The purpose of this paper is to examine how teachers teach and students learn about citizenship education in two faith-based schools in Northern Ireland. The data show that participants in the Catholic school were confident in their own identity; teachers encouraged active engagement with contentious, conflict-related debates and students displayed empathy with other racial and religious groups. In the Protestant school, teachers avoided any reference to identity and conflict and students seemed to have limited knowledge of these issues. The findings emphasise the extent to which separate schools embody the cultural norms prevalent within each of the communities that they serve and reveal the influence which these norms have for teaching and learning about citizenship.
- separate school, citizenship education, identity, Northern Ireland, intergroup contact