News Archive 2015
17/12/2015:PhD DEL STudentship Awards 2016 entry - CSE project on the Faith Schools Debate
13/11/2015:Dr Gavin Duffy and Prof Tony Gallagher present at the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series
12/11/2015:Dr Cathal McManus publishes article in Nations and Nationalism journal
12/11/2015:Prof Tony Gallagher and Dr Gavin Duffy publish chapter in new book, Tolerance and Diversity in Ireland, North and South
12/11/2015:Prof Tony Gallagher gives invited presentation at Edinburgh University
11/11/2015:Dr Michalinos Zembylas Research Seminar: Peace Education in a Conflict-Affected Society
11/11/2015: Talia Avrahamzon, Research Scholar at the Australian National University, visits the CSE and presents her PhD research
04/10/2015:CSE presents findings from the Education Inequalities in NI report to the All Party Group on Ethnic Minority Communities
21/10/2015:Members of the Centre for Shared Education meet with the Minister for Education in Cyprus
09/10/2015:Key Inequalities in Education research report launched
09/10/2015:Dutch delegation meet with Centre for Shared Education Director, Professor Joanne Hughes
24/09/2015:Centre for Shared Education British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference contributions
18/09/2015:Centre staff present research findings at the European Educational Research Association Conference in Budapest
02/09/2015:CSE PhD student Gareth Robinson presents on the social network structure of five collaborating primary schools in NI
26/06/2015:Tony Gallagher and Gavin Duffy visited Israel in June 2015
23/06/2015:Prof Tony Gallagher, gives the annual Vere Foster lecture entitled 'Shared Education - a new way forward?'
23/06/2015:CSE team present findings to community and education stakeholders at the North West Teacher Centre
16/06/2015:CSE present at the International Conference on Gender and Education held in Indiana University, Bloomington
29/05/2015: Dr Ana Tomovska, graduate PhD scholar at the School of Education, wins a prestigious Civil Society Scholar Award (CSSA)
14/04/2015: Lecturer (Education) in Shared Education
16/03/2015: Banning Faith Schools is no Quick Fix to Social Segregation’, article by Professor Tony Gallagher in ‘The Conversation'
11/03/2015: A report has just been published by the Social Integration Commission on social integration in Britain.
12/02/2015: Cathal McManus has recently published a paper in Irish Studies Review
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 firstname.lastname@example.org ) 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.
Dr Gavin Duffy and Prof Tony Gallagher delivered the seminar ‘Shared Education and collaboration between schools in a contested space setting’ at the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series at the Northern Ireland Assembly on 7th October 2015. The presentation was based on a three-year study by Duffy and Gallagher (2014) from the Sharing Education Programme at the School of Education, Queen's University Belfast. The study contextualised shared learning between pupils and collaboration between teachers and leaders within a shared education partnership, comprising of eight schools (5 primary and 3 post-primary), located in a contested space setting. The Foyle Contested Space Education Partnership was part of the first cohort of initiatives funded by the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM) and Atlantic Philanthropies Interface/Contested Spaces Programme between 2011 and 2014. Evidence was presented which demonstrated both the social and educational impact of pupils learning together and educators collaborating. In particular, the presentation focused on: relationship formation; the interconnections between schools and the community; and, evidence of school improvement. The video recording of the seminar and the paper are available to view here
Dr Cathal McManus has had an article (‘Irish language education and the national ideal: the dynamics of nationalism in Northern Ireland’), published online ahead of its appearance in the Nations and Nationalism journal. The link to read the full article is here
Prof Tony Gallagher and Dr Gavin Duffy have published a chapter entitled ‘Recognising difference while promoting cohesion the role of collaborative networks in education’ in I Honohan and N Rougier (Eds.) Tolerance and Diversity in Ireland, North and South. The book is published by Manchester University Press and is available to order here
On 27th October 2015, Prof Tony Gallagher gave an invited presentation at the Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University, to a conference entitled ‘What have we learned from fifty years of Scottish comprehensive schooling?’. Prof Gallagher’s presentation (‘Reflections on the Scottish experience and its challenges’) can be viewed at the conference website here
The School’s Centre for Shared Education hosted a research seminar by Dr. Michalinos Zembylas, Associate Professor at the Open University of Cyprus, on Friday 6 November 2015. Dr. Zembylas reported on his recently finished book with two of his colleagues (to be published in early 2016 by Cambridge University Press) in which they take the reader through the ethnographic journey of the challenges and opportunities involved in a peace education policy initiative introduced in Cyprus in 2008. During the seminar, Dr. Zembylas analysed the ‘life-cycle’ of this policy promoting officially Peaceful Coexistence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in schools. He elaborated on the policy’s textual representations; its intertextual relations with other policy texts; its reception and interpretation by teachers; its enactment in teaching practice; and teacher training interventions and re-enactment. Drawing on this experience, he critically discussed the emotional, cultural, and political challenges peace education poses to teachers in conflict-affected settings and how these can be handled, pointing, among others, to the need for culturally responsive, and politically conscious, leadership.
