Macbeth and the Leaving Certificate

  • Ellen McCabe
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


The chapter details a case study of Macbeth and the Leaving Certificate comprising a combination of classroom observation and interviews involving four Leaving Certificate, higher level English teachers and their students. It explores the challenges facing teachers and students submerged by an overloaded syllabus, rendering the consideration of creative and enriching approaches unreasonable and highly improbable. The chapter considers the extent to which creative, analytical engagement is of value in the context of the Leaving Certificate and the degree to which this informs a prevailing process of prescription and memorisation. These experiences and challenges are described and discussed in relation to perceptions and attitudes, daily practice, student engagement, categorical understanding, extensive and demanding syllabus and media usage.


Macbeth and the leaving cert Leaving cert English Teaching Shakespeare Digital Shakespeare Rote learning Standardised testing English curriculum design Categorical thinking Shakespeare at second level Shakespeare and the leaving cert Multimedia learning activities Rote learning Educational reform Drama education Literary education Drama and the leaving cert 


  1. Homeland [Television]. (2011). New York, NY: Showtime.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen McCabe
    • 1
  1. 1.Huston School of Film & Digital MediaNational University of Ireland, GalwayGalwayIreland

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