Views from the margins: teacher perspectives on alternative education provision in Ireland

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Cahill, Kevin
Curtin, Alicia
Hall, Kathy
O'Sullivan, Dan
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Taylor and Francis Group (Routledge)
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Alternative education provision in Ireland is under-researched. This paper is a qualitative investigation of the perspectives of a purposive sample of ten teachers on curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in their respective alternative settings of a voluntary education centre, a Youthreach centre and a post-primary special school. ‘Funds of knowledge’ ideas contribute to the theoretical framework of the study [Moll, Luis C., Cathy Amanti, Deborah Neff, and Norma Gonzalez. 1992. ‘Funds of Knowledge for Teaching: Using a Qualitative Approach to Connect Homes and Classrooms.’ Theory Into Practice 31 (2): 132–141]. The findings in this paper focus on: (1) how curriculum is enacted and mediated in alternative education settings; (2) the pedagogical decisions of teachers as they strive to connect their students to learning and (3) the tensions in assessment practices as teachers and alternative settings attempt to provide authentic and yet certified evidence of learning through the formal state assessment processes. This article is timely as it offers a view of the under-researched area of alternative settings in Ireland.
Alternative education , Inclusive education , Disadvantaged youth , Teacher perspectives , Youthreach , Special schools , Voluntary education setting
Cahill, K., Curtin, A., Hall, K. and O'Sullivan, D. (2018) 'Views from the margins: teacher perspectives on alternative education provision in Ireland', International Journal of Inclusive Education. doi:10.1080/13603116.2018.1492643
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© 2018, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Inclusive Education on 2 July, 2018, available online: