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A study of collective worship in non-denominational state secondary mixed schools in England

Inglis, Kathryn Lesley Carmella (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study is practitioner led research into collective worship in secondary, non-denominational, mixed state schools in England. It focuses upon a number of key questions: what are the functions of collective worship in the twenty first century? What were the functions of collective worship in the previous two centuries? How is it possible to explain why successive governments have not reworked the law on collective worship in non-denominational state schools? What is the future of collective worship?
This research begins by identifying the issues underpinning the practice of collective worship, for example its history and the philosophical, sociological and spiritual aspects of it. These are then addressed in the two literature chapters – the first taking an historical approach tracing the legislation and the second exploring other angles but including an overview of collective worship in the light of Wright Mills’ (1959) analytical framework.
The methodological approach is qualitative using a combination of surveys, case study schools and a reflective journal. What emerges is a picture of teachers leading assemblies which hinge on what they consider to be a common morality, not necessarily religious and strong evidence of an ignoring of the ‘Christian worship’ dimension of the current legislation. Reasons for teachers’ non-compliance with the law, range from pupils’ largely secular backgrounds to compulsory worship not being intrinsically educational.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hull, John M. and Harber, Clive
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:BL Religion
BV1460 Religious Education
LA History of education
LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3394
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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