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Quality assuring an ethical education curriculum for schools in Ireland

O'Brien, Shivaun orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-7189-1443, O'Hara, Joe orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-1956-7640 and McNamara, Gerry orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-9725-9304 (2023) Quality assuring an ethical education curriculum for schools in Ireland. SN Social Sciences, 3 . ISSN 2662-9283

The growth of multidenominational schools internationally has led to a greater emphasis on the provision of ethical education curricula in many countries as opposed to the more traditional provision of denominational instruction. One of the main providers of multidenominational schools in Ireland is Educate Together, an organisation which currently serves as a patron body for 95 primary and 19 s level schools, catering to over 30,000 students. In the early years of the 21st century, Educate Together introduced the Learn Together ethical education curriculum for its primary schools as a key component of the Educate Together model. This curriculum encourages students to meaningfully and critically reflect upon the world around them and focuses on questions of equality, justice, sustainability and active citizenship. While guidance documents, resources and professional development for teachers were provided to schools to support the delivery of the ethical education curriculum, until recently there was no established approach to its quality assurance. It is within this context that Educate Together developed a Quality Framework for its ethos, a key aspect of which is the ethical education curriculum entitled Learn Together. This involved the development of quality standards, and statements of effective practice for ethos, and the development of an internal school self-evaluation process. This research paper explores the development of the quality framework, and the self-evaluation process used by six schools in order to evaluate the delivery of their ethical education curriculum. Documentary analysis of key evaluation documentation from each of the participating schools was used to explore the practices utilised by schools in the delivery of the ethical education curriculum; the challenges schools identified and the improvements schools planned to implement in order to improve the delivery of the ethical education curriculum. The research highlights the multiple challenges in administering and providing an ethical education while also demonstrating the effectiveness of the school self-evaluation process in identifying and addressing these challenges.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Additional Information:Article number: 63
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ethical education; Quality assuring curriculum; School self-evaluation
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Institute of Education > School of Policy & Practice
Research Institutes and Centres > Centre for Evaluation, Quality & Inspection (EQI)
Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-023-00648-0
Copyright Information:© 2023 The Authors.
Funders:Open Access funding provided by the IReL Consortium.
ID Code:29617
Deposited On:22 Feb 2024 15:25 by Joe O'hara . Last Modified 22 Feb 2024 15:25

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