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Title: Common education and separate schools : a study of sharing education in Northern Ireland using a grounded theory methodology
Author: Nelson , James Hunter
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is a philosophical and empirical investigation into the problems and possibilities of sharing education. Beginning with the question, 'What is it possible to share in education?' there is consideration of a number of major philosophical, political and sociological issues including: the role of religion in education, the appropriate level of state control of education, the rights of parents to choose and the rights of children to be autonomous. It is acknowledged that problems exist with common education in certain forms, but it is argued that there is a case for common education in liberal democracies that is not necessarily confined to common schools but which engenders sharing, dialogue, openness and criticality. Using the evolving situation of separate and shared education in Northern Ireland, a grounded theory approach is employed to understand the problems and possibilities for sharing in collaborative education projects involving schools of different ethos. As a result of this study a deeper understanding is achieved of the basic .social processes experienced by teachers involved in sharing education, especially in relation to how the aims of sharing are framed (through 'fitting', 'guarding', 'widening horizons' and 'avoiding') and how the activity of sharing is managed (through 'learning', 'leading', 'bridging' and 'struggling'.) This thesis concludes by arguing that, even in contexts where separate schooling is dominant, boundaries become porous when pupils and teachers participate in shared activity. Sharing education can present many obstacles but, where attention is given to the social context of sharing education, and when the transformative potential of learning is nurtured, it can enhance teachers' professional development, widen the horizons of young people and contribute to the improvement of community relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available