Centre for Shared Education provides oral evidence on Shared Education to the Education Committee

In November the Shared Education Bill was formally introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly. To better inform the Committee for Education as they reviewed the Bill, the Centre for Shared Education was asked to provide written feedback on the contents of the Bill. Additionally, on 25 November Professor Joanne Hughes, Dr Danielle Blaylock and Michael Arlow provided oral evidence to the Education Committee. Feedback provided by the Centre has since informed the Committee’s most recent report which will be debated at a future Plenary session. The Centre for Shared Education is proud to contribute to this very important area of work.

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CSE present at the Centre for International Education in the University of Sussex

On 6 January Professor Joanne Hughes and Dr Danielle Blaylock were invited to the Centre for International Education at the University of Sussex to present the broad body of research the Centre has completed to date exploring the impact of shared education. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion amongst members of both centres about the role of education in divided societies to promote social cohesion. It is anticipated that future collaborations between the Centre for Shared Education and the Centre for International Education will investigate cross-group friendship networks in divided societies such as South Africa and Rwanda and explore the potential for shared education in South Africa.

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Centre for Shared Education members collaborate with colleagues in Cyprus on shared education

On 16 January, members of the Centre for Shared Education attended a conference, “Developing Peace Culture – the role of education” in the UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia, Cyprus. The conference, attended by representatives of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teaching unions, was described as the first bicommunal education conference. It was supported by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus. Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers and President of the ETUCE was the keynote speaker. Professor Joanne Hughes and Michael Arlow presented proposals for collaborative work on shared education in Cyprus involving the development of partnerships between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot schools, joint teacher development activities and a programme of research.

The conference received largely positive feedback in online media outlets; to read these reports please see the links below:



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Spirit of 95

On 7th December Professor Joanne Hughes presented a keynote on shared education at the ‘Spirit of 95’ event in the Great Hall at Queen’s University. The event was organized by the Global Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice as a 20 year anniversary marker of President Bill Clinton’s visit to Belfast in December 1995. The aim was to examine the lessons and legacies of the Clinton visit and speakers included Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, US Consul General, Daniel Lawton, local academics and young people. There was also a video message from President Bill Clinton. 

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PhD DEL Studentship Award 2016 entry

The Faith School Debate

Separate schools for different ethno-religious groups have been linked to hostile inter-ethnic relations and violence. At the same time some democratic jurisdictions see increasingly homogenized education systems as a legitimate response to ethno-cultural plurality, and the imperative to protect the rights of minority ethnic groups. The proposed project seeks to examine this tension through empirical research in faith schools located in the UK and/or other jurisdictions.  Drawing on identity and positioning theory, and located in discourses on multi-culturalism, political philosophy and education policy, the aim is to explore how well faith schools prepare pupils for life in modern democracies. The following are indicative questions: How do the faith perspectives embraced by schools inform the interpretation and delivery of  curriculum subjects relating to national, religious and political  identity (eg history, politics, citizenship and religious education); How is school ethos manifest, negotiated and communicated in faith schools and how do these processes shape understanding of self and others? How are inconsistencies relating to formal curriculum requirements and faith perspectives dealt with in faith schools, and what are the implications for perceptions of own and other groups. It is anticipated that this research will be undertaken within a qualitative methodological framework using methods best adapted to exploring inter-subjective meaning-making.

In designing the proposal, it is important to take account of the following: the current policy context for faith schools; related theoretical and conceptual literatures; previous empirical studies relating to the role of education in divided and plural contexts. The research methodology section should outline a clear rationale for the methods selected.  Your research proposal should not be more than 2000 words (maximum) in length (excluding references).

Proposals must include references to academic literature and provide evidence of academic reading within the research field including a paragraph on any ethical issues that are likely to arise in the course of the research.  All applicants must contact the relevant named project director prior to submitting their application and proposal.

Contact: Professor Joanne Hughes (tel. +44 (0)28 9097 5934 ) for further information about the project.

Visit the School of Education's Doctoral Research Centre webpages for more information on how to apply and funding opportunities.

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