Citizenship education in divided societies: teachers' perspectives in Northern Ireland

Ulrike Niens, Una O'Connor, Alan Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article aimed to investigate in what ways teachers’ developing understandings ofcitizenship education in a divided society reflect discourses around national citizenshipand controversial issues. Based on thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with13 post-primary teachers in Northern Ireland undertaking an in-service programme incitizenship, findings indicate that the controversial nature of past conflict maintains itssensitivity in the educational context though other categories of potential exclusion,such as race and sexuality, compete for space in educational discourse and teaching.Few teachers used controversial issues identified as challenging hegemonic beliefs asan opportunity for role modelling citizenship. However, teachers rarely explored thecomplex interlinkages between traditional and alternative categories of exclusion. It isargued that this may render teachers’ understandings of citizenship and societal conflictdisconnected, which in turn may hinder the potential for citizenship education toaddress societal divisions and to promote active peace in the long term.
LanguageEnglish
Pages128-141
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2013

Fingerprint

citizenship
education
teacher
society
sexuality
exclusion
teaching
discourse
peace
modeling
Teaching
interview

Keywords

  • citizenship education
  • divided societies
  • controversial issues

Cite this

@article{9c72fac86989442e8c46f17e9334347f,
title = "Citizenship education in divided societies: teachers' perspectives in Northern Ireland",
abstract = "This article aimed to investigate in what ways teachers’ developing understandings ofcitizenship education in a divided society reflect discourses around national citizenshipand controversial issues. Based on thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with13 post-primary teachers in Northern Ireland undertaking an in-service programme incitizenship, findings indicate that the controversial nature of past conflict maintains itssensitivity in the educational context though other categories of potential exclusion,such as race and sexuality, compete for space in educational discourse and teaching.Few teachers used controversial issues identified as challenging hegemonic beliefs asan opportunity for role modelling citizenship. However, teachers rarely explored thecomplex interlinkages between traditional and alternative categories of exclusion. It isargued that this may render teachers’ understandings of citizenship and societal conflictdisconnected, which in turn may hinder the potential for citizenship education toaddress societal divisions and to promote active peace in the long term.",
keywords = "citizenship education, divided societies, controversial issues",
author = "Ulrike Niens and Una O'Connor and Alan Smith",
note = "Reference text: Arlow, M., 2004. Citizenship education in a divided society. In: S. Tawil and A. Harley, eds. Education, conflict and social cohesion. Geneva: UNESCO International Bureau of Education. Ashe, F., 2009. The pedagogical challenges of teaching sexual politics in the context of ethnic division. Enhancing learning in the social sciences, 2 (2), 50–65. Banks, J.A., 2008. Diversity, group identity, and citizenship education in a global age. Educational researcher, 37 (3), 129–139. Bar-Tal, D., 1996. Development of social categories and stereotypes in early childhood: the case of ‘the Arab’ concept formation, stereotype and attitudes by Jewish children in Israel. International journal of intercultural relations, 20, 341–370. Bar-Tal, D., Rosen, Y. and Nets-Zehngut, R., 2010. Peace education in societies involved in intractable conflicts: goals, conditions and directions. In: G. Salomon and E. Cairns, eds. Handbook of peace education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Bickmore, K., 2006. Democratic social cohesion (assimilation)? Representations of social conflict in Canadian public school curriculum. Canadian journal of education, 29 (2), 359–386. Bickmore, K., 2007. Linking global with local: cross-cultural conflict education. In: F. Leach and M. Dunne, eds. Education, conflict and reconciliation: international perspectives. Berne: Peter Lang. Borooah, V.K. and Mangan, J., 2007. Love thy neighbour: how much bigotry is there in Western countries? Kyklos, 60 (3), 295–317. Braun, V. and Clarke, V., 2006. