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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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Notes 357


Notes Introduction 1 Department of Education (1995). Charting our Education Future – White Paper on Education. Dublin: The Stationery Of fice, p. 18. 2 Department of Education (1990). Report of the Primary Education Review Body. Dublin: The Stationery Of fice. 3 Review Body on the Primary Curriculum (1990). Report of the Review Body on the Primary Curriculum. Dublin: Department of Education. Chapter 1 1 CSO (1974). Statistical Abstract of Ireland 1970–1971. Dublin: CSO, p. 20. 2 Plunkett, H. (1905). Ireland in the New Century. London: John Murray, p. 129. 3 Coolahan, J. (1973). A Study of Curricular Policy for the Primary and Secondary Schools of Ireland 1900–1935, with Special Reference to the Irish Language and Irish History. PhD Thesis. Dublin: Trinity College Dublin, p. 37. 4 Cullen, L. (1968). Irish Economic History: Fact and Myth (in) Cullen, L. (Ed.) (1968). The Formation of the Irish Economy. Cork: Mercier Press, pp. 113–124. 5 Nic Ghiolla Phádraig, M. (1990). Childhood as a Social Phenomenon – National Report Ireland. European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research. Eurosocial Report 36/8. Vienna: European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research. 6 Ó Loinsigh, P. (1975). The Irish Language in the Nineteenth Century. Oideas, Spring 1975, Volume 14, pp. 5–21. 7 Wall, M. (1969). The Decline of the Irish Language (in) Ó Cuív, B. (Ed.) (1969). A View of the Irish Language. Dublin: The Stationery Of fice, pp. 81–90. 358 Notes to Chapter 1 8 O’Donoghue, T. (2000). Bilingual Education In Ireland...

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