Social and Environmental Education

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Social and Environmental Education contributes to children’s understanding and development of the interconnected historical, geographical, and societal dimensions and processes of life.

It supports children’s awareness, appreciation and understanding of the world through learning about the rich diversity of peoples: their experiences, cultures, religions, beliefs, and environments in different times, places and circumstances. It helps children to develop an understanding of the human and natural environments and the relationship between them.

Through Social and Environmental Education, children develop the attitudes, concepts, dispositions, knowledge, skills, and values that motivate and empower them to become informed and active citizens who promote a more sustainable future. This is made more meaningful and empowering through children’s active identification, exploration and investigation of local, national, and global challenges and opportunities, past and present. Hence, children come to an understanding and appreciation of their inherent rights and responsibilities as custodians of this planet.

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Primary Social and Environmental Education (SEE) Development Group

NCCA advises the Minister for Education on curriculum and assessment for early childhood education, for primary and post-primary schools. As part of the broader developments in primary, it is envisaged that a new specification for Social and Environmental Education will be finalised in early 2025.

The SEE Development Group will have a key role in this work. The development group consists of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies and the Department of Education.

For more information on the development processes of NCCA and members of the development groups, visit Boards and Development Groups.

Meeting notes from the Primary SEE Development Group can be accessed below.


A systematic literature review has been carried out by Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin on behalf of NCCA to support the development of a specification for Social and Environmental Education.

> Literature Review for Social and Environmental Education