Education for Mutual Understanding: The Initial Statutory Years

Alan Smith, Alan Robinson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 introduced Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU), and the related theme of Cultural Heritage, as part of the curriculum for all grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland. The statutory provisions relating to these educational themes came into operation in respect of all pupils in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 and in the first year of Key Stage 4 from 1 August 1992. The former Northern Ireland Curriculum Council produced guidance material to support the definition that, Education for Mutual Understanding is about self-respect, and respect for others, and the improvement of relationships between people of differing cultural traditions. (NICC, 1990) The objectives state that as an integral part of their education the themes should enable pupils. to learn to respect and value themselves and others; to appreciate the interdependence of people within society; to know about and understand what is shared as well as what is different about their cultural traditions; and to appreciate how conflict may be handled in non-violent ways. (NICC, 1990) There is no direct assessment of individual pupils concerning EMU and Cultural Heritage. In 1992 a Statutory Order conjoined the objectives of EMU and Cultural Heritage thereby emphasising the close relationship between them. The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order, 1989 also places a statutory responsibility on school governors to report annually to parents on steps taken to promote EMU. Although the themes are a mandatory feature of the curriculum, cross community contact with pupils from other schools remains an optional strategy which teachers are encouraged to use. Schools can apply for financial support from the Cross Community Contact Scheme administered by the Community Relations Branch of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. A number of voluntary and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also offer various forms of support to schools (FOCUS, 1995). EMU: Perceptions and Policy The period between the introduction of legislation and the inclusion of EMU in the curriculum provided an opportunity to consider the implications of EMU's transition from a voluntary activity to a statutory requirement. A research project based in the Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster investigated how the introduction of EMU was perceived by individuals within various domains of the education system and was published as a report, EMU: Perceptions and Policy (Smith and Robinson, 1992). This initial research confirmed that the inclusion of EMU in the statutory curriculum had been largely unanticipated with less than a third of schools having a policy in place. It also became clear that teachers' perceptions of the theme and its purpose were diverse and varied and not restricted to community relations issues in Northern Ireland alone. Teachers also identified more universal aspects, such as gender relations, human rights and ethnic diversity in a European and international context as deriving naturally from the aims of EMU. In the short term, however, a survey Indicated that most schools would rely heavily on a strategy which concentrates on generating more contact between Catholic and Protestant pupils from different schools. This is reflected in the number of schools involved in Department of Education, Cross Community Contact Scheme which has grown steadily since its introduction in 1987. In 1987 only 13% of primary and 24% of second-level schools were involved. In 1991 this had risen to 23% of primary and 39% of secondary. By 1994 42% of primary and 59% of second level schools were involved in cross community contact through the Scheme (see Chapter 4). The first phase of the evaluation had therefore established some base lines in terms of perceptions of EMU within the system, levels of cross-community contact and views on strategies for implementation. Recommendations from the research highlighted the need: to clarify the conceptual framework for EMU; · to promote better co-ordination concerning EMU within and between the various domains of the education system: · to give more priority to teacher education and training in EMU; to clarify long term strategies for the evaluation of EMU.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages107
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Fingerprint

education
school
contact
pupil
curriculum
community
cultural heritage
respect
teacher
education system
inclusion
aim of education
reform
EEMU
gender relations
evaluation
interdependence
grant
parents
human rights

