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Catholic Schooling in Ireland Andrew G.McGrady Ph.D. Center for Research in Religion and Education Mater Dei Institute of Education Dublin City University.

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Presentation on theme: "Catholic Schooling in Ireland Andrew G.McGrady Ph.D. Center for Research in Religion and Education Mater Dei Institute of Education Dublin City University."— Presentation transcript:


2 Catholic Schooling in Ireland Andrew G.McGrady Ph.D. Center for Research in Religion and Education Mater Dei Institute of Education Dublin City University.

3 CRRE Staff & Research Areas Andrew McGradyThe Religious Dimension of Education in Irish Second Level Schools Paul TigheResearch Fellow in Ethics Brendan LeahyResearch Fellow in Ecumenism / Inter- Religious Dialogue

4 The Irish Context

5 Socio-Cultural, Political & Economic Factors Articulation of Irish Identity (NI, Good Friday Agreement) Economic Factors (Celtic Tiger, Full Employment, Young & educated work-force, bridge EU & USA) Increasing Pluralism (Immigration, EU, Media) Legislation (1998 Education Act). Neutrality (Non-nuclear; Defence Forces etc) Crisis of Authority / Scandals – sexual, political

6 CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN IRELAND Theological, educational, cultural, demographic and legal change. increasing pluralism, 1998 Education Act new management structures for Catholic schools, changing patterns of religiosity among pupils and parents, changing patterns of religious commitment among school staff, increased parental choice in school selection, State syllabus and examination for RE

7 Religiosity in Ireland Religiosity in Ireland (European Values Survey 1981, 1990 and 1999) & 1998 ISSP (International Social Survey Programme) Data for Ireland Decline in adherence to core religious (Christian) beliefs such as belief in a personal God, belief in the resurrection, belief in life after death, belief in Heaven, Hell, the soul etc. Decline in the practice of religion measured in terms of attendance at religious services and attachment to the sacramental life of the Church – baptisms, marriages, funeral rites, confessional practice etc. Church teaching in the broad area of ethics is progressively less influential in determining lifestyle choices among its members or adherents.

8 Religiosity in Ireland Religiosity in Ireland (European Values Survey 1981, 1990 and 1999) & 1998 ISSP (International Social Survey Programme) Data for Ireland Strong sense of religiosity among the Irish population as measured by a belief in the importance of the spiritual dimension of human life. Christian values such as solidarity with the poor, respect for life, respect for the rights of minorities etc, have an influence on the civic values of society. Increasing involvement of lay people in the ministerial activities of the Church and in the formal study of theology leading to professional qualifications.

9 Structure of Schools in Ireland

10 In 2001/ 2002 the Catholic Church in Ireland has ownership of 3,050 primary Schools (age 4-12) 424 Voluntary Secondary Schools (age 12-18) 14 third level Colleges and one Pontifical University (unfunded)

11 Primary Schools AgeLevel 4 5(i) NATIONAL SCHOOLS 6 (Denominationally based, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim) Primary7 Level8(ii) Gaelscoileanna 9 (Irish Language) 10 11(iii) Educate Together 12(multi-denominational)

12 Second Level Schools 13 (i) Voluntary Secondary Schools 14 Junior Cycle 15 (ii) Vocational Schools &Junior Certificate Examination 16 Community CollegesTransition Year Option 17 Senior Cycle 18 (iii) Community & Comprehensive SchoolsLeaving Certificate Examination

13 Second Level Schools Voluntary Schools (Religious Cong denominational Single sex) Vocational Schools (State, non-denominational) Community Schools (multi-denominational Co-educational)

14 Church, State and Education Ireland has a Church- linked system of Primary and Secondary schools which receives almost 100% funding from the State.

15 Religious Congregations Education Offices School Ethos and Culture Diocesan Education Offices DAs (RE) Department of Christian Doctrine & Evangelization Episcopal Commission for Education Episcopal Commission for Catechetics CORI CPSMA AMCSC / JMB

16 Funding Flow State Funds DES VCS School C&C School VCS School State Funds CEOs Congregations C&C School School

17 Funding IRELAND Direct funding of teachers salaries, school running costs etc. Full State funding for teacher education. No real State funding for Catholic Education Services. State funding for Chaplains in VEC & Community School sectors.

18 Choice The Catholic School was the local school. Parents effectively did not choose a Catholic school. Choice was exercised between VSC and VSC and between VSC and VEC on academic grounds. Teachers also effectively did not choose to teach in a Catholic school.

19 Overview of Irish Education System High value placed upon Education in Ireland. Well regarded by parents & employers. 75% of school leavers go on to some form of third level. Partnership model in place … 1998 Education Act. Extremes of ‘market-model’ and school evaluation explicitly rejected. Limited centralized control. Teaching well regarded – benchmarking of salaries. Focus in next 5 years will favour the primary sector.

20 RE Successes in Irish Context Academically and Professionally qualified RE teachers. New State Syllabus drawn up in partnership Development of Chaplaincy (Pastoral Care of pupils & teachers) Countrywide curriculum & textbooks of good quality. Positive pupil attitudes towards school RE.

21 Problem Areas Activity really limited to those aspects of schools which are immediately covered by State funding. No real RE / catechesis outside of school context. Little work done on pastoral strategies & RE. Links with parish and parents – minimal. Cautious approach to defining Catholic identity.

22 Legal & Constitutional Framework

23 Gravissimum Educationis Rights pertaining to education 1. Universal right of all men and women to education. 2. A sacred right to a moral and religious formation. 3. A right to a specifically Christian Education 4. The right of the Church to establish specifically Catholic schools. 5. Primary and inalienable right and duty of parents to educate their children 6. Right of patents to a free choice of schooling for their children.

