Hedge schools were an Irish pedagogical precedent stemming from Penal Laws of 17th Century, whereby Catholics were banned from formal education. Primarily rural in nature, the schools convened not in hedges but in barns and ad-hoc spaces teaching everything from the ‘Three R’s’ to Irish history, culture, and language.
Although responding to a real need, the schools were inherently radical in nature: itinerant, responsive, and illicit. They are interesting historically for their methods and practices, but also for the way they worked spatially and conceptually. These were schools rooted both in pedagogy and politics, operating within and without conventional power structures. The hedge being a spatial division, a line, a picket; one that denotes a boundary, inside or out.