Keywords

  • education mutual understanding northern ireland

Cite this

@book{39ee1b2f0a894e6f9c0ec9583e696cd1,
title = "Education for Mutual Understanding: The Initial Statutory Years",
abstract = "The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 introduced Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU), and the related theme of Cultural Heritage, as part of the curriculum for all grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland. The statutory provisions relating to these educational themes came into operation in respect of all pupils in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 and in the first year of Key Stage 4 from 1 August 1992. The former Northern Ireland Curriculum Council produced guidance material to support the definition that, Education for Mutual Understanding is about self-respect, and respect for others, and the improvement of relationships between people of differing cultural traditions. (NICC, 1990) The objectives state that as an integral part of their education the themes should enable pupils. to learn to respect and value themselves and others; to appreciate the interdependence of people within society; to know about and understand what is shared as well as what is different about their cultural traditions; and to appreciate how conflict may be handled in non-violent ways. (NICC, 1990) There is no direct assessment of individual pupils concerning EMU and Cultural Heritage. In 1992 a Statutory Order conjoined the objectives of EMU and Cultural Heritage thereby emphasising the close relationship between them. The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order, 1989 also places a statutory responsibility on school governors to report annually to parents on steps taken to promote EMU. Although the themes are a mandatory feature of the curriculum, cross community contact with pupils from other schools remains an optional strategy which teachers are encouraged to use. Schools can apply for financial support from the Cross Community Contact Scheme administered by the Community Relations Branch of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. A number of voluntary and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also offer various forms of support to schools (FOCUS, 1995). EMU: Perceptions and Policy The period between the introduction of legislation and the inclusion of EMU in the curriculum provided an opportunity to consider the implications of EMU's transition from a voluntary activity to a statutory requirement. A research project based in the Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster investigated how the introduction of EMU was perceived by individuals within various domains of the education system and was published as a report, EMU: Perceptions and Policy (Smith and Robinson, 1992). This initial research confirmed that the inclusion of EMU in the statutory curriculum had been largely unanticipated with less than a third of schools having a policy in place. It also became clear that teachers' perceptions of the theme and its purpose were diverse and varied and not restricted to community relations issues in Northern Ireland alone. Teachers also identified more universal aspects, such as gender relations, human rights and ethnic diversity in a European and international context as deriving naturally from the aims of EMU. In the short term, however, a survey Indicated that most schools would rely heavily on a strategy which concentrates on generating more contact between Catholic and Protestant pupils from different schools. This is reflected in the number of schools involved in Department of Education, Cross Community Contact Scheme which has grown steadily since its introduction in 1987. In 1987 only 13{\%} of primary and 24{\%} of second-level schools were involved. In 1991 this had risen to 23{\%} of primary and 39{\%} of secondary. By 1994 42{\%} of primary and 59{\%} of second level schools were involved in cross community contact through the Scheme (see Chapter 4). The first phase of the evaluation had therefore established some base lines in terms of perceptions of EMU within the system, levels of cross-community contact and views on strategies for implementation. Recommendations from the research highlighted the need: to clarify the conceptual framework for EMU; · to promote better co-ordination concerning EMU within and between the various domains of the education system: · to give more priority to teacher education and training in EMU; to clarify long term strategies for the evaluation of EMU.",
keywords = "education mutual understanding northern ireland",
author = "Alan Smith and Alan Robinson",
note = "Reference text: Amir. Y. (1969) ‘Contact hypothesis in ethnic relations'. Psychological Bulletin,71, 319-342. Austin, R. (1995) Computer conferencing in History, Occasional Paper 11, London, The Historical Society. Banks, J.A. (1988) Multi-ethnic education: Theory and Practice. Boston, Allyn and Bacon. Barrett, S. and Fudge, C. (1981) Policy and Action, London. Methuen. Cairns, E. (1987) Caught in Crossfire: Children and the Northern Ireland Conflict. Belfast and New York, Appletree Press and Syracuse University Press. Central Community Relations Unit (1991) ‘Community Relations Research Strategy’, Paper issued by CCRU, June 1991. Community Relations Council (199 1-95), Annual Reports, Murray Street, Belfast. Curriculum Council for Wales (1993) CC W Advisory Paper 11: Community Understanding. Cardiff, CCW. Dunn, S. (1986) The Role of Education in the Northern Ireland Conflict’, Oxford Review of Education, 12. Dunn, S., Darby, J., Mullan, K. (1984) Schools Together? Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Dunn, S. and Smith, A. (1989) Inter School Links. