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Author(s): Ipgrave, Julia
Date: 2014
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.
Author(s): Schmack, Yvonne Joy
Date: 2015
Abstract: The thesis examines the relationship between the teaching of Judaism and secondary school pupils’ perceptions of and attitudes to Jews. The study has two distinct contexts. The first is the perpetuation of negative attitudes towards Jews in England, and the second is the study of Judaism within Religious Education (‘curriculum Judaism’). Following an introductory chapter Chapters 2 and 3 analyse attitudinal development and the impact of strategies to challenge misconceptions. Particular reference is made to negative attitudes and behaviours to Jews in contemporary England and the impact of characteristics traditionally attributed to Jews. In Chapter 4 and 5 the context of curriculum Judaism is examined. Through a review of scholarly literature and policy documentation it is argued that the history of curriculum Judaism is unique and has been shaped by factors not conducive to presenting the tradition accurately. It maintains that teachers’ confidence in selecting appropriate content and teaching methods, and in challenging misconceptions, is pivotal for positive attitudinal development. Through a mixed methods approach, qualitative data is gathered from the three sources closest to curriculum Judaism - pupils, teachers and class textbooks. The data analysis in Chapter 7 and 8 contends that teachers often lack both confidence and appropriate knowledge to reflect the integrity of contemporary Judaism. Discussion of the selection and presentation of curriculum content and resources leads on to a consideration of the impact on pupils’ attitudes to Jews, with particular reference to the teaching of the Holocaust as a part of curriculum Judaism. The thesis argues that to meet the demands described above new approaches need to be established which develop teachers’ knowledge, discernment and confidence regarding appropriate content selection; effective learning experiences and strategies to effectively challenge misconceptions and stereotypes which inevitably develop into antisemitism.