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Title: Curriculum past, present and future: a study of the development of the Northern Ireland curriculum and its assessment in a UK and international context
Author: Gallagher, Carmel
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This study responds to a gap in the literature relating to the development of 'national' curricula by providing a historiographical analysis of curriculum and assessment policy development and enactment in Northern Ireland between 1988 and 2012, in the context of similar developments across the UK and internationally. The study is grounded in 'critical theory' epistemology, informed by ideology critique and historical and documentary enquiry. A range of analytical frameworks (Bernstein, 1971 ; Kelly 1977, 2009; Ross, 2000 and Young & Muller, 2010) are used to examine the causes, nature, trajectory, coherence, manageability and significance of curriculum and assessment policy change in Northern Ireland and the degree of policy borrowing, local inflection, divergence and innovation over more than two decades. The study adopts a 'continuous policy cycle/trajectory 'approach' (Ball, 1993, 1994, 1997) to analyse 'the contexts of influence', including the dynamics of policy discourse; the 'contexts of policy text production,' including 'the struggle for meaning' within policy texts; 'the context of practice', including the struggle to understand, interpret, re- conceptualise and implement policy in one school setting; and the 'context of outcomes' and their significance. Key outcomes of the study include conceptualizations of: 1) the classification and framing of UK curricula as examples of past, present and future typologies 2) analysis of the trajectory of curriculum change in the UK; 3) a dynamic theoretical conception of the three message systems of curriculum, learning and assessment and their social significance (CLASS dynamics); and 4) a multi-dimensional conceptualization of progression in pupil learning. The study should be of interest to policy advisors, policy makers, practitioners, researchers and support personnel across the UK and internationally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available