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. European Bureau and Youth Council for Northern Ireland (1996) Reconciliation - Cross Community Project. YCNI, Purdy’s Lane, Belfast. FOCUS (1995) Who’s Who in EMU. Belfast. The FOCUS Group, Peace Education Resource Centre, Belfast. Gallagher, A.. Osborne, R. and Cormack, R (1993) ‘Community Relations, Equality and Education’ in After the Reforms: Education and Policy in Northern Ireland, ed. by Osborne, R., Cormack, R. and Gallagher, A., Aldershot, Avebury. Gibson, M. (1984) ‘Approaches to multicultural education in the United States: Some concepts and assumptions, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 15, 94-119. Hargreaves, A. (1989) Curriculum and Assessment Reform. Milton Keynes, Open University Press. Hewstone, M. and Brown, R. (1986) Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters. Oxford, Basil Blackwell. Hinds, J. (1995) ‘A guide to community relations funding, Journal. No. 10, Autumn 95 - journal of the Community Relations Council, Murray Street, Belfast. Lampen, J. (1995) Building The Peace: Good Practice in Community Relations Work in Northern Ireland, Community Relations Council, Belfast. Leicester, M. (1989) Multicultural Education: From Theory to Practice, Windsor, NFER-Nelson. Lemish, P. (1993) ‘Politics of Difference; Educators as Enlightened Oppressors’ paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Atlanta. Georgia, April 1993. Lynch, J. (1986) Multicultural Education - Principles and Practice. London, Routledge and Kegan Paul. Massey, I. (1991) More Than Skin Deep: Developing anti-racist multicultural education in schools. London, Hodder and Stoughton. McCarthy, C. (1991) Multicultural Approaches to Racial Inequality in the United States’, Oxford Review of Education 17, 3. McCully, A. (1995) Educating Teachers in a Divided Society’, in Kerr, D. and O’Neill, C. Professional Preparation and Professional Development in a Climate of Change, Lancaster, University College of St. Martin. McCully, A. and O'Doherty, M. (1996) ‘The Speak Your Piece project’, Annual conference report of the Education Research Network of Northern Ireland. McGivern, M-T. and Harvey, C. (1991) Community Relations Work in the Youth Service, Report for the Youth Council for Northern Ireland. Moffat, C. (1993) Education Together for a Change. Integrated Education and Community Relations in Northern Ireland. Belfast, Fortnight Educational Trust. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, (1993) Civic, Social and Political Education - Draft Syllabus. Dublin, NCEA. National Curriculum Council for England and Wales, (1990) Curriculum Guidance 8: Education for Citizenship. York, NCC. Northern Ireland Council for Educational Development (1988) Education for Mutual Understanding - a Guide. Belfast, NICED. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1989a) Cross-curricular Themes - Consultation Report, Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1989b) 'Delivery of the cross-curricular themes’, NICC Update, Issue No. 2, Nov. 1989. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1990) Cross-curricular Themes - Guidance Materials, Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1992) Development Plan - February 1992. Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1993) Analysis of the educational (cross curricular) themes in the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Draft Working Papers. Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland: Community Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1975, Belfast. HMSO. Northern Ireland: The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, Belfast, HMSO. Northern Ireland, Department of Education (1982) The Improvement of Community Relations: the Contribution of Schools. DENI, Circular 1982/21. Northern Ireland, Department of Education (1987) The Cross Community Contact Scheme. DENI Circular 1987/47. Northern Ireland: Department of Education (1991) Report of the Inspectorate on the Cross Community Contact Scheme, Bangor, Co. Down, DENI. Regional Training Unit (1995) 'Northern Ireland Education and Library Boards’ Regional Training Unit’, Briefing Paper, Belfast, RTU. Regional Training Unit (1996) ‘Other Agencies Regional Short Courses Receiving RTU Support’, Booklet, Belfast, RTU. Richardson, N. (1990) Religious Education as if EMU Really Mattered. Belfast. Christian Education Movement. Robinson, A. (1981) The Schools Cultural Studies Project: a Contribution to Peace in Northern Ireland. New University of Ulster, Coleraine. Robinson, A. (ed) (1988) Education for Mutual Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities. University of Ulster, Coleraine. Robinson, A. (ed) (1993) Higher Education and Training for EMU. Unpublished booklet. Robinson, A. (1993) ‘Communication and contact by video conferencing in the divided society of Northern Ireland’, Journal of Educational Television, Vol. 19, No. 3. Skilbeck, M. (1976) ‘Education and Cultural Change’, Compass: Journal of the Irish Association for Curriculum Development, 5,2. Smith, A. and Dunn. S (1990) Extending Inter School Links: an evaluation of contact between Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. and Robinson, A. (1992a) Education for Mutual Understanding: Perceptions and Policy. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. and Robinson, A. (1992b) EMU in Transition report of a conference on Education for Mutual Understanding. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. (1994) The EMU Promoting School: report of a conference on Education for Mutual Understanding and Cultural Heritage. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. (1995) ‘Education and the Conflict in Northern Ireland’ in Dunn, S.(ed) (1995) Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland.. London, Macmillan. Tajfel. H. (1982) Social Identity and Intergroup Relations, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Trew. K. (1986) ‘Catholic and Protestant Encounter in Northern Ireland’ in Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters, ed. by M. Hewstone and R. Brown, Oxford, Blackwell. Troyna, B. (ed) (1987) Racial Inequality in Education. London, Tavistock. Whitty, C. and Rowe, C. (1993) ‘Five Themes Remain in the Shadows’, Times Educational Supplement, 9 April, 1993. Whitty, C., Rowe, C. and Aggleton, P. (1994) ‘Subjects and Themes in the Secondary School Curriculum’, Research Papers in Education. Vol. 9, No. 2, June 1994. Wilson, D. and Morrow. D. (1996) Watts Out of Conflict: resources for community relations work. Belfast, The Corrymeela Press.",
year = "1996",
language = "English",

