University of Limerick
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Purpose, focus and voice? Lessons from a curriculum development advisory committee

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-05, 13:00 authored by Niall MulpeterNiall Mulpeter, Orla Mc CormackOrla Mc Cormack, Joanne O'FlahertyJoanne O'Flaherty

The curriculum development process is complex and developing a worthwhile process to support curriculum inception is a valuable endeavour. This paper explores the experiences of the curriculum development process through the lens of an expert advisory committee charged with developing a post-primary curriculum for publicly managed schools in line with their ethos and the national lower post-primary curriculum. The research employed semi-structured interviews with a group of curriculum developers (n = 10) involved in this curriculum development process. Following thematic analysis, four primary themes were identified: Purpose of the Advisory Committee, Focus of the Curriculum Expression, Balance of Voice, and the Role of the Curriculum Lead. These themes offer insights into the complexities of the curriculum development process including the importance of focusing, not just on the teacher’s voice, but also on the conditions that support teachers to engage fully with such processes. The findings also highlight the importance of embracing strategic leadership and democratic practices throughout this process and how the perceived focus of curriculum needs to be explicitly considered so as to unearth hidden assumptions of the curriculum developers. This study contributes to the broader understanding of how curriculum development can be enhanced to meet the needs of diverse stakeholders.



Irish Educational Studies, 2023


Taylor and Francis

Sustainable development goals

  • (4) Quality Education

Department or School

  • School of Education

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