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3, 77–101. CCEA (Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment), 2006. Local and global citizenship at fey stage 3, preliminary evaluation findings. Coleraine: UNESCO Centre, School of Education, University of Ulster. Davies, L., 2005. Teaching about conflict through citizenship education. International journal of citizenship and teacher education, 1 (2), 17–34. U. Niens et al. Department of Education Northern Ireland, 2011. Integrated schools, [online]. Available from: http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/85-schools/10-types_of_school-nischools_pg/16-schoolsintegratedschools_pg.htm. Donnelly, C., 2004. Constructing the ethos of tolerance and respect in an integrated school: the role of teachers. British educational research journal, 30 (2), 263–278. Donnelly, C. and Hughes, J., 2006. Contact, culture and context: evidence from mixed faith schools in Northern Ireland and Israel. Comparative education, 42 (4), 493–516. Elwood, J. et al., 2004. Equality awareness in teacher education and training in Northern Ireland: summary report. Belfast: Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Faulks, K., 2006. Rethinking citizenship education in England: some lessons from contemporary social and political theory. Education, citizenship and social justice, 1 (2), 123–140. Giroux, H.A., 1984. Ideology, culture and the process of schooling. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Hess, D.E., 2004. Controversies about controversial issues in democratic education. Political science and politics, 37 (2), 257–261. Hess, D.E., 2008. Controversial issues and democratic discourse. In: L.S. Levstick and C.A. Thyson, eds. Handbook of research in social studies education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Hewstone, M. et al., 2005. Intergroup contact in a divided society: challenging segregation in Northern Ireland. In: D. Abrams, M.A. Hogg and J.M. Marques, eds. The social psychology of inclusion and exclusion. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press. Hughes, J., 2008. Peace, reconciliation and a shared future: a policy shift or more of the same? Community development journal, 44 (1), 2–37. Jarman, N., 2005. Changing patterns and future planning: migration and Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research. Jarman, N. and Tennant, A., 2003. An acceptable prejudice? Homophobic violence and harassment in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research. Kerr, D., McCarthy, S. and Smith, A., 2002. Citizenship education in England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. European journal of education, 37 (2), 179–191. Kimmel, M.S., 2007. Masculinity as homophobia: fear, shame and silence in the construction of gender identity. In: N. Cook, ed. Gender relations in global perspective: essential readings. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press. King, J.T., 2009. Teaching and learning about controversial issues in Northern Ireland. Theory and research in social education, 37 (2), 215–246. Knox, C., 2011. Tackling racism in Northern Ireland: ‘The race hate capital of Europe’. Journal of social policy, 40 (2), 387–412. Larkin, C., 2001. Citizenship education or crowd control? The crick report and the role of peace education and conflict resolution in the new curriculum, Working Paper No. 9 [online]. Available from: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/cad/confres/assets/ccr9.pdf [Accessed 29 January 2011]. Leenders, H., Veugelers, W. and De Kat, E., 2008. Teachers’ views on citizenship education in secondary education in The Netherlands. Cambridge journal of education, 38 (2), 155–170. Leonard, M., 2007. Children’s citizenship education in politically sensitive societies. Childhood, 14 (4), 487–503. Lister, R., 2008. Inclusive citizenship, gender and poverty: some implications for education for citizenship. Citizenship teaching and learning, 4 (1), 3–20. Livesey, G.E. et al., 2007. The nature and extent of bullying in schools in the North of Ireland. Belfast: Department of Education Northern Ireland. May, S., ed., 1999. Critical multiculturalism: rethinking multicultural and antiracist education. London: Routledge Falmer. McAndrew, M., 2002. Ethnic relations and education in divided societies: Belgium, Catalonia, Northern Ireland, Quebec. Kolor, journal on moving communities, 1, 5–19. McCully, A., 2006. Practitioner perceptions of their role in facilitating the handling of controversial issues in contested societies: a Northern Irish experience. Educational review, 58 (1), 51–65. McEvoy, L., 2007. Beneath the rhetoric: policy approximation and citizenship education in Northern Ireland. Education, citizenship & social justice, 2 (2), 135–157. McGarry, J. and O’Leary, B., 2004. The Northern Ireland conflict: consociational engagements. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Citizenship Studies 13 McNamee, H., Lloyd, K. and Schubotz, D., 2008. Same sex attraction, homophobic bullying and mental health of young people in Northern Ireland. Journal of Youth Studies, 11 (1), 33–46. Mesev, V.E., et al., 2008. Measuring and mapping conflict-related deaths and segregation: lessons from the Belfast ‘troubles’. In: D. Sui, ed. Geospatial technologies and homeland security: research frontiers and future challenges. New York: Springer. Muldoon, O., McLaughlin, K. and Trew, K., 2007. Adolescents’ perceptions of national identification and socialization: a grounded analysis. British journal of developmental psychology, 25 (4), 579–594. Niens, U. and Cairns, E., 2008. Integrated education in Northern Ireland: a review. In: D. Berliner and H. Kupermintz, eds. Fostering change in institutions, environments, and people: a festschrift in honor of Gavriel Salomon. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Niens, U. and Chastenay, M.H., 2008. Educating for peace? Citizenship education in Quebec and Northern Ireland. Comparative education review, 52 (4), 519–540. Niens, U., Reilly, J. and McLaughlin, R., 2006. The need for human rights education in Northern Ireland: a pupil survey. Peace & conflict: journal of peace psychology, 12 (3), 251–268. Osler, A. and Starkey, H., 2000. Citizenship, human rights and cultural diversity. In: A. Osler, ed. Citizenship and democracy in schools: diversity, identity, equality. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books. Osler, A. and Starkey, H., 2006. Education for democratic citizenship: a review of research, policy and practice 1995–2005. Research papers in education, 21 (4), 433–466. Oulton, C., et al., 2004. Controversial issues – teachers’ attitudes and practices in the context of citizenship education. Oxford review of education, 30 (4), 489–507. Paterson, L., 2000. Does civil society speak for the people? Evidence from a survey of Scottish teachers. The sociological review, 48 (1), 102–123. Radford, K., Betts, J. and Ostermeyer, M., 2006. Policing, accountability and the lesbian, gay and homosexual community in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute of Conflict Research. Reardon, B.A., 1997. Human rights as education for peace. In: G.J. Andrepoulos and R.P. Claude, eds. Human rights education for the twenty-first century. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Salomon, G., 2004. Does peace education make a difference in the context of an intractable conflict? Peace & conflict: journal of peace psychology, 10 (3), 257–274. Smith, A., 2003. Citizenship education in Northern Ireland: beyond national identity? Cambridge journal of education, 33 (1), 15–31. Smith, A. and Robinson, A., 1996. Education for mutual understanding: the initial statutory years. Coleraine: Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster. Smith, A. et al., 2008. A values-based approach to teacher education. Teaching & learning research programme, 35 [online]. Available from: http://unesco.ulster.ac.uk/PDFs/values_research_briefing.pdf [Accessed 29 January 2011]. Stradling, R., 1984. The teaching of controversial issues: an evaluation. Educational review, 36 (2), 121–129. Stringer, M. et al., 2010. Parental and school effects on children’s political attitudes in Northern Ireland. British journal of educational psychology, 80, 223–240. Tam, T. et al., 2007. The impact of intergroup emotions on forgiveness in Northern Ireland. Group processes intergroup relations, 10 (1), 119–136. University of Ulster, 2008. Evaluation of the pilot introduction of education for local & global citizenship into the revised Northern Ireland curriculum. Coleraine: UNESCO Centre, School of Education, University of Ulster. Weinstein, H.M., Freedman, S.W. and Hughson, H., 2007. School voices. Education, citizenship and social justice, 2 (1), 41–47.",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1080/13621025.2012.716214",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "128--141",
journal = "Citizenship Studies",
issn = "1362-1025",
number = "1",