}

Education for Mutual Understanding: The Initial Statutory Years. / Smith, Alan; Robinson, Alan.

1996. 107 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

TY - BOOK

T1 - Education for Mutual Understanding: The Initial Statutory Years

AU - Smith, Alan

AU - Robinson, Alan

N1 - Reference text: Amir. Y. (1969) ‘Contact hypothesis in ethnic relations'. Psychological Bulletin,71, 319-342. Austin, R. (1995) Computer conferencing in History, Occasional Paper 11, London, The Historical Society. Banks, J.A. (1988) Multi-ethnic education: Theory and Practice. Boston, Allyn and Bacon. Barrett, S. and Fudge, C. (1981) Policy and Action, London. Methuen. Cairns, E. (1987) Caught in Crossfire: Children and the Northern Ireland Conflict. Belfast and New York, Appletree Press and Syracuse University Press. Central Community Relations Unit (1991) ‘Community Relations Research Strategy’, Paper issued by CCRU, June 1991. Community Relations Council (199 1-95), Annual Reports, Murray Street, Belfast. Curriculum Council for Wales (1993) CC W Advisory Paper 11: Community Understanding. Cardiff, CCW. Dunn, S. (1986) The Role of Education in the Northern Ireland Conflict’, Oxford Review of Education, 12. Dunn, S., Darby, J., Mullan, K. (1984) Schools Together? Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Dunn, S. and Smith, A. (1989) Inter School Links. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. European Bureau and Youth Council for Northern Ireland (1996) Reconciliation - Cross Community Project. YCNI, Purdy’s Lane, Belfast. FOCUS (1995) Who’s Who in EMU. Belfast. The FOCUS Group, Peace Education Resource Centre, Belfast. Gallagher, A.. Osborne, R. and Cormack, R (1993) ‘Community Relations, Equality and Education’ in After the Reforms: Education and Policy in Northern Ireland, ed. by Osborne, R., Cormack, R. and Gallagher, A., Aldershot, Avebury. Gibson, M. (1984) ‘Approaches to multicultural education in the United States: Some concepts and assumptions, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 15, 94-119. Hargreaves, A. (1989) Curriculum and Assessment Reform. Milton Keynes, Open University Press. Hewstone, M. and Brown, R. (1986) Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters. Oxford, Basil Blackwell. Hinds, J. (1995) ‘A guide to community relations funding, Journal. No. 10, Autumn 95 - journal of the Community Relations Council, Murray Street, Belfast. Lampen, J. (1995) Building The Peace: Good Practice in Community Relations Work in Northern Ireland, Community Relations Council, Belfast. Leicester, M. (1989) Multicultural Education: From Theory to Practice, Windsor, NFER-Nelson. Lemish, P. (1993) ‘Politics of Difference; Educators as Enlightened Oppressors’ paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Atlanta. Georgia, April 1993. Lynch, J. (1986) Multicultural Education - Principles and Practice. London, Routledge and Kegan Paul. Massey, I. (1991) More Than Skin Deep: Developing anti-racist multicultural education in schools. London, Hodder and Stoughton. McCarthy, C. (1991) Multicultural Approaches to Racial Inequality in the United States’, Oxford Review of Education 17, 3. McCully, A. (1995) Educating Teachers in a Divided Society’, in Kerr, D. and O’Neill, C. Professional Preparation and Professional Development in a Climate of Change, Lancaster, University College of St. Martin. McCully, A. and O'Doherty, M. (1996) ‘The Speak Your Piece project’, Annual conference report of the Education Research Network of Northern Ireland. McGivern, M-T. and Harvey, C. (1991) Community Relations Work in the Youth Service, Report for the Youth Council for Northern Ireland. Moffat, C. (1993) Education Together for a Change. Integrated Education and Community Relations in Northern Ireland. Belfast, Fortnight Educational Trust. National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, (1993) Civic, Social and Political Education - Draft Syllabus. Dublin, NCEA. National Curriculum Council for England and Wales, (1990) Curriculum Guidance 8: Education for Citizenship. York, NCC. Northern Ireland Council for Educational Development (1988) Education for Mutual Understanding - a Guide. Belfast, NICED. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1989a) Cross-curricular Themes - Consultation Report, Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1989b) 'Delivery of the cross-curricular themes’, NICC Update, Issue No. 2, Nov. 1989. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1990) Cross-curricular Themes - Guidance Materials, Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1992) Development Plan - February 1992. Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland Curriculum Council (1993) Analysis of the educational (cross curricular) themes in the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Draft Working Papers. Belfast, NICC. Northern Ireland: Community Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1975, Belfast. HMSO. Northern Ireland: The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, Belfast, HMSO. Northern Ireland, Department of Education (1982) The Improvement of Community Relations: the Contribution of Schools. DENI, Circular 1982/21. Northern Ireland, Department of Education (1987) The Cross Community Contact Scheme. DENI Circular 1987/47. Northern Ireland: Department of Education (1991) Report of the Inspectorate on the Cross Community Contact Scheme, Bangor, Co. Down, DENI. Regional Training Unit (1995) 'Northern Ireland Education and Library Boards’ Regional Training Unit’, Briefing Paper, Belfast, RTU. Regional Training Unit (1996) ‘Other Agencies Regional Short Courses Receiving RTU Support’, Booklet, Belfast, RTU. Richardson, N. (1990) Religious Education as if EMU Really Mattered. Belfast. Christian Education Movement. Robinson, A. (1981) The Schools Cultural Studies Project: a Contribution to Peace in Northern Ireland. New University of Ulster, Coleraine. Robinson, A. (ed) (1988) Education for Mutual Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities. University of Ulster, Coleraine. Robinson, A. (ed) (1993) Higher Education and Training for EMU. Unpublished booklet. Robinson, A. (1993) ‘Communication and contact by video conferencing in the divided society of Northern Ireland’, Journal of Educational Television, Vol. 19, No. 3. Skilbeck, M. (1976) ‘Education and Cultural Change’, Compass: Journal of the Irish Association for Curriculum Development, 5,2. Smith, A. and Dunn. S (1990) Extending Inter School Links: an evaluation of contact between Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. and Robinson, A. (1992a) Education for Mutual Understanding: Perceptions and Policy. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. and Robinson, A. (1992b) EMU in Transition report of a conference on Education for Mutual Understanding. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. (1994) The EMU Promoting School: report of a conference on Education for Mutual Understanding and Cultural Heritage. Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, Coleraine. Smith, A. (1995) ‘Education and the Conflict in Northern Ireland’ in Dunn, S.(ed) (1995) Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland.. London, Macmillan. Tajfel. H. (1982) Social Identity and Intergroup Relations, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Trew. K. (1986) ‘Catholic and Protestant Encounter in Northern Ireland’ in Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters, ed. by M. Hewstone and R. Brown, Oxford, Blackwell. Troyna, B. (ed) (1987) Racial Inequality in Education. London, Tavistock. Whitty, C. and Rowe, C. (1993) ‘Five Themes Remain in the Shadows’, Times Educational Supplement, 9 April, 1993. Whitty, C., Rowe, C. and Aggleton, P. (1994) ‘Subjects and Themes in the Secondary School Curriculum’, Research Papers in Education. Vol. 9, No. 2, June 1994. Wilson, D. and Morrow. D. (1996) Watts Out of Conflict: resources for community relations work. Belfast, The Corrymeela Press.