The event was well attended by an international audience consisting of university students, academics, school teachers and leaders, policy representatives, and people working in the voluntary sector.
Dr Zembylas’ work is available to view on his Research Gate page here
Talia Avrahamzon is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian Centre for Applied Social Research Methods (AusCen) at the Australian National University (ANU), as a Sir Roland Wilson Scholar. Her thesis – children’s participation in reconciliation – is a mixed methods qualitative enquiry into how Australian primary school children are socialised about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and people. It seeks to understand the messages delivered by different socialisation agents to children and how they are interpreted from the perspective of the child. Ms Avrahamzon visited Queen’s University for a two week period during October-November 2015, and on 2nd November she gave a seminar (hosted by the Centre for Shared Education) entitled ‘Children’s participation in reconciliation’ which provided insights into school-based reconciliation practices in Australia and presented a research design that aims to further understand children’s subjective experiences of these practices. Ms Avrahamzon’s research profile is available here
On 27th October 2015, Dr Stephanie Burns was invited to present findings from the ‘Ethnicity and Racial Inequalities in Education’ chapter of the Education Inequalities in Northern Ireland report to the All Party Group on Ethnic Minority Communities (http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/your-mlas/all-party-groups/all-party-group-on-ethnic-minority-communities/). The Education Inequalities in Northern Ireland research was commissioned by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and was carried out by Dr Stephanie Burns, Prof Ruth Leitch and Prof Joanne Hughes from the Centre for Shared Education (see web page http://www.equalityni.org/Delivering-Equality/Addressing-inequality/Education/Research-investigations/Key-inequalities-education. At the meeting, Dr Michael Wardlow (Chief Commissioner for the Equality Commission) also gave a statement on the Ethnic and Racial Inequalities findings, which was followed by a discussion of the issues raised by the findings.
Members of the centre for shared education met with the ministry of education in Cyprus to explore possible avenues for cooperation. The educational context in Cyprus and Northern Ireland was discussed and research findings from shared education initiatives. In the coming days the Centre team will also meet with teacher representatives from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to discuss possibilities for collaboration.
Professor Joanne Hughes will be awarded a prestigious UNESCO Chair in ‘Globalizing a Shared Education Model for Improving Relations in Divided Societies’. One of UNESCO's major roles in the UN system is to build capacity in developing countries and regions emerging from conflict. The Chair will support a programme of research within the Centre for Shared Education that can inform and influence the global development agenda for education, and promote dialogue at the highest level internationally on the contribution that shared education can make to facilitating inter-cultural dialogue and peacebuilding in divided societies.
On 6th October 2015, the Equality Commission held an event at Malone College to launch the research report Key Inequalities in Education, authored by Dr Stephanie Burns, Prof Ruth Leitch and Prof Joanne Hughes from the Centre for Shared Education within the School of Education. At the event, Dr Stephanie Burns presented the research and Dr Michael Wardlow, the Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission, shared the Draft Statement on Key Inequalities in Education. The Draft Statement highlights the Commission’s assessment of the nature and extent of inequalities across the nine equality grounds covered by Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (gender; racial group; disability status; sexual orientation; religious belief; political opinion; age; marital status; and dependency status). The inequalities were distilled from the research report and from further analysis of available data and key literature, as well as input from key stakeholders. The Draft Statement on Key Inequalities in Education will form part of a larger series of Statements on Key Inequalities from the Commission that highlight a wider set of inequalities in other areas, for example: employment; health and social care; participation in public life; housing and communities; and, attitudes/prejudice. To read the Draft Statement on Key Inequalities in Education and to access the full research report (including the Executive Summary and the Report for Children and Young People), please click here
On 4th October Professor Joanne Hughes met with a delegation of Dutch Educationalists who are visiting Northern Ireland to explore innovations in education that may help address problems faced in the Netherlands. Professor Hughes outlined the background to the development of shared education and presented an overview of research findings. The group, comprising academics and practitioners from HEIs in Holland will also work-shadow colleagues here to gain a deeper understanding of how initiatives are operationalised.
