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The nature and role of church schools in the mission of the church

Amankwatia, John (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study addresses the question of church schools’ compatibility with the tradition of liberal education and the extent to which these schools contribute to intolerance in society. Critics of church schools argue that the religious foundation of church schools contributes little to their academic success and that any school with a similar pupil intake will be academically successful. Critics therefore advocate removal of church schools from the English education system. However, using the evidence in the relevant literature, research studies, and eighty Church of England and Roman Catholic schools’ prospectuses, this study argues that church schools understand and express their nature as: (i) denominational; (ii) voluntary-aided; and (iii) comprehensive. This understanding is crucial to the schools’ approach to their role of providing pupils with skills necessary to live in all forms of society. The skills provided in church schools stem from the Christian understanding of Man as made in the image of God to share in, and provide stewardship for, the created order. In conclusion, this study rejects the argument that church schools: (i) contribute to intolerance in society; (ii) indoctrinate pupils; and (iii) undermine pupils’ autonomy for the following reasons: 1. The schools provide Christian education which accepts differences in human nature and prepares individuals to live in diverse communities. 2. Christian education is incompatible with coercion and manipulation. 3. Christian education provides opportunity for pupils either to accept or to reject the Christian faith or teaching.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Keywords:Church school, mission, indoctrination, Christian education
Subjects:BV1460 Religious Education
LB Theory and practice of education
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:59
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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