}

Citizenship education in divided societies: teachers' perspectives in Northern Ireland. / Niens, Ulrike; O'Connor, Una; Smith, Alan.

In: Citizenship Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, 10.01.2013, p. 128-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Citizenship education in divided societies: teachers' perspectives in Northern Ireland

AU - Niens, Ulrike

AU - O'Connor, Una

AU - Smith, Alan

N1 - Reference text: Arlow, M., 2004. Citizenship education in a divided society. In: S. Tawil and A. Harley, eds. Education, conflict and social cohesion. Geneva: UNESCO International Bureau of Education. Ashe, F., 2009. The pedagogical challenges of teaching sexual politics in the context of ethnic division. Enhancing learning in the social sciences, 2 (2), 50–65. Banks, J.A., 2008. Diversity, group identity, and citizenship education in a global age. Educational researcher, 37 (3), 129–139. Bar-Tal, D., 1996. Development of social categories and stereotypes in early childhood: the case of ‘the Arab’ concept formation, stereotype and attitudes by Jewish children in Israel. International journal of intercultural relations, 20, 341–370. Bar-Tal, D., Rosen, Y. and Nets-Zehngut, R., 2010. Peace education in societies involved in intractable conflicts: goals, conditions and directions. In: G. Salomon and E. Cairns, eds. Handbook of peace education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Bickmore, K., 2006. Democratic social cohesion (assimilation)? Representations of social conflict in Canadian public school curriculum. Canadian journal of education, 29 (2), 359–386. Bickmore, K., 2007. Linking global with local: cross-cultural conflict education. In: F. Leach and M. Dunne, eds. Education, conflict and reconciliation: international perspectives. Berne: Peter Lang. Borooah, V.K. and Mangan, J., 2007. Love thy neighbour: how much bigotry is there in Western countries? Kyklos, 60 (3), 295–317. Braun, V. and Clarke, V., 2006. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3, 77–101. CCEA (Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment), 2006. Local and global citizenship at fey stage 3, preliminary evaluation findings. Coleraine: UNESCO Centre, School of Education, University of Ulster. Davies, L., 2005. Teaching about conflict through citizenship education. International journal of citizenship and teacher education, 1 (2), 17–34. U. Niens et al. Department of Education Northern Ireland, 2011. Integrated schools, [online]. Available from: http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/85-schools/10-types_of_school-nischools_pg/16-schoolsintegratedschools_pg.htm. Donnelly, C., 2004. Constructing the ethos of tolerance and respect in an integrated school: the role of teachers. British educational research journal, 30 (2), 263–278. Donnelly, C. and Hughes, J., 2006. Contact, culture and context: evidence from mixed faith schools in Northern Ireland and Israel. Comparative education, 42 (4), 493–516. Elwood, J. et al., 2004. Equality awareness in teacher education and training in Northern Ireland: summary report. Belfast: Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Faulks, K., 2006. Rethinking citizenship education in England: some lessons from contemporary social and political theory. Education, citizenship and social justice, 1 (2), 123–140. Giroux, H.A., 1984. Ideology, culture and the process of schooling. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Hess, D.E., 2004. Controversies about controversial issues in democratic education. Political science and politics, 37 (2), 257–261. Hess, D.E., 2008. Controversial issues and democratic discourse. In: L.S. Levstick and C.A. Thyson, eds. Handbook of research in social studies education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Hewstone, M. et al., 2005. Intergroup contact in a divided society: challenging segregation in Northern Ireland. In: D. Abrams, M.A. Hogg and J.M. Marques, eds. The social psychology of inclusion and exclusion. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press. Hughes, J., 2008. Peace, reconciliation and a shared future: a policy shift or more of the same? Community development journal, 44 (1), 2–37. Jarman, N., 2005. Changing patterns and future planning: migration and Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research. Jarman, N. and Tennant, A., 2003. An acceptable prejudice? Homophobic violence and harassment in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research. Kerr, D., McCarthy, S. and Smith, A., 2002. Citizenship education in England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. European journal of education, 37 (2), 179–191. Kimmel, M.S., 2007. Masculinity as homophobia: fear, shame and silence in the construction of gender identity. In: N. Cook, ed. Gender relations in global perspective: essential readings. