The study of history at junior cycle aims to enable students to develop the necessary conceptual understanding, disciplinary skills and subject knowledge to investigate the actions of people in the past and to come to a deeper understanding of the human condition.  Students also come to see the world, and their place in it, from an historical perspective; and understand how the people and events of the past have shaped the contemporary world.

By exploring the past from an historical perspective, students also develop an interest and enthusiasm for history and acquire values and attitudes that shape their view of people in the past, including a regard for heritage and their cultural inheritance, and a sense of historical empathy, where people are judged in the context and values of the time in which they lived.  

The study of history instils in students a respect for integrity, objectivity and looking at issues from different perspectives.  This capacity for critical thinking helps them to interrogate sources of evidence and make judgements about the viewpoint expressed, including the capacity to identify propaganda.

Hearing and telling the stories of people who lived in the past helps students to understand more about how people live today; and can help students to learn from the past in thinking about how to address the problems of today.