Defining Moments in Policy Development, Direction, and Implementation in Irish Initial Teacher Education Policy
This paper explores the impact of significant OECD documents on the development of Irish education policy, specifically teacher education policy, over the last half century. While other commentators have argued that Irish education has been predominantly influenced by policy developments in the UK, US or Europe, this paper identifies the OECD as a significant trigger for domestic policy reform and discusses key reports/publications that have influenced both ideological and structural reforms of Irish education. Long before the growth of evidence-based reform or the emergence of a global education policy field, Irish policy makers invited the newly formed OECD to review Ireland’s provision of education; this review generated base-line data and highlighted both the inequity of Irish education as well as its inadequacy in providing for the future needs of the Irish economy. Thus began a long-term relationship
with the OECD, which has served to prompt and guide policy revision and reform at critical decision points over five decades. While engagement with the OECD cannot simply explain changes in Irish education, it does, however, provide a valuable perspective on domestic policy making.
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