Community National Schools – an Irish experiment in nurturing beliefs and values

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Abstract

Community National Schools (CNS) emerged in the 2000s to meet a particular and urgent need for more Primary school places in Ireland, especially for newcomer children. The characteristic spirit of the school system is inclusive, child-centred and respectful of diversity; CNS also aim to nurture each child within the belief-specific tradition of their family. A beliefs and values curriculum, Goodness Me Goodness You (GMGY), was developed to meet these aims but has since its inception drawn criticism and caused some controversy.
Through a documentary analysis which employs an adapted version of Pingel’s textbook evaluation method, this paper provides a critical review of the GMGY Junior curriculum and identifies three areas where belief-specific nurture in a plural setting raises particular difficulties – curriculum design, lesson content and the position of the teacher and belief communities.
With reference to debates on nurture and religious education, it is argued that important lessons can be learned from the CNS experiment, primarily regarding the need for a framework which conceptualises nurture in a more comprehensive way than currently exists in plural education settings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Seminar on Religious Education and Values: Comparative Perspectives and Contextual Challenges in Religious and Values Education - Friedrich Alexander University, Nurnberg, Germany
Duration: 30 Jul 201803 Aug 2018

Conference

ConferenceInternational Seminar on Religious Education and Values
CountryGermany
CityNurnberg
Period30/07/201803/08/2018

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    Nelson, J. (2018). Community National Schools – an Irish experiment in nurturing beliefs and values. Paper presented at International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Nurnberg, Germany.