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Who we are

The DICE Project is a national strategic educational initiative, funded by Irish Aid, implemented by four providers of initial teacher education at primary level, namely: Dublin City University Institute of Education; Marino Institute of Education; Mary Immaculate College, Limerick; and Maynooth University.

The DICE project aims to embed development education and intercultural education as essential elements of initial teacher education at primary level in Ireland. The project works to build the capacity of lecturers and student teachers so that student teachers graduating from initial teacher education programmes will have good knowledge and understanding of development education and intercultural education and be motivated and equipped with the pedagogic skills and values to teach these effectively.

Areas of focus include building awareness among student teachers of the relevance of human rights, sustainable development, global interdependence and the causes of global inequality to the primary school curriculum. Project activities also aim to develop the ability of student teachers to recognise and challenge discrimination, locally and globally, while challenging perceptions and assumptions of those engaged in education in relation to the world and the society we live in.

In addition, the DICE project undertakes research in the theory and practice of development education and intercultural education. This research is framed in the global context of rapid change and of unequal development.

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History of DICE (2003-2014)

The DICE Project is a collaborative project implemented by five institutions involved in initial teacher education at primary level in the Republic of Ireland. Funded by Irish Aid, the project commenced with a pilot phase in 2003, and continued to be funded on a multi-annual basis thereafter with a view to integrating development education and intercultural education into initial teacher education programmes.

Phase 1 of the project (2004-2007) focused on assisting the colleges of education to integrate and embed development and intercultural perspectives in the preparation of primary school teachers. As such, DICE worked with the colleges in fostering and developing programmes, courses and events which would further equip student teachers with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to include global and intercultural perspectives within primary schools. It also sought to promote a greater understanding of development education among college staff through capacity building. The work of the project was reflected in Irish Aid’s Development Education Strategy Plan 2003-2005 (Deepening Public Understanding of International Development) and the positive impact of the project was recognised with funding for Phase 2, from August 2007-Sept 2009.

In Phase 2, the DICE core project (staffed by a full time project coordinator, part-time project officer and part-time lecturers specialising in development education and intercultural education in the participating colleges) was designed as a major step towards embedding DE and ICE in Initial Teacher Education. This phase was driven by a vision of an inclusive Irish society in a just and sustainable world and DICE sought to promote and contribute to this vision through the field of education. The DICE Project was named by Irish Aid as a key initiative for achieving its objective of integrating development education in formal education programmes at primary level, within its Strategy Plan for Development Education, 2007-11.

Phase 3 of the project, was implemented over four years (2010-14) and included a number of specific objectives, namely:

  1. The extended embedding of the DICE agenda in each college
  2. The further development and implementation of the core DICE framework
  3. A programme of CPD for staff in all colleges
  4. The development of an extended programme of research
  5. The design and development of resource supports
  6. Proactive Engagement with other key bodies, agencies and stakeholders
  7. Profiling DICE as a cross-college initiative
  8. Building and supporting strategic linkages nationally and internationally
  9. Developing a funding strategy to sustain DICE

Some of the key achievements of the DICE Project during this period include:

  • Approximately 6000 student teachers completed modules in development education and intercultural education , since 2010;
  • The clear visibility of development education and intercultural education in the programme frameworks of the new 4 year BEd programmes;
  • The integration of development education and intercultural education across a wide range of curricular areas, including SPHE, Art, Drama, Maths, SESE, Foundation Studies and Religious Studies;
  • A varied programme of continuous professional development for staff in the participating institutions;
  • Increased awareness of DICE across the college campuses, through a wide range of activities and events focused on global and intercultural issues;
  • Strengthened relationships and engagement with key stakeholders, emphasising the value and relevance of development education and intercultural education to the primary curriculum and to creating active global citizens.

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