Update Fatigue – with an “Electoral Commission” comprehension…!

I’ve just listened to the always fascinating David Runciman (formerly of the “Talking Politics” Podcast) being interviewed by the Irish Times’s Hugh Linehan on their own politics podcast.


One particular point that Runciman made during the interview is something that will almost certainly resonate with Pol-Soc teachers (and students) around the country. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something to the effect of “not missing the need to constantly stay up-to-date” on weekly events (though he did miss the cut and thrust of the excitement of the podcast.

This is something that I have felt very acutely over the last 6 years in my own Pol Soc class. Initially, I worried that if I wasn’t on top of every breaking story, that my students would lose confidence in me. Since then I’ve mellowed somewhat, and have occasionally leaned on the old teacher trope of “That’s a great question – tell me what you find out about it by Monday“. (And I’ve genuinely been interested to see what they come back with, it should be added…)

But there are areas of our course where staying up to speed is essential. Given the prominence of the Irish Electoral and Governmental system on our course, the outcomes of the current Electoral Commission will render lots of the numbers that we tend to have rattling around in our head! I’ll have to shift the numbers 166, 160, and 158 from the ‘Politics’ part of my brain to the ‘History’ part – a real inconvenience.

To that end, to help teachers and students keep current, here’s an adapted article from the Irish Examiner (with suitable questions in the various DBQ categories) that might make the first day back after the mid-term break a little easier. (I’ll be doing a JCT in-service day, so there’s no hope for me..)

Next Dáil to have up to 20 additional TDs – Comprehension from Irish Examiner Feb 2023

Better use it soon, as it’ll be out of date by next year, obviously! (and I don’t want the 40 minutes it took to format it into one single page to be wasted!)

JD 15/2/23


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