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'We are inclusive but are we being equal?' Challenges to Community National schools regarding religious diversity

Mullally, Aiveen (2018) 'We are inclusive but are we being equal?' Challenges to Community National schools regarding religious diversity. Doctor of Education thesis, Dublin City University.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to explore the challenges being faced by Community National schools due to religious diversity. These schools were established by Minister Mary Hanafin in 2007 in response to the emerging reality of pluralism in Ireland. They are publicallymanaged state schools and the Education and Training Boards (ETB) are their patron. To date these schools largely cater for minority ethnic communities in Ireland with 58% of parents being of nationalities other than Irish (Department of Education 2016). The schools are multi-denominational and the ethos is inclusive, striving to ensure that the beliefs of all children are respected and celebrated. There are currently twelve schools in the sector. As these schools are a new model of governance, very little research on the schools has been conducted to date. This research was considered timely in order to assist with the development of these schools and to contribute to the educational debate regarding the place of religious education in education in Ireland. This qualitative case study explores the practical and ideological challenges facing Community National schools regarding religious diversity from the perspective of principals, teachers and parents. The methods chosen for the research were semi-structured interviews with seven principals and five teachers and questionnaires for parents. This study reveals significant challenges for the stake-holders regarding the multi-belief junior programme being taught in the schools. Findings highlight an uneasy tension between the schools and local parishes regarding the sacramental preparation of Roman Catholic children. Findings also indicate challenges for schools regarding the celebration of festivals and the display of religious symbols in the school. A tension between the public values of the school and the private values of parents is also revealed. The thesis concludes by considering the implications emerging from this research and offers recommendations for reflection by the various stakeholders of these schools.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Date of Award:January 2018
Refereed:No
Supervisor(s):Byrne, Gareth
Uncontrolled Keywords:Religious Diversity; Religious Education; Community National Schools; Inclusivity; Equality
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Education Studies
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:22165
Deposited On:09 Apr 2018 14:15 by Gareth Byrne. Last Modified 09 Apr 2018 14:15

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