PY - 1996

Y1 - 1996

N2 - The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 introduced Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU), and the related theme of Cultural Heritage, as part of the curriculum for all grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland. The statutory provisions relating to these educational themes came into operation in respect of all pupils in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 and in the first year of Key Stage 4 from 1 August 1992. The former Northern Ireland Curriculum Council produced guidance material to support the definition that, Education for Mutual Understanding is about self-respect, and respect for others, and the improvement of relationships between people of differing cultural traditions. (NICC, 1990) The objectives state that as an integral part of their education the themes should enable pupils. to learn to respect and value themselves and others; to appreciate the interdependence of people within society; to know about and understand what is shared as well as what is different about their cultural traditions; and to appreciate how conflict may be handled in non-violent ways. (NICC, 1990) There is no direct assessment of individual pupils concerning EMU and Cultural Heritage. In 1992 a Statutory Order conjoined the objectives of EMU and Cultural Heritage thereby emphasising the close relationship between them. The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order, 1989 also places a statutory responsibility on school governors to report annually to parents on steps taken to promote EMU. Although the themes are a mandatory feature of the curriculum, cross community contact with pupils from other schools remains an optional strategy which teachers are encouraged to use. Schools can apply for financial support from the Cross Community Contact Scheme administered by the Community Relations Branch of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. A number of voluntary and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also offer various forms of support to schools (FOCUS, 1995). EMU: Perceptions and Policy The period between the introduction of legislation and the inclusion of EMU in the curriculum provided an opportunity to consider the implications of EMU's transition from a voluntary activity to a statutory requirement. A research project based in the Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster investigated how the introduction of EMU was perceived by individuals within various domains of the education system and was published as a report, EMU: Perceptions and Policy (Smith and Robinson, 1992). This initial research confirmed that the inclusion of EMU in the statutory curriculum had been largely unanticipated with less than a third of schools having a policy in place. It also became clear that teachers' perceptions of the theme and its purpose were diverse and varied and not restricted to community relations issues in Northern Ireland alone. Teachers also identified more universal aspects, such as gender relations, human rights and ethnic diversity in a European and international context as deriving naturally from the aims of EMU. In the short term, however, a survey Indicated that most schools would rely heavily on a strategy which concentrates on generating more contact between Catholic and Protestant pupils from different schools. This is reflected in the number of schools involved in Department of Education, Cross Community Contact Scheme which has grown steadily since its introduction in 1987. In 1987 only 13% of primary and 24% of second-level schools were involved. In 1991 this had risen to 23% of primary and 39% of secondary. By 1994 42% of primary and 59% of second level schools were involved in cross community contact through the Scheme (see Chapter 4). The first phase of the evaluation had therefore established some base lines in terms of perceptions of EMU within the system, levels of cross-community contact and views on strategies for implementation. Recommendations from the research highlighted the need: to clarify the conceptual framework for EMU; · to promote better co-ordination concerning EMU within and between the various domains of the education system: · to give more priority to teacher education and training in EMU; to clarify long term strategies for the evaluation of EMU.

