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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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Appendix 1: Compulsory and Optional Subjects in the Primary School Curriculum, 1872–1999. 451


Ye ar C om pu lso ry S ub je ct s O pt io na l/ A dd iti on al S ub je ct s A dd iti on al N ot es 18 72 R ea di ng , w rit in g, sp el lin g, gr am m ar , a rit hm et ic , ge og ra ph y, ne ed le w or k (g irl s) , a gr ic ul tu re (b oy s) . Vo ca l m us ic , b oo k- ke ep in g, K in de rg ar te n, dr aw in g, in str um en ta l m us ic , a lg eb ra , ge om et ry an d m en su ra tio n, tr ig on om et ry , na vi ga tio n, m ec ha ni cs , h yd ro st at ic s a nd pn eu m at ic s, lig ht an d so un d, h ea t a nd st ea m en gi ne , p hy sic al g eo gr ap hy , h ea t a nd m ag ne tis m , b ot an y, an im al p hy sio lo gy an d zo ol og y, in or ga ni c c he m ist ry , g eo lo gy , L at in , G re ek , F re nc h, G er m an , I ris h, h an di...

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