1920s and 1930s, the Civics Institute of Ireland (referred to subsequently as the Civics Institute) established 10 playgrounds where children aged between four and 14 years could play after school hours and during school holidays. The playgrounds were open throughout the whole year and the children played under the guidance of play leaders. In the present article it is proposed that the motives of the organizers of the Civics Institute playgrounds can be assessed in terms of their educative social purpose, in addition to the dual need of protecting children from the perceived dangers of the city street, and safeguarding the street from crowds of unsupervised playing children. Once the children were removed from the street, the playgrounds came to be identified by the organizers as a focus of intervention and investment for the future needs of a newly independent Gaelic Ireland. In this regard, it is suggested that it was the intention of the Civics Institute that the pedagogical practices of the playgrounds would work for the development of a spirit of citizenship and patriotism. Thus, supervised play was perceived as the medium by which the particular attitudes and behaviours of good citizenship could be developed. The present article considers the play in the Civics Institute playgrounds as represented by multiple perspectives. These include "the voice of officialdom" represented through the various papers and documents of the Civics Institute such as annual reports, minute books, correspondence, newspaper clippings and accounts of ex-Civics Institute Committee members. Ex-play leaders and assistant play leaders who were able to provide first-hand accounts of the day-to-day pedagogical practice in the playgrounds were also interviewed in the course of conducting the research. The author also had the opportunity of capturing the voice of "the child player", albeit through the memoried childhood of a small number of ex-playground attendees. These first-hand accounts provide an additional dimension in helping to understand the player's experiences in the playgrounds. (Contains 56 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland