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Title: Cross-curricularity and the implementation of the revised Northern Ireland primary curriculum : a focus on "The world around us"
Author: Greenwood, Richard Orr
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 860X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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This research focuses on cross-curricular approaches to planning and teaching in primary schools in Northern Ireland. It looks specifically at 'The World Around Us', the Area of Learning within the revised Northern Ireland Curriculum encompassing geography, history and science. Cross-curricularity is defined as bringing together within the same unit of work aspects from different subject areas which contribute in a meaningful and appropriate way to the unit's whole; learning of content, concepts and skills in one area should be supported by learning in others. A series of groups interviews was held with teachers as well as individual educational 'stakeholders'. In addition a questionnaire survey was sent to all Northern Ireland Primary 5 and 6 teachers. The research questions focused on teachers' opinions about the pros and cons of cross-curricular approaches, how the revised curriculum is being enacted in schools, and whether or not the curriculum satisfies the requirements for 'authentic' cross-curricularity. The majority of interview and questionnaire respondents expressed positive opinions about cross- curricular approaches and about the WAU Area of Learning. The main concerns listed were fears about contrived links in planning and potential loss of subject content and skills, especially in science. Over 70% of the questionnaire respondents were designated as being positive towards the changes in the curriculum; however a significant minority expressed very negative views about many of the aspects discussed. A significant number of teachers stated that their training within WAU and 'connected learning' had been inadequate. Over 70% of the WAU topics listed by teachers were being taught at either 'medium' or 'quite high' levels of cross-curricularity- a significant increase in level compared with a survey carried out five years previously. Many teachers provided evidence that they are taking a balanced and pragmatic approach to their planning and teaching of cross-curricular topics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available