The annual conference of the European Educational Research Association was held on 7-11 September 2015 at Corvinus University in Budapest. The theme of the conference was ‘Education and Transition – Contributions from Educational Research’. Dr Andrea Furey from the School of Psychology at Ulster University and Professor Joanne Hughes from the Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s University presented a paper (written with Dr Caitlin Donnelly and Dr Danielle Blaylock from the Centre for Shared Education) entitled ‘National Identity Narratives Within Different Educational Contexts In Northern Ireland And Macedonia’. This paper drew on the conceptual framework of both contact theory and identity theory to explore student narratives on national identity within different educational contexts in both Northern Ireland and Macedonia. Preliminary analyses suggested variation in narratives surrounding identity and intergroup relations as a function of school settings in both Northern Ireland and Macedonia. Identification processes within integrated / bilingual educational contexts seem to offer greater grounds for optimism in the transitioning of both societies towards a more peaceful dispensation. Dr Stephanie Burns from the Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s University presented a sub-section of findings from the recently-completed ‘Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation’ (ILiAD) study, entitled ‘Examination Of A Model of Full Service Extended School Provision In An Area Of High Deprivation’ (written with Dr Michael Ievers from Stranmillis University College, and Professor Ruth Leitch and Professor Joanne Hughes from the Centre for Shared Education). This paper presented the model of Full Service Extended School (FSES) provision that was designed for two partnering schools in an urban area of high deprivation in Northern Ireland, and examined how it fits alongside models of community-schools or full-service extended schools operating in other international contexts. The paper also highlighted the impact this FSES provision has had alongside the challenges it continues to face, which need to be considered in the development of similar programmes.
The BERA conference 2015 was hosted at Queen’s University, with staff from the Centre for Shared Education delivering contributions showcasing their recent work.
An ‘Innovation Session’ took place on Wednesday 16th September, entitled ‘The role of education in divided and conflict affected societies: a symposium including reflections on delegates’ participation in site visits to schools.’ Delegates were invited to participate in site visits to schools in Belfast to reflect on how different schools deal practically with societal division and promote social cohesion. The Innovation Session, delivered by Lesley Emerson, Caitlin Donnelly, Joanne Hughes, Karen Orr, Paul Connolly and Rebecca Loader, included presentations on:
- Shared education and the community relations agenda in Northern Ireland
- Integrated schools in Northern Ireland: an overview of the evidence
- The role of the curriculum in conflict affected societies.
The session also provided a space for delegates to share their experiences from the site visits and locate their observations within current research perspectives presented by the panel members. Photographs from the site visit are below, and the following link to St Colm’s High School webpage details their visit from BERA delegates.