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press. King, J.T., 2009. Teaching and learning about controversial issues in Northern Ireland. Theory and research in social education, 37 (2), 215–246. Knox, C., 2011. Tackling racism in Northern Ireland: ‘The race hate capital of Europe’. Journal of social policy, 40 (2), 387–412. Larkin, C., 2001. Citizenship education or crowd control? The crick report and the role of peace education and conflict resolution in the new curriculum, Working Paper No. 9 [online]. Available from: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/cad/confres/assets/ccr9.pdf [Accessed 29 January 2011]. Leenders, H., Veugelers, W. and De Kat, E., 2008. Teachers’ views on citizenship education in secondary education in The Netherlands. Cambridge journal of education, 38 (2), 155–170. Leonard, M., 2007. Children’s citizenship education in politically sensitive societies. Childhood, 14 (4), 487–503. Lister, R., 2008. Inclusive citizenship, gender and poverty: some implications for education for citizenship. Citizenship teaching and learning, 4 (1), 3–20. Livesey, G.E. et al., 2007. The nature and extent of bullying in schools in the North of Ireland. Belfast: Department of Education Northern Ireland. May, S., ed., 1999. Critical multiculturalism: rethinking multicultural and antiracist education. London: Routledge Falmer. McAndrew, M., 2002. Ethnic relations and education in divided societies: Belgium, Catalonia, Northern Ireland, Quebec. Kolor, journal on moving communities, 1, 5–19. McCully, A., 2006. Practitioner perceptions of their role in facilitating the handling of controversial issues in contested societies: a Northern Irish experience. Educational review, 58 (1), 51–65. McEvoy, L., 2007. Beneath the rhetoric: policy approximation and citizenship education in Northern Ireland. Education, citizenship & social justice, 2 (2), 135–157. McGarry, J. and O’Leary, B., 2004. The Northern Ireland conflict: consociational engagements. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Citizenship Studies 13 McNamee, H., Lloyd, K. and Schubotz, D., 2008. Same sex attraction, homophobic bullying and mental health of young people in Northern Ireland. Journal of Youth Studies, 11 (1), 33–46. Mesev, V.E., et al., 2008. Measuring and mapping conflict-related deaths and segregation: lessons from the Belfast ‘troubles’. In: D. Sui, ed. Geospatial technologies and homeland security: research frontiers and future challenges. New York: Springer. Muldoon, O., McLaughlin, K. and Trew, K., 2007. Adolescents’ perceptions of national identification and socialization: a grounded analysis. British journal of developmental psychology, 25 (4), 579–594. Niens, U. and Cairns, E., 2008. Integrated education in Northern Ireland: a review. In: D. Berliner and H. Kupermintz, eds. Fostering change in institutions, environments, and people: a festschrift in honor of Gavriel Salomon. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Niens, U. and Chastenay, M.H., 2008. Educating for peace? Citizenship education in Quebec and Northern Ireland. Comparative education review, 52 (4), 519–540. Niens, U., Reilly, J. and McLaughlin, R., 2006. The need for human rights education in Northern Ireland: a pupil survey. Peace & conflict: journal of peace psychology, 12 (3), 251–268. Osler, A. and Starkey, H., 2000. Citizenship, human rights and cultural diversity. In: A. Osler, ed. Citizenship and democracy in schools: diversity, identity, equality. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books. Osler, A. and Starkey, H., 2006. Education for democratic citizenship: a review of research, policy and practice 1995–2005. Research papers in education, 21 (4), 433–466. Oulton, C., et al., 2004. Controversial issues – teachers’ attitudes and practices in the context of citizenship education. Oxford review of education, 30 (4), 489–507. Paterson, L., 2000. Does civil society speak for the people? Evidence from a survey of Scottish teachers. The sociological review, 48 (1), 102–123. Radford, K., Betts, J. and Ostermeyer, M., 2006. Policing, accountability and the lesbian, gay and homosexual community in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute of Conflict Research. Reardon, B.A., 1997. Human rights as education for peace. In: G.J. Andrepoulos and R.P. Claude, eds. Human rights education for the twenty-first century. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Salomon, G., 2004. Does peace education make a difference in the context of an intractable conflict? Peace & conflict: journal of peace psychology, 10 (3), 257–274. Smith, A., 2003. Citizenship education in Northern Ireland: beyond national identity? Cambridge journal of education, 33 (1), 15–31. Smith, A. and Robinson, A., 1996. Education for mutual understanding: the initial statutory years. Coleraine: Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster. Smith, A. et al., 2008. A values-based approach to teacher education. Teaching & learning research programme, 35 [online]. Available from: http://unesco.ulster.ac.uk/PDFs/values_research_briefing.pdf [Accessed 29 January 2011]. Stradling, R., 1984. The teaching of controversial issues: an evaluation. Educational review, 36 (2), 121–129. Stringer, M. et al., 2010. Parental and school effects on children’s political attitudes in Northern Ireland. British journal of educational psychology, 80, 223–240. Tam, T. et al., 2007. The impact of intergroup emotions on forgiveness in Northern Ireland. Group processes intergroup relations, 10 (1), 119–136. University of Ulster, 2008. Evaluation of the pilot introduction of education for local & global citizenship into the revised Northern Ireland curriculum. Coleraine: UNESCO Centre, School of Education, University of Ulster. Weinstein, H.M., Freedman, S.W. and Hughson, H., 2007. School voices. Education, citizenship and social justice, 2 (1), 41–47.

