Greenwood, R., Richardson, N. and Gracie, A. (2017) Primary Humanities – a perspective from Northern Ireland.

Primary Humanities - a perspective from Northern Ireland

Journal Article


The word ‘humanities’ does not appear in the current Northern Ireland Curriculum (NIC). Geography and history are taught within an Area of Learning called ‘The World Around Us’ which also contains science and technology. The curriculum has a strong emphasis on an integrated, ‘connected learning’ way of teaching and learning. Religious Education is a separate subject that stands alongside, rather than within, the NIC, and the curriculum also includes a new Area of Learning – ‘Personal Development and Mutual Understanding’. The distinctive content and modes of teaching which the humanities subjects tend to encourage ought to be seen as particularly important in Northern Ireland – a part of the UK which has endured a complicated past and remains to a large extent segregated, both socially and educationally. This complicated past means that there is often wariness and reluctance on the part of teachers towards tackling controversial personal and social issues in the primary school.

Output Information

Richard Greenwood, Norman Richardson & Anita Gracie (2017) Primary humanities – a perspective from Northern Ireland, Education 3-13, 45:3, 309-319, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2017.1296919

Published Output URL:

Published: 06/03/2019