AB - The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 introduced Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU), and the related theme of Cultural Heritage, as part of the curriculum for all grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland. The statutory provisions relating to these educational themes came into operation in respect of all pupils in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 and in the first year of Key Stage 4 from 1 August 1992. The former Northern Ireland Curriculum Council produced guidance material to support the definition that, Education for Mutual Understanding is about self-respect, and respect for others, and the improvement of relationships between people of differing cultural traditions. (NICC, 1990) The objectives state that as an integral part of their education the themes should enable pupils. to learn to respect and value themselves and others; to appreciate the interdependence of people within society; to know about and understand what is shared as well as what is different about their cultural traditions; and to appreciate how conflict may be handled in non-violent ways. (NICC, 1990) There is no direct assessment of individual pupils concerning EMU and Cultural Heritage. In 1992 a Statutory Order conjoined the objectives of EMU and Cultural Heritage thereby emphasising the close relationship between them. The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order, 1989 also places a statutory responsibility on school governors to report annually to parents on steps taken to promote EMU. Although the themes are a mandatory feature of the curriculum, cross community contact with pupils from other schools remains an optional strategy which teachers are encouraged to use. Schools can apply for financial support from the Cross Community Contact Scheme administered by the Community Relations Branch of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. A number of voluntary and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also offer various forms of support to schools (FOCUS, 1995). EMU: Perceptions and Policy The period between the introduction of legislation and the inclusion of EMU in the curriculum provided an opportunity to consider the implications of EMU's transition from a voluntary activity to a statutory requirement. A research project based in the Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster investigated how the introduction of EMU was perceived by individuals within various domains of the education system and was published as a report, EMU: Perceptions and Policy (Smith and Robinson, 1992). This initial research confirmed that the inclusion of EMU in the statutory curriculum had been largely unanticipated with less than a third of schools having a policy in place. It also became clear that teachers' perceptions of the theme and its purpose were diverse and varied and not restricted to community relations issues in Northern Ireland alone. Teachers also identified more universal aspects, such as gender relations, human rights and ethnic diversity in a European and international context as deriving naturally from the aims of EMU. In the short term, however, a survey Indicated that most schools would rely heavily on a strategy which concentrates on generating more contact between Catholic and Protestant pupils from different schools. This is reflected in the number of schools involved in Department of Education, Cross Community Contact Scheme which has grown steadily since its introduction in 1987. In 1987 only 13% of primary and 24% of second-level schools were involved. In 1991 this had risen to 23% of primary and 39% of secondary. By 1994 42% of primary and 59% of second level schools were involved in cross community contact through the Scheme (see Chapter 4). The first phase of the evaluation had therefore established some base lines in terms of perceptions of EMU within the system, levels of cross-community contact and views on strategies for implementation. Recommendations from the research highlighted the need: to clarify the conceptual framework for EMU; · to promote better co-ordination concerning EMU within and between the various domains of the education system: · to give more priority to teacher education and training in EMU; to clarify long term strategies for the evaluation of EMU.

KW - education mutual understanding northern ireland

M3 - Commissioned report

BT - Education for Mutual Understanding: The Initial Statutory Years

ER -