Committee Reports::Report No. 05 - Development Education::30 October, 1986::Appendix


(The page references are to Rules and Programme for Secondary Schools 1986/87 edition).




Under ATTITUDES of the syllabus (p. 62) note the following:- “Pupils should feel a responsibility…(iii) to understand what it is like to be in someone else’s position; (iv) to respect the right of others to be different and to hold different points of view”.

Section (vi) of Section 2 of the syllabus is “Colonisation and trade in the 18th century”. (p. 64).



The single aim of the syllabus (p. 65) is as follows:

“To encourage the development of an informed and responsible person at local, national and international level and to develop the ability of students to use geographical principles in order to understand the constantly changing facts of our world”.



Part of Section 5 of the preamble to this syllabus reads thus:

“Civics will of set purpose… strive to awaken a social consciousness which will lead to… a sense of tolerance towards and sympathy with others in their needs and problems, and an awareness of a duty to assist in solving such problems and supplying such needs”. (p. 165).

Part of Section 6 reads: “It (i.e. the course in Civics) will at the same time try to inculcate as fully as possible an understanding and acceptance of the principles of personal liberty, of justice, of freedom and of the brotherhood of mankind”. (p.165).

Note: The above three subjects are compulsory in junior cycle.



This whole syllabus lends itself to interventions which enable pupils to understand the economic plight of developing countries e.g. in the Section ‘Problems and Conflicts’. Specifically, in the Section ‘Economic Growth and Development’ the following is found: “Relative income levels of different countries. Reasons for disparities”. (p. 325).

Economic History:

In the Section ‘Post-war Developments’ (p. 328) the following is prescribed: “Balance of payments problems. Policies for the development of less developed areas. Sources of power”.

In Part II of the syllabus ‘International Economic History’ the following Sections are found: Development of new lands; effects on European agriculture; growth of international trade; Foreign investment; emergence of a world economy; economic interdependence; economic development with special reference to less developed countries”. (p. 328).


The second aim of the syllabus (Preparation for Life) has the following sentence: “They (pupils) should be encouraged to have a greater understanding of the complexity of human behaviour and to appreciate the importance of the social, cultural, political and economic factors that influence it”. (p.331).


The second section of the syllabus, Social Geography, is broken down as follows:

(a)The nature and distribution of major world cultural areas:-

(i)Ethnic groups, religions and languages (for example in some of the countries of West Africa and South America);

(ii)Economics, primitive, agricultural…

(iii)Political entities: states and their boundaries…

(b)The colonial heritage (as it has affected, for instance, parts of West Africa and South America) with reference to its problems and effects.

(c)World distribution and density of population…(p.334 ff.)

The Third Section, Economic Geography, has the following:-

(a)The factors that effect economic development, e.g. social, political, physical, scientific, education (here a case study could well be made of one country in S. America)…Problems of hunger and illiteracy in countries of the Third World.

(b)Types of Industries:

(1)Primary Industries

Agriculture and systems of farming:- subsistence (for example in S.E. Asia, Africa)…intensive (as in the tropical lands of S.E. Asia where high population densities are to be found)…Mining - other extractive industries (especially in areas largely depending on mining only, such as South Africa, Zambia and Kantanga….

(4)Trade: Methods of transport and World trade (P.335 ff.).

Note the following extract from Teaching Objectives for Geography (p. 338).

“As a step towards a well-grounded education, it is important that a student approaching his final examination at second level, should have had the opportunity of developing positive attitudes in relation to such matters as the interdependence of peoples and the need for social co-operation at all levels, that he would have attained an understanding and awareness of other people’s problems…..