24 Irish Constitution Article 42 (concerning Education) The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children. Parents shall be free to provide this education in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognized or established by the State. The State shall not oblige parents in violation of their conscience and lawful preference to send their children to schools established by the State, or to any particular type of school designated by the State. The State shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education. moral. intellectual and social.

25 Irish Constitution Article 42 (concerning Education) The State shall provide for free primary education and shall endeavour to supplement and give reasonable aid to private and corporate educational initiative, and, when the public good requires it, provide other educational facilities or institutions with due regard, however, for the rights of parents, especially in the matter of religious and moral formation. In exceptional cases, where the parents for physical or moral reasons fail in their duty towards their children, the State as guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.

26 Irish Constitution - Article 44 (concerning Religion) The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion. Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen. The State guarantees not to endow any religion. The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.

27 Irish Constitution - Article 44 (concerning Religion) Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not discriminate between schools under the management of different religious denominations, nor be such as to affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction at that school. Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes. The property of any religious denomination or any educational institution shall not be diverted save for necessary works of public utility and on payment of compensation.

28 Five Key Principles White Paper on Education 1995 Pluralism Partnership Equality Quality Accountability

29 Catholic Ethos of the School Education Act (1998) A Board of Management shall: ‘uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school, and at all times act in accordance with any Act of the Oireachtas or instrument relating to the establishment or operation of the school’ and ‘consult with and keep the patron informed of decisions and proposals of the board.’ (section 15. (2) (b) & (c).

30 Supreme Court: payment of chaplains in community schools (1996) While the effect of Art 44.2 is to outlaw the ‘establishment’ by the State of any religion, State aid to a denominational school for educational purposes is not an ‘endowment’ within the meaning of Art 44.2.2. Parental rights to provide for the religious and moral education of their children involve the right to have religious education, beyond mere religious instruction, in the schools their children attend. The role of a chaplain is to help provide this extra dimension to the religious education of children. Therefore payment by the State of chaplains in community schools is a manifestation, under modern conditions, of principles approved by Articles 44 and 42 of the Constitution.

31 Defining Catholic Education

32 Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference Handing on the Faith in the Home (1979) Syllabus for the Religious Education of Catholic Pupils in Post-Primary Schools (1982) Submission to the New Ireland Forum (1984) Guidelines for the Faith Formation and Development of Catholic Students (1999).

33 Management Board Members’ Handbook (CPSMA, revised 2000, page 16) “A Roman Catholic School (which is established in connection with the Minister) aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil: intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and with other people. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic school provides Religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of the pupils in the Catholic Faith”.

34 Home, School, Parish The Need for a Pastoral Strategy The Irish Catholic Bishops have recently stated that “the school community cannot and should not be expected to carry the responsibility for faith formation and development entirely on its own” and have called for a renewed “catechetical vision of the home, school and parish community working together in support of the young person’s journey towards maturity of faith”.

35 The Religious Dimension of Education in the Second Level School

36 Ethos & Staffing Principal Religious Educator Chaplain Ethos

37 The withdrawal of Religious from schools.  Lay principals  Lay members of school Boards of Management  Sustaining the distinctive ethos of the Catholic school and the specific educational educational charism of particular religious congregations?  Provide courses and qualifications for leadership in the Catholic school.  Educational mission statements.

38 Junior Certificate Syllabus in Religious Education (Ecumenical and inter-faith) To foster an awareness that the human search for meaning is common to all peoples, of all ages and at all times; To explore how this search for meaning has found, and continues to find, expression in religion; To appreciate the richness of religious traditions and to acknowledge the non-religious interpretation of life; To identify how understandings of God, religious traditions, and in particular the Christian tradition, have contributed to the culture in which we live, and continue to have an impact on personal life- style, inter-personal relationships and relationships between individuals and their communities and contexts; To contribute to the spiritual and moral development of the student.


40 Activities in which Chaplains are Predominantly Engaged Counselling1.78 Liturgy5.04 Supporting Other Staff5.88 Bereavement Support6.63 Intervening in Discipline Problems8.91 Meeting & Visiting Parents11.05 Hospital Visits12.09 Mean ranks: 1 = highest, 22 = lowest

41 End

42 The distinctive spirit of the Catholic School “No less than other schools does the Catholic school pursue cultural goals and the human formation of youth. But its proper function is to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity, to help youth grow according to the new creatures they were made through baptism as they develop their own personalities, and finally to order the whole of human culture to the news of salvation so that the knowledge the students gradually acquire of the world, life and man is illumined by faith. So indeed the Catholic school, while it is open, as it must be, to the situation of the contemporary world, leads its students to promote efficaciously the good of the earthly city and also prepares them for service in the spread of the Kingdom of God, so that by leading an exemplary apostolic life they become, as it were, a saving leaven in the human community” (GE8).

43 Six fundamental Characteristics of the Catholic School CSTTM 4 1. a place of integral education of the human person through a clear educational project of which Christ is the foundation; 2. having an ecclesial identity 3. having a cultural identity 4. basing its educational mission on the work of love 5. being of service to society 6. being an educating community characterized by distinctive traits.

44 Documents of the Magisterium Gravissimum educationis, the Declaration on Christian Education (1965) General Catechetical Directory (1971) The Catholic School (1977), Catechesi tradendae (1979) Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to the Faith (1982) The Religious Dimension of Education in the Catholic School (1988) Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) General Directory for Catechesis, (1997) The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium (1997).

45 Key theological principles 1. the Church’s involvement in education arises from its ‘salvific mission’ (evangelization) 2. Catholic schools therefore have an ecclesial identity being manifestations of the church itself 3. evangelization requires an engagement not just with individuals but with culture itself 4. authentic education relates to full human development 5. which is nurtured by immersion in a community 6. ultimately full human development can only be understood in Christocentric terms

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