The evolution of primary teacher's in-service education and continuous professional development in Ireland 1945-1995

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Title: The evolution of primary teacher's in-service education and continuous professional development in Ireland 1945-1995
Authors: Herron, Donald
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12701
Date: 2020
Online since: 2021-12-16T17:00:52Z
Abstract: This study is an examination of the evolution of teachers’ in-service education and continuous professional development in Ireland between 1945 and 1995. The purpose is to investigate the evolution and development of in-service policy, its goals, construction, participation, implementation and outcomes. The objectives are to deepen educators’ understanding of the current in-service issues by locating them in their broader temporal context and to extend the range of policy options considered by providing a basis for comparison with past situations. Its focus is the professional development policies and implementation strategies adopted by the Department of Education, the development and pursuit of policy positions among teachers, school management organisations and teacher educators, and the transactions between them in the evolution of in-service education and training of primary teachers in the Republic of Ireland. The in-service policy antecedents of the three decades prior to 1950 are explored to identify contemporary policies and practices and examine what foundations and legacies they contributed to primary teachers’ in-service education and training between 1945-1995. There were three separate primary-level level in-service initiatives in the 1950s and 1960s, one by the teachers’ union, the INTO, another by the Catholic Church and a Department of Education revision of Irish language. The breadth and depth of the curriculum reforms required Inspectorates to change approaches to in-service policy and practices. Comprehensive primary curriculum reform commenced in 1967 and its dissemination was planned by the Department around policy decisions on and coordinated implementation of strategically interrelated features including in-service training. An In-service Steering Committee, established in 1970, attempted to coordinate various institutions’ in-service contributions. The Committee advocated teacher centres, which when established from 1972, created an atmosphere of local optimism. In the absence of adequate resources or Steering Committee agreement on an encompassing in-service plan, an insufficiency of activities ensued which was curtailed by the mid-1970s recession. Dissatisfaction with the consequences of budget cuts resulted in a review of in-service education policies in 1980. The report of the Committee on In-service Education was ignored and its main recommendation, a national in-service agency, was deferred. There was an increase in the quantity of short course but this did not address access, course depth or continuity or address emerging in-service priorities or deficiencies. The decade from 1987 witnessed a period analysis, national policy making and deliberative processes involved in achieving an education policy consensus. In the case of in-service education and in-career development, departmental preferences with regard to structure, prioritisation of curriculum implementation and defining which in-service activities were funded, preceded the policy-making processes. The preferred option was solidified by the conditionality of the funding source, the European Structural Fund. The policy process, stimulated by the 1991 OECD contributions, expanded a departmental conceptualisation of curriculum-focused in-service training to school-focused organisational, staff and teacher professional development.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Education
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Author
Keywords: HistoryTeacherEducationIn-service
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Education Theses

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