Conceptualisations of care: the understanding of ‘care’ across Irish educational legislation, policies, circulars and curriculum
Set against a context where care for the person, others, and the world in which we live receives increasing attention in the policy and practice nexus, this paper sets out to explore how ‘care’ is understood and reflected in Irish educational legislation, policies, circulars and curricula. The importance of focusing on care has been further accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each source was searched systematically and following application of inclusion criteria, 616 documents were included in the sample, legislation (n = 39), policies (n = 49), active circulars (n = 179), archived circulars (n = 249) and curriculum specifications (n = 100). Thirteen per cent of the documents included in the review reflected some discussion of care. Thematic analysis of these documents identified that ‘care’ tended to be understood and reflected in five main interrelated ways: (1) care for the individual child and the related duty of care schools/teachers have for children; (2) supporting students to care for them-selves and for others; (3) care presented in terms of ‘pastoral care’ or intertwined with ‘well-being’; (4) care presented from the perspective of care for the environment and finally; and (5) care presented from a structural perspective regarding care supports within the school. Some considerations and challenges are presented in terms of supporting schools to navigate these different and at times diverging policy, legislative and curriculum contexts with regards conditions for implementation of care in education.
Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) [ETBI_2020_01].
PublicationPastoral Care in Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Department or School
- School of Education