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ERIC Number: EJ1033425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1361 7672
Review Article: Facing Two Ways? Reflections on Recent Research on Religious Schools
Cooling, Trevor
Journal of Beliefs & Values, v35 n1 p123-126 2014
In this article, author Trevor Cooling presents a review of three books that disseminate recent research on religious schools. The first, "Leadership and Religious Schools: International Perspectives and Challenges," edited by Michael T. Buchanan, is an edited volume of essays about leadership in religious schools. Editor Michael Buchanan explains that the collection has been put together "to encourage leaders and potential leaders in religious schools to think more critically and broadly about their role as leaders." There are eleven chapters, each of which is focused on a topic of interest to the author in question. The topics covered in the chapters are varied, and move from globalisation to issues relating to human identity, a human-rights based curriculum, peace education, loneliness, leading through service, secularity, and finally to the educational thought of Fethullah Gulen. The second book,"Fragmented Catholicity and Social Cohesion: Faith Schools in a Plural Society," by Ann Casson, deals with the central concern of the concept of Catholicity, which, using the "Oxford English Dictionary," she defines as "the character of belonging to or being in accordance with, the Catholic Church." Her research is an investigation into the degree to which this is currently manifested in Roman Catholic secondary schools. The book faces in two directions: towards the Church, as the sponsor of schools seeking to preserve Catholicity, and towards the critics of publicly-funded faith based education who are fearful that Catholicity is a threat to social cohesion and pupil autonomy. Casson shares the results of her ethnographic study of three Catholic secondary schools between 2006 and 2009. The third book, "Swimming Against the Tide: The New Independent Christian Schools and Their Teenage Pupils," by Sylvia Baker, also faces two ways in her study of the new independent Christian schools; towards their critics, and toward the parents who make considerable sacrifices to send their children to these schools. As with Casson, this is insider research. Baker uses her long-standing relationship with the Christian Schools Trust (UK) as a fund of valuable knowledge, particularly for the first four chapters where she describes the history and background of this particular group of schools that trace their origins back to 1969. The schools were founded by Christians who were concerned about the secularising nature of state schools. The book outlines the results of a quantitative survey undertaken in 2006 with 695 year 9 and year 11 students from 25 schools. In six chapters, and 68 tables, Baker describes and discusses the percentages of responses to each of the 184 items on a questionnaire that covered the beliefs, values, attitudes, and opinions of these teenagers on subjects ranging from Christian Doctrine, creation, evolution, morality, sexuality, personal concerns, and their schooling.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Book/Product Reviews
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A