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France and Ireland: Implications of increased immigration on educational systems

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  1. Introduction
  2. France's educational history and structure
    1. Ten years of compulsory schooling in France
    2. The evolution of Catholic cathedral schools
  3. France's immigration history
    1. The aftermath of World War II
    2. The colonial struggles
  4. France's assimilationist education system ? The response to immigrants
    1. The usage of the school system
  5. Reasons for France's resistance to change
    1. Assimilationist view
    2. The Catholic history
  6. The French educational system's response to multiculturalism
  7. Problems immigrants face in France
    1. The impact of poverty
    2. Impoverished conditions
    3. French integration model
  8. Solutions
    1. Response to the 'head scarf law'
  9. Solutions concerning poverty, crime and racism
  10. Ireland's educational history and structure
  11. Ireland's immigration history
  12. New immigration policies ? the response to immigrants
  13. Problem - xenophobia
  14. Ireland's education system ? the response to immigrants
  15. Racism and violence in schools
  16. Solutions
  17. Recommendations for positive change in france and ireland
  18. Conclusion

France and Ireland are two very different European countries. Their citizens speak different languages, eat different foods, yet every four years they both think they have the best soccer team in the World Cup. Aside from these two country's differences, they have one important feature in common ? increased immigration. Both France and Ireland have new immigrants settling on their soil everyday. In this paper, I will illustrate both France and Ireland's educational history and structure. I will also identify the causes for immigration in the two countries and from what countries these immigrants are originally from. Furthermore, I will explain how France and Ireland's educational systems responded to the immigrant students, and how they manage any problems the counties might face. Finally, I will reflect on ways the countries can solve their problems and include personal recommendations for France and Ireland to better integrate and suit immigrant students.

France's first schools came into existence around 1050. These were the great Catholic cathedral schools processing a curriculum that focused on the language-based trivium or the liberal arts. Over the twelfth century, these schools would transform themselves into the prototype of the modern university (Uitti, 2002). After 14 centuries of Christian dominance, it was not until 1905 that France received a separation of Church and State (Lepeix, n.d.). Fascinatingly, the same organization of schools that was developed during the sixteenth century remains largely the same as it is today in France (Uitti, 2002).

[...] (Castle p.35) While other countries of immigration have changed their educational systems, France has stayed true to its Republican model of citizenship, introduced after the 1789 Revolution. According to this model, the basis of citizenship is on inclusion in the political community. This been the dominant model since 1945 for responding to the immigration of large numbers of migrant workers and their families from southern Europe, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa? (Castle p.35). Reasons for France's Resistance to Change France has held strong to its assimilationist view for many reasons. [...]

[...] The relatively new freedom of Ireland resulted in some educational changes, including great emphasis on the Irish language, literature, customs, and history (Nuwer, 2002). Presently, the structure of Ireland's educational system is as follows: two years of preprimary schooling from the ages of four to six, followed by six years of primary school. Next is four years of junior secondary school, from ages 12 to 16. At the end of the junior secondary school, students take the Junior Certificate examination. [...]

[...] Solutions A solution for many of France's problems concerning stresses on the country's educational system must be obtained on a political level. The French government needs to accept a multicultural solution and base public policy on tolerance of diversity (Willms, 2004). The number of Muslims in France has grown expeditiously in a relatively short time. This is even after the French National Assembly modified immigration laws to make it more difficult for non-EU citizens to come to France. The Assembly also proposed new laws to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country and putting a strain on the Nation's budget, especially school funding (Curtis, 2004). [...]

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