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Primary Education in Ireland, 1897-1990

Curriculum and Context


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 Irish Terms Used xiii


List of Irish Terms Used Aireacht na Gaeilge – Ministry of Irish An Gúm – Publications branch of the Department of Education An Chomhchoiste um Oideachas sa Ghaeltacht – Joint Committee on Education in the Gaeltacht An Roinn Oideachais – Department of Education Ard Teastas – Higher Certificate Breac-Ghaeltacht – Partly Irish-speaking area Bunreacht na hÉireann – The Constitution of Ireland Coimisiún na Gaeltachta – Commission on the Gaeltacht Cumann Dhá Theangach na hÉireann – All Ireland Bilingual Society Fíor-Ghaeltacht – Fully Irish-speaking area Gaeilge – Irish Gaelscoil(eanna) – Irish-medium school(s) Gaeltacht – Irish-speaking area Galltacht – English-speaking area Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann – Linguistics Institute of Ireland Saorstát Éireann – Irish Free State Taoiseach – Prime Minister in Irish government Timirí – Irish language organisers Tuarascáil – Report Tuarascáil Staitistiúil – Statistical report

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