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An update from Northern Ireland. 1921 1969. Since 1969 more than 3600 people have been killed as part of “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…. The Good Friday Agreement - 10 April 1998.

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Since 1969 more than 3600 people have been killed as part of “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

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The Good Friday Agreement - 10 April 1998 “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

…The tragedies of the past have left a deep and profoundly regrettable legacy of suffering. We must never forget those who have died or been injured, and their families. But we can best honour them through a fresh start, in which we firmly dedicate ourselves to the achievement of reconciliation, tolerance, and mutual trust, and to the protection and vindication of the human rights of all.

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The Good Friday Agreement 1998 “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Legislative Assembly

  • Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

  • Equality Commission

  • Parades Commission

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Divided and increasingly Diverse “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

…racial harassment is a significant part of life for many minority ethnic people living in Northern Ireland. …44% have experienced verbal abuse…29% have experienced criminal damage to property…one in ten physically assaulted…

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E “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…ducation for Mutual Understanding Evaluation (Smith and Robinson 1996)

  • human rights

  • political literacy

  • controversial issues

Towards a culture of Tolerance: Education for Diversity (DENI, 1999)

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Young People and the Conflict “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • “alienated from political parties

    and politicians, but not from politics.”

  • 79% expressed the desire to

    learn about politics in school

  • “explore controversial issues

    but need the knowledge and skills to do so”

  • only 1/3 had specific classes

    which addressed such issues as sectarianism

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Citizenship in the Northern Ireland Curriculum “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Curriculum Review

  • A Values-based Curriculum

    “ We value equality, justice and human rights within our society and our capacity as citizens to resolve conflict by democratic means.” (CCEA, 2000)

  • Citizenship - an entitlement for all





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Citizenship Key Concepts “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Diversity and Inclusion

  • Human Rights and Social Responsibility

  • Equality and Social Justice

  • Democracy and Active Participation

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The Nature of the Curriculum “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Driven by questions not answers

  • Flexible

  • Entitlement framework

  • Reality

A Better



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What has worked… “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Extensive pre-service and in-service training of teachers

  • Professional development courses (MSc modules at QUB and UU)

  • Enthusiasm of teachers and pupils

  • Whole school culture/community links

  • Production of support materials and resources

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Challenges for Citizenship Education “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Devolution - Citizens of where?

  • Credibility

  • Sustainability

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Challenges – Wider NI Context “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • Changing nature of the political context in Northern Ireland

  • Continued segregation and division

  • Citizenship – a panacea?

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Our Message “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

  • It takes time, no quick fixes!

  • Education can not do everything!

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Hopes for the Future “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland…

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that a further shore

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracles

And cures and healing wells.

From The Cure of Troy

By Seamus Heaney 1990