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Primary Education in Ireland, 1897-1990

Curriculum and Context

Series:

Thomas Walsh

This book critically examines the context, origins, development and implementation of successive primary school curricula in Ireland between 1897 and 1990. It focuses on three particular policy changes during the period: the Revised Programme of Instruction introduced in 1900, the curricular provisions implemented following the achievement of independence in the 1920s and the Primary School Curriculum of 1971. These three eras are distinctive by virtue of their philosophy of education, the content of the curriculum, the methodologies employed and the concept of the child inherent in the curriculum. The author analyses curricular changes within the complex web of wider educational and societal factors that influenced their devising and implementation.
In this way, he locates curricular developments within the climate of thought from which these policies emerged. The philosophy and ideology underpinning successive curricula are examined, along with the successes and shortcomings of curriculum implementation in each period. This historical analysis of the evolution of the primary curriculum in Ireland has much to offer researchers and policymakers in the contemporary context, amid ongoing curriculum development.

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List of Tables ix List of Acronyms xi List of Irish Terms Used xiii Acknowledgements xv Foreword by John Coolahan xix Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Societal and Educational Context for Curriculum Provision 1897–1921 7 Chapter 2 Planning and Content of the Revised Programme of Instruction (1900) 31 Chapter 3 Implementation of the Revised Programme of Instruction 1900–1921 59 Chapter 4 Societal and Educational Context for Curriculum Provision 1922–1971 85 viii Chapter 5 Planning and Content of the Primary School Curriculum 1922–1971 129 Chapter 6 Implementation of the Primary School Curriculum 1922–1971 171 Chapter 7 Societal and Educational Context for Curriculum Provision 1971–1990 205 Chapter 8 Planning and Content of the Primary School Curriculum (1971) 237 Chapter 9 Implementation of the Primary School Curriculum 1971–1990 283 Conclusion 343 Notes 357 Bibliography 415 Appendix 1: Compulsory and Optional Subjects in the Primary School Curriculum, 1872–1999. 451 Index 455

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