A sense of place is a valued capacity in Irish society; to know where you’re from, to have a sense of pride in your area, to know its geography, to know its history, to appreciate its features, to be familiar with its nuances and tensions.

It might even be understood to go further; a sense of place may demand that the holder be able to participate and have voice in the function of the place, to contribute to it, to take steps to develop it, to address issues that may be spoiling it.


So developing a sense of place shouldn’t be left to chance. The Irish education system acknowledges this and the educational aim of engendering in children a sense of place, in various ways, is an integral part of the History, Geography, SPHE, Religious/Ethical-Education, Civics and Politics curricula at primary and post-primary levels. Developing the language- and participation skills in becoming an active citizen is also at the core of the aims of The Irish education system. Ireland as signatories to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and , particularly, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, requires active teaching and learning that develops such an understanding of a sense of place. As Ireland becomes more diverse and families find themselves living in new and unfamiliar localities developing a sense of place for their children takes on a specific urgency.


In every one of these important regards this Local Voices national project is an outstanding opportunity for schools to undertake an unforgettable teaching/learning period with these aims at heart. The process of undertaking a deep examination of the recent history and contemporary geography of their locality/community, through the literacy actions of interviewing/transcribing and making-story out of their fieldwork, making design decisions on the content, presentation, illustration and choreography of their work the children become deeply engaged in their community and versed in the skillsets required for interacting with it. The end-product, the publication, situates their work in posterity; an accomplished record of their locality, of which they will be proud and which will serve future-generations as an archival snapshot-in-time, of their community, in the third decade of the 21st Century.