Bracey, Paul Edward (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis asserts that an Irish dimension reflects approaches towards diversity within the English History Curriculum. An Irish dimension is explored within the context of Multicultural Britain, debates over ways in which the past has been constructed and changes in the history curriculum. A series of ‘fuzzy generalisations’ of an Irish dimension in the curriculum emerge from questionnaire and interview case studies. This approach is based on Bassey’s (2001) premise that case studies can lead to tentative generalisations, which are subject to being challenged by findings drawn from different contexts. This study explores the perceptions of primary and secondary teachers, together with participants in Irish related projects and key ‘movers and shakers’ working outside the classroom. The research findings suggest that a respondent’s perceptions of the importance of an Irish dimension in the curriculum reflect a range of influences including values, pragmatism, subject knowledge and expertise. The researcher accepts that the extent to which an Irish dimension contributes to the history curriculum will vary between different school contexts. However, the thesis argues that the way in which an Irish dimension is developed and how it relates to the teaching of diversity within the history curriculum is of more importance than the amount that is taught.
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