Other presentations given by Centre for Shared Education staff members were:
- Teenage talk: speaking, stance-taking and young people’s views of themselves within the education system (Dr Aisling O’Boyle)
- What is being taught in Religious Education classes in Northern Ireland and to what extent should states be concerned about regulation, quality and control of the subject? (Dr James Nelson)
- Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation: a case study approach to community differences (Prof Ruth Leitch, Prof Joanne Hughes and Dr Stephanie Burns, with Dr Erik Cownie)
- From co-presence to integration: exploring processes of intergroup contact within shared classes in Northern Ireland (Dr Rebecca Loader)
Dr Rebecca Loader’s paper reported her research on the features of the shared class that can facilitate (or impede) interaction and relationship-building, focusing on aspects such as class size and composition, the physical arrangement of the classroom, and the teaching style and approach. The presentation offered some recommendations for the ways that shared classes and activities might be structured to maximise opportunities for contact and friendship-development. The slides from Rebecca’s presentation are available below:
Gareth Robinson, a PhD student from the Centre for Shared Education, presented a paper entitled ‘Are Shared Education Networks Social?’ at the fourth Public Health Annual Scientific Conference in Belfast and a paper entitled ‘Networks as a Model for Sharing Education in Northern Ireland’ at XXXV Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) in Brighton, both in June 2015. Gareth’s two papers reported on the findings of a study on the social network structure of five collaborating primary schools within a Shared Education partnership in Northern Ireland. They focused upon the collaborative interactions of staff members and the patterns of relationships that emerged as a consequence of sharing. 'Are Shared Education Networks Social?' presented the prosocial outcomes of teachers involved, their networked benefits, and how sharing education has been observed to improve the professional lives of educators. 'Networks as Model for Sharing Education in Northern Ireland' discussed in detail the structural properties of their networked learning community and the professional and social benefits for actors directly involved in Shared Education when compared to those actors who were not. For more information please see the conference links:
Tony Gallagher and Gavin Duffy visited Israel in June 2015 to talk with teachers, education officials and NGO about their work on shared education and continue their collaborative work with Israeli colleagues on their Shared Life initiative. The main purpose of their four day visit was in response to an invitation from the Lautman Foundation to lead a roundtable discussion on shared education/ shared life at the Dov Lautman Conference on Educational Policy. They were also invited to give keynote presentations at the Centre for Educational Technology Learning Seminar in Tel Aviv: Tony provided a comparative paper on the role of shared education in co-existence, while Gavin presented a paper on the lessons learned from practice and research on shared education in Northern Ireland.
During their visit Tony and Gavin held a meeting to discuss collaborative projects with academic colleges in Beit Berl College and visited two Arab schools involved in shared life projects in Taybeh in an area known as the Triangle. They also visited schools in Ramle, an area where a shared life project has been in operation for some time, to discuss with school principals and teachers some of the challenges and opportunities of collaboration: some of the Ramle teachers had been on a recent study visit to Northern Ireland and this had clearly affected their sense of ambition for their work in Israel. The visit also provided an opportunity to meet with some senior figures in Education in Israel, most notably the Director of Education in Jerusalem.
Professor Tony Gallagher, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Queen’s University and Professor of Education, was invited to give the annual Vere Foster Lecture this year. The lecture was entitled 'Shared Education - a new way forward?' The lecture was given in INTO in Belfast on Friday June 19th.
On Wednesday 17th June, members of the ‘Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation’ (ILiAD) research team presented findings from the research to community and education stakeholders at the North West Teacher Centre in Derry/Londonderry. The findings from two of the case study electoral Ward areas (Rosemount and The Diamond) were presented, followed by a discussion of the key issues and how they might be best addressed by policymakers at the local and national levels. The ILiAD research study was funded by OFMDFM from 2012-2015 and the final report will be available online in the coming months.
Dr Stephanie Burns presented a paper at the International Conference on Gender and Education which was held on 28th-30th May 2015 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. The paper was entitled ‘Barriers and enablers of education equality for transgender students’, which reported the results of a subsection of research on education inequalities in Northern Ireland carried out by a team from the Centre for Shared Education on behalf of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Please click here for link to the conference website.
Dr Ana Tomovska, from Republic of Macedonia and former graduate PhD scholar at the School of Education, has won a prestigious Civil Society Scholar Award (CSSA). The CSSA supports international university faculty to access resources that enrich socially engaged research and critical scholarship in their home country. Ana, who is now associate professor at University American College, Skopje, will be collaborating with the Centre for Shared Education and joining colleagues on the Centre's recent international AP projects with specific reference to the promotion of Shared Education in primary schools in Macedonia.
We are looking for someone who can undertake high quality teaching and assessment at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the area of shared education.
The post holder will develop and deliver courses relating primarily to inter-cultural and collaborative education, and will contribute to the development of an international outreach programme for shared education. For further information and application details click here
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To view the article by Professor Tony Gallagher please click here
'In order to reconcile the rise of free schools with a commitment to social integration, the government should seriously consider emulating the Shared Education programme instituted by the Northern Irish Executive. This might involve building new facilities for shared use by schools catering to different religious communities, or even co-locating these schools within shared campuses.'
Cathal McManus has recently published a paper in Irish Studies Review, which explores Protestant working-class underachievement:
McManus (2015) ‘“Bound in darkness and idolatry”? Protestant working-class underachievement and unionist hegemony’ Irish Studies Review 23, (1) 48-67
To view online click here
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.