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Title: Faith schools and tolerance : a comparative study of the influence of faith schools on students attitudes of tolerance
Author: Everett, Helen Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 2340
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Faith schools constitute approximately one third of all state-maintained schools and two fifths of the independent schools in England. Nevertheless they have historically been, and remain, controversial. In the current social climate questions have been raised about the ability of faith schools to promote Community Cohesion and, included within that, their ability to promote tolerance. This research explores one aspect of this debate by looking at the effect that faith schools have on their students' attitudes of tolerance. As well as asking what differences exist between students in faith and non-faith schools it also looks at which aspects of the schools might be impacting on the students and affecting their attitudes of tolerance. Using a mixed methods approach, this research looks at six English secondary schools, including a range of faith as well as non-faith schools, and from both state and independent sectors. The complexity and multiple meanings associated with the term tolerance are explored, incorporating different understandings and objects of tolerance. Although not generalisable to the whole population of faith schools, the findings suggest that the categorisation of schools into faith/non-faith has little relevance when considering their effect on tolerance. In only one school were any differences found in the students' attitudes of tolerance which could be related to any particular aspect of the school. The students in the Muslim Independent school were found to be less tolerant of those people whose behaviour contravened Islamic teachings, and it is suggested that the school impacted on this attitude through less effective development of its students' cognitive skills, and the way it nurtured their religious identity. The research also finds that students in both the faith and non-faith schools were less tolerant of religious groups than they were of some other groups in society, which was seen to result from the nature of the contact with those of other faiths provided by the schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available