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Title: Insiders and outsiders - ethos and inclusion in Educate Together schools : a discourse analysis
Author: Mellon, Conor
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 4680
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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The last two decades have seen a shift in Irish school populations, where teachers are presented with increasingly diverse classrooms that arguably challenge their conceptualisation of inclusive schooling. They are required to navigate this complex terrain, against an educational landscape characterised by calls for change, particularly in respect of school patronage and ethos, which for Ireland has been dominated by religious institutions, demanding adherence to their respective religious ethoses. The Educate Together (ET) sector has emerged as a self-proclaimed and increasingly popular solution here, offering a distinctive ethos underpinned by four founding principles. By their own admission, this ethos is inclusive and progressive, encapsulated in the overarching maxim - No Child is an Outsider. However, little is known about how such schools actually interpret the stated ethos and its respective principles, and whether in realising this ethos they successfully create and cultivate truly inclusive teaching and learning communities. This study attempts to address this evident gap, in exploring how ET schools and their teachers interpret the Educate Together ethos and synchronously inclusion. Grounded in a social constructionist worldview, the study utilises a Foucauldian lens, and therefore expectedly employs Foucauldian discourse analysis. In doing so it excavates schools’ and specifically teachers’ interpretations (or ‘constructions’) of the phenomena and illuminates the discourses on which they draw. The findings here offer multiple constructions of ethos and inclusion, drawing on three observable discourses, that schools and teachers manipulate, and in keeping with Foucauldian sensibilities, are manipulated by. The study offers certain measures to address potential points of conflict in the ET sector’s realisation of a powerful and diversity-conscious ethos, which arguably presents a tangible opportunity for the realisation of truly inclusive school communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available