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Date: 2017
Abstract: Faith schools represent controversial aspects of England’s educational politics, yet they have been largely overlooked as sites for geographical analysis. Moreover, although other social science disciplines have attended to a range of questions regarding faith schools, some important issues remain underexamined. In particular, contestation within ethnic and religious groups regarding notions of identity have generally been ignored in an educational context, whilst the majority of research into Jewish schools more specifically has failed to attend to the personal qualities of Jewishness. The interrelationships between faith schools (of all kinds) and places of worship have also received minimal attention. In response, this investigation draws upon a range of theoretical approaches to identity in order to illustrate how Jewish schools are implicated in the changing spatiality and performance of individuals’ Jewishness. Central to this research is a case study of the Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS), England’s only pluralist Jewish secondary school, with more extensive elements provided by interviews with other stakeholders in Anglo-Jewry. Parents often viewed Jewish schools as a means of attaining a highly-regarded ‘secular’ academic education in a Jewish school, whilst also enabling their children to socialise with other Jews. In the process, synagogues’ traditional functions of education and socialisation have been co-opted by Jewish schools, revealing a shift in the spatiality of young people’s Anglo-Jewish identity practices. Furthermore, JCoSS, as well as many synagogues, have come to represent spaces of contestation over ‘authentic’ Jewishness, given widely varying conceptualisations of ‘proper’ Jewish practice and identity amongst parents, pupils and rabbis. Yet, although JCoSS offers its pupils considerable autonomy to determine their practices, such choice is not limitless, revealing an inherent dilemma in inclusivity. The thesis thus explores how different manifestations of Jewishness are constructed, practised and problematised in a school space (which itself is dynamic and contested), and beyond.
Author(s): Moulin, Daniel
Date: 2013
Abstract: The increasing diversity of societies is one of the most important educational issues of the globalised era. However, while some attention has been paid to the schooling experiences of racial, ethnic and immigrant minorities in Western societies, little research has been conducted with religious adolescents.
This thesis explores the complexities of religious adolescents’ experiences of English secondary schools. As an exploratory study, I employed an emergent research design carrying out loosely-structured, group and single interviews at eleven places of worship to investigate the schooling experiences of 99 adolescent Christians, Jews and Muslims. In order to interpret their reported experiences, I applied a theoretical model based on the Students’ Multiple World Framework in conjunction with concepts of religious identity negotiation and construction.
The interview data show how Christians, Jews and Muslims negotiate their religious identities in the context of the numerous challenges presented by secondary schools in a religiously plural and largely secular society. In classroom worlds participants perceived their religious traditions to be distorted, inaccurately or unfairly represented. In peer worlds participants reported that they could experience prejudice, and criticism of their beliefs. Christians, Jews and Muslims reported two principal management strategies in the face of these challenges, either: declaring their religious identity openly, or by masking it in public.
The findings of this study are highly relevant to debates about the role of religion in education, including those concerning faith and Church schools and the nature and purpose of the curriculum subject Religious Education.
Date: 2017
Date: 2009
Abstract: This research was commissioned by The Pears Foundation and the Department for Children, 
Schools and Families (DCSF). The aims were to examine when, where, how and why the 
Holocaust is taught in state-maintained secondary schools in England, and to inform the 
design and delivery of a continuing professional development (CPD) programme for teachers 
who teach about the Holocaust. A two-phase mixed methodology was employed. This 
comprised an online survey which was completed by 2,108 respondents and follow-up 
interviews with 68 teachers in 24 different schools throughout England. 
The research reveals that teachers adopt a diverse set of approaches to this challenging and 
complex subject. In the report, teachers’ perceptions, perspectives and practice are presented 
and a range of challenges and issues encountered by teachers across the country are explicitly 
identified. The research shows that, although most teachers believe that it is important to 
teach about the Holocaust, very few have received specialist professional development in this 
area. It also shows that many teachers find it a difficult and complicated subject to teach, and 
that they both want and need support to better equip them to teach about the Holocaust 
The report is the largest endeavour of its kind in the UK in both scope and scale. The authors 
hope it will be of considerable value to all those concerned with the advancement and 
understanding of Holocaust education both in the UK and internationally 
Date: 2016