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An exploration of the experiences of minority faith and minority worldview students of a Roman Catholic school ethos in post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland
Stapleton, Catherine
This study explores the school-based experiences of a sample of students of minority faith or minority worldview attending Post-Primary schools with a Catholic ethos. The primary aim of this research is to give voice to these students regarding their experiences of a Catholic school ethos and how this ethos caters for the spiritual and moral development of this cohort of students. A secondary aim of the research is to explore the relevance and practise of identity humility theory in relation to these students’ lived experiences of schools whose ethos may be at variance with the students’ espoused belief systems. This qualitative study draws on semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of eighteen self-selecting students who identified as people of minority faith or belief worldviews attending a Catholic post-primary school. Interpretative Phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to interrogate the data set. The emerging themes were further reflected on in terms of the theoretical perspectives of identity humility, hegemony, identity development, agency, othering, and conformity. The findings of the research suggest that students’ identity development, sense of belonging and well-being may be impacted by negative stereotyping, Catholic centric practices and an implicit or explicit expectation of acquiescence to Catholic norms. However, students also described a positive, safe school atmosphere and an interest in World Religions and meditation. Students wanted to learn about religion together and particularly valued class discussion. The diversity of the reported students’ experiences is attributed to both student and teacher agency and the autonomy afforded to schools by the State. The value of identity humility theory and practice is posited (1) as a possible avenue to address the needs of an increasingly diverse school population as an alternative and more practical solution than a segregationist policy of diversification of school patronage (2), as a way of balancing the constitutional right of the Catholic majority, to choose a Catholic religious education with the rights of minority belief students to attend their local school and have their moral and spiritual educational rights equally supported.
Keyword(s): Religions; Education; Sociology; Teaching; Ethnicity; Identity; Religion; human rights; inclusion; education and hegemony
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Contributor(s): O'Higgins Norman, James; Kavanagh, Anne Marie; Cullen, Sandra
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Stapleton, Catherine (2018) An exploration of the experiences of minority faith and minority worldview students of a Roman Catholic school ethos in post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
Publisher(s): Dublin City University. School of Human Development
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2018-11-22 06:08:11 Last Updated: 2019-08-07 06:09:10