'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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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|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Religious Diversity; Religious Education; Community National Schools; Inclusivity; Equality|
|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|
|Deposited On:||09 Apr 2018 14:15 by Gareth Byrne. Last Modified 09 Apr 2018 14:15|
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