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ERIC Number: EJ821534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0141-6200
Uniformity and Diversity in Religious Education in Northern Ireland
Nelson, James
British Journal of Religious Education, v26 n3 p249-258 Sep 2004
This paper considers the tension that can exist in the aims of religious education between the desire to encourage open-minded, critical thinking through exposure to diverse traditions, ideas and cultures and the encouragement, overt or otherwise, into uniformity whereby learners take on the values of a particular tradition, culture or ideology (say of a religion, family or school). The particular situation of teaching religious education to post-primary school pupils in Northern Ireland is considered, and evidence cited to suggest that the "Northern Ireland Core Syllabus in Religious Education" has tried to impose a particular non-denominational Christian uniformity on pupils and teachers through its use of religious language. This has contributed to a culture of "avoidance" in relation to the teaching of broad Christian diversity. The article concludes that there is a need for an ongoing and meaningful dialogue to discover what kind of balance between uniformity and diversity is best in teaching religious education in Northern Ireland, and notes that this also requires the reassessment of fundamental issues such as the aims of education and the relationship between secular and religious values in publicly funded schools. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)