TitleThe trajectory of computer science education policy in Ireland: A document analysis narrative
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsConnolly C, Byrne JRowan, Oldham E
JournalEuropean Journal of Education
Date Published04

Abstract The launch of a Computer Science curriculum specification in upper secondary schools in Ireland in 2018 was a landmark and a historic development in Irish education. Addressing the historical policy decisions adopted towards establishing the specification, this paper presents an analysis of developments from the 1970s as revealed in key policies and other documents. Positioning the policy change within the context of influences, context of policy text production and within the context of practices, the paper presents an overview of the Irish Computer Science specification. Alongside the background to the evolution in computer science education over the period, the article takes into account the national and cultural contexts and narrates the journey travelled to arrive at this pivotal position. Developments in a global context are presented in comparison with curricula in other countries and some similarities and differences identified. The article uncovers consequences of the specification for the national curriculum, key skills integration and computer science teacher preparation. The article provides an important analysis of the policy trajectory of computer science in Ireland based on a visibly relevant corpus of documents tracing the different stages of this policy and comparing it to similar experiences implemented in other European countries.