Children in Crossfire’s Educating the Heart programme is rooted in the theory and practice of Development Education. Children in Crossfire believes in the necessity of Development Education as part of the wider strategic mission of the organisation. The Development Education Educating the Heart programme is embedded within Children in Crossfire’s organisational strategic plan, contributing towards strategic outcome 2: ‘Increased cultivation of global citizenship fostered within the formal education sector across the island of Ireland’; and strategic objective 3: ‘to increase public knowledge of development issues, and increase the skills and values needed for global citizenship’.

Children in Crossfire’s Development Education targets are:

  • formal education sector and it’s curricular
  • teachers of girls and boys aged 8-15; girls and boys aged 8-15
  • initial teacher education (ITE) colleges
  • students attending teacher education colleges

Children in Crossfire’s Development Education programme is synchronised with the Irish Aid Development Education Strategy 2017 – 2023. In partnership with Irish Aid, Children in Crossfire is committed to strengthening Ireland’s contribution to a sustainable and just world through a Development Education approach which fosters compassionate global citizenship.  In particular, Children in Crossfire makes a direct contribution to achieving Irish Aid’s Development Education strategic Outputs, 1, 2, 3 and 5 outlined on page 23 of the strategy.


Through a strategic Development Education partnership, both Children in Crossfire and Irish Aid are also committed to contributing towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 target 4.7:

“By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development”.

Key Strategies

The Key Strategies presented below, outline Children in Crossfire’s intervention approach to Development Education 2017 – 2021.

To present a sector-wide innovative Development Education, Educating the Heart pedagogical framework, teaching resources and website tools for a holistic approach to nurturing the core competencies necessary for supporting young people on their journeys as active global citizens.  Teachers, Principals, Senior Leaders (including ITE Colleges) will be supported to align the framework across curriculum policy and practice.

Work in partnership with relevant organisations and bodies to (1) increase coherence between Development Education and curriculum policy and practice; (2) disseminate to national and European networks.

To implement and disseminate an accredited Development Education continuing professional Development TIDAL course, so teachers develop the capacity to support young people develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values for global citizenship.  The knowledge component will be strongly situated within the context of the Irish Aid Development Cooperation and the SDGs.

To engage formal education (including ITE) Senior Leaders, Principals, and curriculum bodies to (1) offer information and guidance on Children in Crossfire’s Educating the Heart Development Education framework, highlighting its compatibility with curriculum policy and practice; (2) affirm their commitment to engaging teachers in TIDAL; (3) present models of practice for embedding a whole school Development Education approach across curriculum policy and practice.


Through these strategies, Children in Crossfire will work to achieve the following Outputs:

Output 1: The formal education sector supports the integration of innovative Development Education across curriculum policy and practice.

Output 2: Educators deliver innovative Development Education and students actively engaged in the learning process.

Output 3: There is a whole school approach to implementing Development Education for global citizenship, including the integration of recognized education awards an initiative.