Development Education


In the past, APA has worked with Irish primary and post primary schools to run a campaign to raise awareness about the issues and consequences of HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.


APA has raised awareness of these issues by marking World AIDS Day on 1st December in post primary schools and World AIDS Orphans Day on 8th May in primary schools. This work was done through the generous help of several organisations such as the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), the Principals and Deputy Principals Association (PAD) and the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN).
More recently, APA has started a development education programme in Ireland focused on curriculum development and influencing relevant policy initiatives (see below).
APA is a member of the Irish Development Education Association (IDEA), the national network for development education and a member of the Ubuntu Network’s Assembly, a body made up of teacher education providers and NGOs, working to promote the embedding of Development Education into post-primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Ireland.
APA partners with the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB) in the delivery of its’ development education programme. The CDU is a support organisation within CDETB, which works in partnership with CDETB Head Office and CDETB Schools, Colleges and Centres to support a co-ordinated approach to continuous professional development (CPD).
APA gratefully acknowledges the funding received for our development education programme from the following donors: the European Commission, WorldWise Global Schools (Irish Aid’s second level post-primary programme) and Concern Worldwide



One of APA's strategic priorities for the Development Education programme is to influence policy in order to optimise opportunities for learners to encounter global issues through the formal education system.


APA has worked with teachers, third level lecturers and NGO personnel to make submissions in response to the following:

  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment – draft junior cycle Civic, Social and Political Education short course
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment – draft junior cycle Science specification
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment – draft junior cycle Business Studies specification
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment – draft junior cycle Wellbeing guidelines
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment - consultation on primary Education about Religious Beliefs and Ethics
  • Department of Education and Skills - consultation on early childhood education training and qualifications
  • Teaching Council - consultation on An Cosán, a framework for teacher continuing professional development

In January 2015, Irish Aid (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) commissioned an international peer review of the Irish Development Education sector. This review was carried out by Global Education Network Europe (GENE).APA co-ordinated the response of the Formal Education Task Group to the GENE review. This task group was made up of 30+ individuals and organizations working in the formal education sector who mobilised to reflect on the successes, challenges, opportunities and strategic priorities facing development education in Ireland. The written submission prepared by the task group fed into the GENE national report for Ireland.



Curriculum Development

As well as influencing policy, APA’s Development Education programme focuses on building teacher capacity to engage with global issues through a process of curriculum development.  



The Global Learning Project was a three-year project running from 2013 – 2016 co-funded by the European Commission. The goal was to promote understanding of global interdependence and of the causes of poverty and international inequality. The aim was to develop, through exchange between partner NGOs and local education authorities in 6 European countries, teaching materials relevant to the citizenship education, history, geography and/or economics curriculum. The 6 European countries involved in the project were Italy (lead country), Ireland Austria, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. In Ireland, the project has produced three teaching and learning units (TLUs):

  1. Working for a better life: A unit to support junior cycle Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), exploring human rights and responsibilities and development. This unit engages students with the UDHR and its’ application in the lives of Housemaids in Ethiopia, a core group of focus for the work of APA in advocating for the rights of young women and girls in Ethiopia.
  2. The Outsiders: Children living in direct provision in Ireland. A unit to support junior cycle English and Civic, Social and Political Education, using ‘The Outsiders: Our teenage life behind barriers,’ a radio documentary produced by Carl O’Brien and Ciaran Cassidy. This unit examines the experiences of young people living in the direct provision system in Ireland (bringing the voices of these teenagers into the classroom using clips from a radio documentary), and encourages students to see direct provision as part of the larger global challenge of displaced populations.
  3. Learning to Look: Visual literacy in our interdependent world. A unit to support junior cycle Art, Craft and Design and Civic, Social and Political Education. This unit encourages students to think about local-global connections and their role in our interdependent world, including their role as consumers and the impact of this in terms of sustainability.

A fourth teaching and learning unit entitled 1916: A global perspective will shortly be made available for the 2016 – 2017 school year. This unit supports junior cycle History and facilitates students to compare and contrast issues such as gender equality in 1916 and 2016.


APA TLU Working for better life

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"I really enjoyed finding out about the Ethiopian housemaids. It makes you realise how much you don’t know about issues around the world." 

- Student participating in one of our TLUs


Click on the image to see the PDF