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History

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History Curriculum

Introduction

At Junior Cycle, History should introduce young people to the job of the historian, and to the sources and techniques which historians use to find out about the past. It should also provide young people with a wide tapestry of past events, issues, people and ways of life through which they can come to perceive patterns such as cause and consequence, change and continuity. It is in the past that they will find the roots of the contemporary world.

The Junior Certificate History syllabus which follows is designed to promote and accommodate this kind of learning. It contains a number of elements which are important to the study of History at Junior Cycle, outlined below.

Flexibility

The syllabus facilitates a variety of approaches to the teaching of history, e.g. use of a variety of types of historical sources, historical narrative and analysis, biographical studies, exploration of themes or issues, comparative studies and special studies. The content framework allows individual teachers to choose those areas most suitable to their students, and individual students to pursue special studies.

Variety of aspects

The syllabus explores a variety of aspects of life in the past – political, social, cultural, economic and technological.

Chronology

The syllabus framework is chronological in presentation, spanning prehistoric times to the present day. It also allows students to develop an understanding of a series of concepts, both procedural and substantive.

Developmental

Bearing in mind the 12-15 age-group for whom it is designed, the syllabus is developmental in nature. It moves from the simple to the more complex and from the concrete to the more abstract. It is presented in three sections which reflect this progression.

Irish history

Recognising the importance of education for citizenship and of developing an understanding of contemporary life in Ireland, a substantial part of the syllabus deals with Irish history. This study of Irish history is presented as an integral part of the wider themes of the syllabus.