03 SES 02 A, National Curriculum Development
Research Question: Grounding Curriculum Redevelopment in Practice.
Review and redevelopment by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ireland (NCCA) of the Primary School Curriculum (PSC) in 1999 began with a widespread consultation last year. The next steps in the redevelopment of the PSC involve setting out what it might look like, and what it might say about teaching and learning in years to come. This involves working directly with schools to explore and tease out ideas. For this next phase of review and redevelopment, the NCCA has established a forum of 36 primary schools, 2 post primary and 3 early years settings. The composition of schools and settings helps build awareness of the need for coherence across the sectors and the importance of supporting children at key transition points.
This forum is:
- · A mechanism for school communities to be directly involved in two key strands of
- · A community of practice for schools to generate ideas and possibilities for the future
direction of the PSC;
- · A space to contextualise research in school’s individual experiences and contexts.
Forum members, individually and collectively, along with existing NCCA structures and processes, are supporting the development of a draft Overview / Introduction to the redeveloped PSC. The central role of schools with their first-hand curriculum experience at a local level are contributing to a vibrant, rigorous and robust process of curriculum redevelopment. This recognises the importance of agency; and variation in culture on the part of schools.
There are two strands to this work, the, Strand One: Grounding research in practice, is providing schools in the forum with opportunities to share their ideas, experiences and suggestions for the future direction of the redeveloped PSC work. It aims to engage teachers in professional discourse about aspects of a primary curriculum. The work offers opportunities for schools to consider the key ideas within a suite of commissioned research papers that have been developed to support specific aspects of the redevelopment process and to reflect on these in the context of their own school. Schools are also generating their own ideas in response to key questions. Schools share the work of the forum along with their own thinking with the wider school community including the Board of Management, Parents Association, and others such as local networks. Schools engage in collective reflection and generation of ideas both internally and within the wider forum. This happens during face-to-face forum meetings as well as using an online platform. This shared platform has space for conversations generated by NCCA but there is also capacity for schools to generate discussions with one another. The online forum offers the opportunity to facilitate webinars and podcasts. The aim of the first strand is to first and foremost learn from schools’ ideas/thinking/experiences etc. In turn, this will augment the short research papers, curriculum seminars and internal NCCA processes at the ‘practice’ level. In this way, the NCCA will learn from schools as sites of curriculum creativity and draw on the skills, first-hand expertise and knowledge of teachers, principals and schools. The work of the forum will focus on key aspects of a redeveloped primary curriculum including its purpose, values and principles, overarching priorities, pedagogical approaches, curriculum structure, curriculum content and planning, teaching and assessing.
During Strand Two: Working in a developmental capacity, schools will have the opportunity to work with different aspects of the proposed curriculum in a developmental capacity. For example, from September 2019 some schools may work with a new proposed time allocation while others may work with a more integrated curriculum structure in the infant classes.
This is action research in the qualitative paradigm.
The forum is providing schools with opportunities to: • Work collaboratively and share their ideas, experiences and suggestions for future directions for a redeveloped primary curriculum. • Ground research in practice by offering feedback on a suite of research papers • Share the work of the Forum at a local level, for example, through Boards of Management, Parents Associations and other local networks. • Learn about the processes involved in the redevelopment of the PSC • Attend, engage with and contribute to the NCCA curriculum seminars. The Forum is providing the NCCA with opportunities to: • Work with teachers and schools as central agents in curriculum development • Augment the short research papers, curriculum seminars and internal NCCA processes at the ‘practice’ level • Learn from schools as sites of curriculum creativity • Receive constructive feedback ‘soundings’ on research • Generate discourse, commentary and feedback on the development of the draft Overview to the Redeveloped PSC
Irwin, J. (2018) Towards a values-led redevelopment of the primary curriculum. Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/3458/seminar_one_irwin_paper.pdf National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (1999) Primary school curriculum. Introduction, Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2009a) Early childhood - How Aistear was developed: Research papers, Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/1112/howaistear-was-developed-research-papers.pdf National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2009b) Aistear: The early childhood curriculum framework, Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2018) Development of an overview of a redeveloped primary school curriculum. Research paper: Theoretical perspectives on children’s learning and development, Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Walsh, T. (2018) Towards an Overview for the Redeveloped Primary School Curriculum: Learning from the past, learning from others. Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/3459/seminar_one_walsh_paper.pdf Wyse, D. (2018) The Place of Knowledge in Curricula: A Research-informed Analysis Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/3502/seminar_two_wyse_paper.pdf Volante, L. (2018) Effective Pedagogies for a Redeveloped Primary School Curriculum: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/3501/seminar_two_volante_paper.pdf McGuinness, C. (2018) Research-Informed Analysis of 21st Century Competencies in a Redeveloped Primary Curriculum: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/3500/seminar_two_mcguinness_paper.pdf Bacon, K. (2018) Curriculum Integration in a Redeveloped Curriculum: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, available: https://www.ncca.ie/media/3499/seminar-two_bacon-paper.pdf
Some networks have already started to plan their chairperson(s).
But at the moment chairpersons are only pencilled in, as we will still need to check for time conflicts between presentation and chairing duties. EERA office will work on this in due course and then officially let chairpersons know about their chairing duties.
Meanwhile, thank you for your patience.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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