PY - 2013/1/10

Y1 - 2013/1/10

N2 - This article aimed to investigate in what ways teachers’ developing understandings ofcitizenship education in a divided society reflect discourses around national citizenshipand controversial issues. Based on thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with13 post-primary teachers in Northern Ireland undertaking an in-service programme incitizenship, findings indicate that the controversial nature of past conflict maintains itssensitivity in the educational context though other categories of potential exclusion,such as race and sexuality, compete for space in educational discourse and teaching.Few teachers used controversial issues identified as challenging hegemonic beliefs asan opportunity for role modelling citizenship. However, teachers rarely explored thecomplex interlinkages between traditional and alternative categories of exclusion. It isargued that this may render teachers’ understandings of citizenship and societal conflictdisconnected, which in turn may hinder the potential for citizenship education toaddress societal divisions and to promote active peace in the long term.

AB - This article aimed to investigate in what ways teachers’ developing understandings ofcitizenship education in a divided society reflect discourses around national citizenshipand controversial issues. Based on thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with13 post-primary teachers in Northern Ireland undertaking an in-service programme incitizenship, findings indicate that the controversial nature of past conflict maintains itssensitivity in the educational context though other categories of potential exclusion,such as race and sexuality, compete for space in educational discourse and teaching.Few teachers used controversial issues identified as challenging hegemonic beliefs asan opportunity for role modelling citizenship. However, teachers rarely explored thecomplex interlinkages between traditional and alternative categories of exclusion. It isargued that this may render teachers’ understandings of citizenship and societal conflictdisconnected, which in turn may hinder the potential for citizenship education toaddress societal divisions and to promote active peace in the long term.

KW - citizenship education

KW - divided societies

KW - controversial issues

U2 - 10.1080/13621025.2012.716214

DO - 10.1080/13621025.2012.716214

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 128

EP - 141

JO - Citizenship Studies

T2 - Citizenship Studies

JF - Citizenship Studies

SN - 1362-1025

IS - 1

ER -