Junior Cycle User Guide

Development education is a cross curricular activity. That’s not to say that it can’t be taught in a single subject area – many teachers use DE as part of completing curriculum strands or as stimulus material for energising students or building class projects. DE can be flexibly used in many Junior Cycle (JC) subjects.

The core aims of JC programme include to:

  • Extend and deepen the range and quality of the young person’s educational experience in terms of knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies
  • Contribute to the moral [ethical] and spiritual development of the young person and to develop a tolerance and respect for the values and beliefs of others;
  • Prepare the young person for the responsibilities of citizenship in the national context and in the context of the wider European Community.

Exploring, discussing and debating international human development and human rights issues such as those included on developmenteducation.ie provides a rich opportunity to realise many of the above aims.

Many of the materials developed on the website can be adapted to focus on numeracy and literacy activities, and have been prepared in such a way so as to keep issues and ideas lively and ‘active’ around current and popular debates in Ireland.

Important final note: if you have any suggestions, comments, resources to recommend or would be interested in contributing towards this section send an email to contact@developmenteducation.ie

Development Education links to the curriculum

Use the search facility and topics drop-down to scan material quickly by curriculum subject or topic of interest.


The website contains a range of recommended infographics, maps and country profiles as well as Geography syllabus support and The Hunger Map (2013): an interactive map produced by developmenteducation.ie, Association of Geography Teachers Ireland (AGTI) and Concern Worldwide.


Syllabus links: Consumer education, Economic Awareness, At Work (chain of production), Marketing.

See our introductions to topical issues, such as the Consumption animations (and Oxfam Behind the Brands campaign) plus the primer on Ethical Consumption.

Also check out the Top Tens and resource catalogue for business-specific materials.


Browse the website for extracts of non-Western and European perspectives. There are plenty! What do these have to say about social issues in Ireland and universal ideas such as human dignity, human development or human rights?

Why not pick a book from the 25+ books in our book reviews section as part of exploring writing from the Third World? Also check out our annotated list of websites with viewpoints from the Third World.

The blog presents a range of school projects, development debates and stimulus discussions around topical development issues, which students may use for research purposes, out of interest or for sending in contributions for publication on the blog.


Civic, Social and Political Education provides a direct emphasis on the importance of active, participatory citizenship to the life of the young person in society.

The objectives of the syllabus are outlined in terms of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes/values. Students should have practical experience in the following activities:

  • Research/discovery activities
  • Group work/discussion activities
  • Simulation activities
  • Action activities

There are various access points for each of these kinds of activities in relation to the seven concepts that underpin CSPE: Democracy, Rights and Responsibilities, Human Dignity, Interdependence, Development, Law, Stewardship. Search the resource catalogue under any one of the CSPE concepts (or related keywords, such as ‘CSPE’). International as well as Irish resources are added to the catalogue regularly.

The four units that make up the CSPE course are all open for development perspectives and reflection. When identifying case studies, perspectives and setting out the Irish context it is always useful to point to the wider world implications.

Ideas for action projects

The taking action section presents a range of class projects on issues such as the Millennium Development Goals, Child Labour and Ecological Footprinting, all of which can be used for ideas for inspiration, planning and reflecting on your action project.

Tools for exploring images:

  • Adbusters – www.adbusters.org/spoofads – high quality fake adverts produced for ‘cultural jamming’ so as to interrogate the way meaning is produced in society by powerful corporations and brands
  • See our cartoons and photo bank as stimulus material and research projects

Activity – the “Development Compass Rose”

The development compass rose can be used by teachers teaching many subjects as a starting point and organising tool for thinking about a place, issue or situation.

The four domains that the compass encourages us to look at are:

  • Natural/ecological
  • Economic
  • Social/cultural
  • Who decides/who benefits (power & politics)

The Development Compass Rose is a popular educator tool that was originally produced for use in the classroom by the Birmingham Development Education Centre (DEC) in 1995. Use the blank worksheet or project the stimulus questions onto a whiteboard as a quick reference for students. This can be applied as part of a single class exercise or as a reference sheet for Action Project research.

