about the role of an Irish dimension in the history curriculum. The reasons for focusing on providers and the approach taken will be the subject of the next chapter.
CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY: APPROACHES USED TO EXAMINE AN IRISH DIMENSION WITHIN THE ENGLISH HISTORY CURRICULUM General considerations This research project will explore perceptions of an Irish dimension and how this compares with other dimensions in the school history curriculum. The focus of the study will be will be on educational providers, especially teachers rather than children. Why focus on providers rather than pupils? This may appear surprising, given that the project was prompted by the results of a previous research project, undertaken in 2001 with 100 year 7 pupils in a Birmingham school. This earlier study suggested that most children had an Anglo-centric perception of the past. Pupils’ perceptions of Ireland were characterised by references associated with identity, such as St. Patrick, or to images of violence associated with its more recent past. (Bracey & Gove-Humphries, 2003b). Clearly, any conclusions drawn from a small-scale study need to be treated with caution. However, it raised questions about the way in which history is presented to pupils and how far this affects their map of the past. It also raised questions about the underlying assumption of The Parekh Report (2000), the catalyst for the current study. The Parekh Report (2000) argues that the Irish community have been neglected ‘owing to the myth of homogeneity of white Britain’, and that Britain’s national story should include an Irish dimension. However, our study qualified this assertion and suggested that rather than being ignored, Ireland and its people suffer from negative