By Tony Gallagher (auth.)

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All other areas of education may be transferred to the responsibility of the autonomous communities. In this way the federalisation of education is based on a common central core. Educational administration in Spain is consequently an administrative instrument of the state or of the autonomous communities, according to the distribution of responsibilities which exist in each case. The political and administrative system of the Spanish state must guarantee the unity of the education system, which may be provided and administered in each autonomous community with different educational programmes, priorities and objectives, provided that these observe the minimum requirements established in state legislation governing the validation of degrees and certificates and the essential unity of the system.

Furthermore, it is conceivable that the nationalists’ sense that their subordinate status was illegitimate may have been fuelled by the fact that they formed a majority on the island of Ireland and that the division of the island itself was seen to be unjust. The corollary, of course, applies. Unionists’ sense of selfassurance, and the self-perceived legitimacy of their position, will have been heightened by the fact that they formed the majority within Northern Ireland. However, this may have been tempered by a sense of insecurity due to their minority status on the island of Ireland, which in turn may have motivated an approach which maintained distance and difference between the two communities in Northern Ireland.

A corollary of the process of selection is that of categorisation. One way of dealing with the sheer volume of perceptual information we encounter is to categorise aspects of the world into explanatory clusters. By categorising in this way we simplify perceptual information and render it easier to cope with: to live in a world where we treat each new stimulus as unique and different would be to live in an increasingly complex and confusing world, so categorisation has a value in providing some degree of control and stability in our experience.

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