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ERIC Number: EJ873767
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
All Christians? Experiences of Science Educators in Northern Ireland
Murphy, Colette; Hickey, Ivor; Beggs, Jim
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v5 n1 p79-89 Mar 2010
In this paper we respond to Staver's article (this issue) on an attempt to resolve the discord between science and religion. Most specifically, we comment on Staver's downplaying of difference between Catholics and Protestants in order to focus on the religion-science question. It is our experience that to be born into one or other of these traditions in some parts of the world (especially Northern Ireland) resulted in starkly contrasting opportunities, identities and practices in becoming and being science educators. The paper starts with a short contextual background to the impact of religion on schooling and higher education in Northern Ireland. We then explore the lives and careers of three science/religious educators in Northern Ireland: Catholic (Jim) and Protestant (Ivor) males who are contemporaries and whose experience spans pre-Troubles to post-conflict and a Catholic female (Colette) who moved to Northern Ireland during the Troubles as a teenager. Finally, we discuss the situation regarding the teaching of creationism and evolution in Northern Ireland--an issue has recently generated high public interest. The Chair of the Education Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly recently stated that "creationism is not for the RE class because I believe that it can stand scientific scrutiny and that is a debate which I am quite happy to encourage and be part of..." ("News Letter" 2008). It could be the case that the evolution debate is being fuelled as a deliberate attempt to undermine some of the post-conflict collaboration projects between schools and communities in Northern Ireland.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)