03 SES 01, Balancing Curriculum Regulation and Freedom across Europe (Part 1)
Symposium: to be continued in 03 SES 01
How much curricular space has been, or should be, afforded to schools during the period of compulsory schooling in the Republic of Ireland? To answer this question, we begin by exploring the nature of debates about system development and improvement in light of a growing role for schools. Four arguments for a flexible approach to curriculum development and implementation are highlighted drawing from the literature on educational psychology and school sociology. These are (i) support for teachers as reflective practitioners (ii) the quality of the student-teacher relationship (iii) curriculum customization to account for difference, and (iv dispositions and skills/competences. The interaction of these influences on curriculum development and implementation is examined from a historical perspective and from an analysis of current and future requirements in education. Important milestones in curriculum development and implementation are highlighted over three decades. The impact of schools’ engagement in the policy formulation process is discussed as well as the scope for schools to significantly re-shape teaching, learning and assessment in the future.
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