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Curriculum and Ideology: Irish Experiences, International Perspectives

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Curriculum and Ideology: Irish Experiences, International Perspectives

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An in-depth look at curriculum development in Irish schools.


Curriculum and Ideology offers considerable insight into the operations of curriculum decision-making in Ireland in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It tells an important story about the generally unnamed ideological assumptions underpinning curriculum development, a story that has not been told until this work was published. The book fills a gap in the Irish educational literature, not only in that it analyses the ways in which curricula are devised and appraised at both primary and second level North and South, but also in so far as it sets the debates in the context of international discussions. It is written in a refreshingly honest and open style.


Curriculum and Ideology offers many valuable insights into the discourses and debates that inform curriculum policy-making. It will be a valuable resource not only for researchers but also for those who make and implement policy in the education sector.

Professor Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies Centre, University College Dublin

In a world of educational reform that is rife with Puritanical emphases on earnest productivity and standardized performance, there are many who might wish they had the luck to be Irish. Through this fine collection of thoughtful analyses by international and Irish experts in education, Dr. Ciaran Sugrue has assembled a body of work that respects and celebrates Ireland's efforts to be more caring, democratic and creative in its educational goals than its English speaking neighbours, and to be less centralised and more prepared to consider multiple interests and influences in doing so. Optimism never excuses complacency, however, and the authors of these rich papers also serve as indispensable critical friends to the Irish educational reform movement. Documenting the intricacies and intrigues through which power is exercised in Irish curriculum reform, this splendid book provides an essential window into the complex world of educational change. Rigorous, thoughtful, yet always accessible, Curriculum and Ideology is surely a must-read for anyone interested in the past, present and future of Irish education.

Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

This book undertakes a comprehensive and critical review of contemporary curriculum reforms in Ireland and sets them in their cultural, political and global contexts. It contains contributions by some of the best scholars of curriculum change and should be of great interest to policy-makers and educationalists in and beyond Irish shores...

John Elliott, Professorial Fellow, University of East Anglia

...a timely, multifaceted, and critical analysis of persistent issues affecting the school curriculum in Ireland... It emphasizes the necessity of attending to the underlying yet crucial moral, social, and political determinants of curriculum decision making, the justifications entailed, the impact of hidden power structures, and their implications for teaching and learning.

Prof D.G. Mulcahy, from the Foreword

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author No
Editor Ciaran Sugrue
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 1-904148-43-3
ISBN-13 n/a
Illustrations No
Date of Publication March 2004
Number of Pages 328