For more info see: tidec.org/resources/teaching-resources

Use topical and current events to explore an issue. Check the blog for updates, development news, commentaries and reports on DE project news from teachers and students.

Navigating developmenteducation.ie

The material produced across the website has been organised for a wide range of educators and student learners. With this in mind, there are various opportunities for exploring material, subjects and resources.


The resources catalogue contains over 30 annotated resources ready for teachers on the go – we have included a brief description of the content and objectives of the resource plus any classroom friendly material details. Use the search bar to look by topic, subject, organisation for digital and print resources.


Use some of the case studies from This is What Has Happened to explore how HIV and AIDS have effected women in Zambia or use the photostories for printing and use in individual or group discussion (there are over 20 photostories online from a range of countries across Africa).

Cartoons and photographs are fantastic tools for exploring ‘reading images’ activities. Browse the photo and cartoon gallery by topic and include them in in your lesson plan or grab them for a whiteboard slide.


Try out our searchable glossary of international development terms, or ask students to seek out the description for a range of terms and use them as part of a homework activity.


Statistics; Mathematics; Business; Economics; Geography – For teachers & students.

Communication in numerical form is important not only for understanding relationships in the world (for good or worse) but also for critically reading these number associations in order to change them.

The Top Tens section is a one-stop shop for basic facts & figures made of 48 sets of Top Tens as web pages and diagrams. Includes the top 10 countries, world health, environmental and business statistics based on a range of categories such as poorest, richest, arms manufacturers, internet users, etc.

Here’s our guide to using statistics to explore issues with some activity ideas.


Use the Issues and Topics section as background material, for lesson planning and for students to explore directly. Some examples include:

  • Consumption – The choices we make every day effect how the world is the way it is, and why things are the way they are. The consumption animations (2012-2013) seek to question the underlying relationships between ‘us’ as consumers, ‘them’ as producers and the impact that these choices have on the planet. Use this section to explore consumption practices, stay informed and get active on the issues.
  • Women and development – The role of women in developing countries has been recognised as the single most important factor when it comes to bringing about and sustaining long term social change. In this module we aim to explore women’s role in development
  • Hunger Map – The interactive Hunger Map (2013) and accompanying 20 page briefing paper, produced by developmenteducation.ie, Association of Geography Teachers Ireland (AGTI) and Concern Worldwide, present briefing notes and activities for introducing and exploring the issue of hunger and the different dimensions of world hunger today (such as the definition, measurement, who’s at risk, causes and debates). Related cross-curriculum subjects can include English, Geography, Mathematics and Philosophy. The map and briefing paper can also be ordered for free for teachers.
  • Exploring the shape of our world today – This wide ranging section (2013) introduces 4 key issues through a series of case studies (climate change and its impact in Ethiopia; current world consumption patterns and the challenges they present; the concept of human dignity and the issue of women’s rights in Sudan. It presents a ‘balance sheet’ of human development and human rights in the world today, highlighting both positive and negative trends. It also introduces and explores a number of core challenges facing the world – population and population debates; hunger – its extent and causes; water and sanitation; shelter and urbanisation; health and finally literacy.


The following websites offer (and explore) data through the use of maps. These could be used as the basis of student review, presentations, exploration or used by educators for lesson planning.

  • Gapminder– world data and graphical analysis for teachers & students. Excellent website that is the brainchild of Hans Rosling – the man responsible for making statistics popular again (note: see his TED talk on The magic washing machine from 2011 (09:16mins). Well maintained statistics database. Brilliantly designed interactive data maps for students to get ‘hands on’ and play with data visually. Lots of teacher materials available to support lesson planning.
  • Worldmapper – maps reshaped to reflect a subject and its distribution globallyfor teachers & students. This website is a collection of nearly 700 world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. Many of the maps are available free as PDF posters and offer a good visual cue for the shape of relations, based on human activity (i.e. car sales, car exports, population size etc.)