Integrated Schools and Intergroup Relations in Northern Ireland: the importance of Parents

Caitlin Donnelly, Andrea Furey, Joanne Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract Background: Integrated schools were established in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. With an explicit intention to build better relations between Catholics and Protestants, it has an intuitive appeal in a society which has long experienced sectarian division. Whilst the sector has attracted considerable research, less is understood about how parents’ perceive the approach adopted by schools to build intergroup relations.Purpose: The present article seeks to address the gap in the literature by exploring parents’ views of integrated education. Drawing on theories of intergroup contact, the paper seeks specifically to explore how parents and Headteacherss perceive and negotiate the approach that the schools adopt to build intergroup relations. Method: In an attempt to probe the deeper meanings that participants attach to integrated education, a qualitative research approach was adopted; semi structured interviews were carried out with 17 parents and 2 Head teachers in two integrated primary schools. Findings: Through the data analyses, three main aspects were evident. Firstly, the study reveals something of the relational dynamic between Headteachers and parents and the significance of this relationship for determining how intergroup relations are pursued in integrated schools. Secondly, it highlights the nebulous nature of identity salience and the practical challenges of making identity salient within mixed identity contexts. Finally, the study suggests the value of qualitative approaches for exploring intergroup contact initiatives. Conclusions:Overall, the paper demonstrates the inherent challenges of establishing an integrated school where good relations will be developed when multiple interpretations of what constitutes an appropriate response to difference and diversity prevails.
LanguageEnglish
JournalEducational Research
Volumen/a
Early online date30 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2016

Fingerprint

parents
school
contact
research approach
qualitative research
primary school
appeal
education
interpretation
teacher
interview

Keywords

  • Integrated Schools
  • Parents
  • Intergroup contact
  • Northern Ireland
  • identity salience

Cite this

@article{8af6914003ce43bc8d50549ba5c29913,
title = "Integrated Schools and Intergroup Relations in Northern Ireland: the importance of Parents",
abstract = "Abstract Background: Integrated schools were established in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. With an explicit intention to build better relations between Catholics and Protestants, it has an intuitive appeal in a society which has long experienced sectarian division. Whilst the sector has attracted considerable research, less is understood about how parents’ perceive the approach adopted by schools to build intergroup relations.Purpose: The present article seeks to address the gap in the literature by exploring parents’ views of integrated education. Drawing on theories of intergroup contact, the paper seeks specifically to explore how parents and Headteacherss perceive and negotiate the approach that the schools adopt to build intergroup relations. Method: In an attempt to probe the deeper meanings that participants attach to integrated education, a qualitative research approach was adopted; semi structured interviews were carried out with 17 parents and 2 Head teachers in two integrated primary schools. Findings: Through the data analyses, three main aspects were evident. Firstly, the study reveals something of the relational dynamic between Headteachers and parents and the significance of this relationship for determining how intergroup relations are pursued in integrated schools. Secondly, it highlights the nebulous nature of identity salience and the practical challenges of making identity salient within mixed identity contexts. Finally, the study suggests the value of qualitative approaches for exploring intergroup contact initiatives. Conclusions:Overall, the paper demonstrates the inherent challenges of establishing an integrated school where good relations will be developed when multiple interpretations of what constitutes an appropriate response to difference and diversity prevails.",
keywords = "Integrated Schools, Parents, Intergroup contact, Northern Ireland, identity salience",
author = "Caitlin Donnelly and Andrea Furey and Joanne Hughes",
note = "UIR Compliant - evidence uploaded to other files Reference text: Allport, G. W., (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Bekerman, Z., & Zembylas, M., (2016). Identity negotiations in conflict-ridden societies: Historical and anthropological perspectives Paedagogica Historica. 52(1-2), 201-218. Birch, M., Miller, T., Mauthner, M & Jessop, J., (2012) Introduction in M Mauthner, M Birch, J Jessop, T miller Ethics in Qualitative Research London: Sage Bott, E, (2010) Favourites and others: reflexivity and the shaping of subjectivities and data in qualitative research Qualitative Research vol. 10(2) 159–173 Boyatzis R.E, (1998) Transforming Qualitative Information. Sage: Cleveland Brown, R ., Vivian, J., & Hewstone, M. (1999) Changing attitudes through intergroup contact: the effects of group membership salience European Journal of Social Psychology. 29:741-764 Crozier, G. & Davies, L (2007), Hard to reach parents or hard to reach schools? A discussion of home–school relations, with particular reference to Bangladeshi and Pakistani parents British Educational Research Journal 33: 295–313 Denzin, N.K & Lincoln, Y. S., (2011) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research USA: Sage Integrated Education Fund (2016) List of Integrated Schools in Northern Ireland http://www.ief.org.uk/resources/integrated-schools-northern-ireland/ (accessed June 2016) Dixon J., Durrheim, K & Tredoux, C., (2005) Beyond the Optimal Contact Strategy A Reality Check for the Contact Hypothesis American Psychologist 60: 697–711 Dixon, J & Reicher, S (1997) intergroup contact and desegregation in the new South Africa British Journal of Social Psychology, 36: 361-381 Ganiel, G., & Dixon, P., (2008), Religion, pragmatic fundamentalism and the transformation of the Northern Ireland conflict, Journal of Peace Research, 45: 419-436 Dickson Switft, V; James, E ; Kippen S and Liamputtong P (2007) Doing sensitive research: what challenges do qualitative researchers face? Qualitative Research vol. 7(3) 327–353 Donnelly, C. 2004 (a) “What Price Harmony? Teachers’ Methods of Delivering an Ethos of Tolerance and Respect for Diversity in an Integrated School in Northern Ireland, Educational Research 46: 3–16. Donnelly, C. 2004(b) Constructing the Ethos of Tolerance and Respect in an Integrated School: The Role of Teachers British Educational Research Journal 30: 263–78. Donnelly, C., & Hughes, J. (2006) Contact, culture and context: Evidence from mixed faith schools in Northern Ireland and Israel. Comparative Education, 42: 493-516. Dovidio, J. F., Eller, A., & Hewstone, M. (2011) Improving intergroup relations through direct, extended, and other forms of indirect contact Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 13: 147-160. Dunn, S & Morgan, V (1999) A Fraught Path: education as a basis for developing improved community relations in Northern Ireland Oxford Review of Education, 25: 141-153. Dunn, S., (1990) A Short History of Education in Northern Ireland 1920-1990; A paper prepared for the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights; Centre for Study of Conflict: University of Ulster Education (Northern Ireland) Order (1989) Belfast: HMSO. Emerson, L., Orr, K & Connolly, P (2014) Evaluation of the effectiveness of the prison to peace: learning from the experience of political ex-prisoners’ educational programme Belfast: Centre for Effective Education, Queen’s University Belfast Everett, J.A.C. (2013) Intergroup Contact Theory: Past, Present, and Future. In-Mind 17 Finlay, A (2001) reflexivity and identification in Northern Ireland in Smyth, M & Robinson G (Eds)(2001) Researching Violently Divided Societies 55-76 Flick, U (1998) An introduction to Qualitative Research London: Sage Gaertner, S & Dovidio J (2012) Reducing Intergroup Bias: The Common In-group Identity Model New York: Routledge Ganiel, G., & Dixon P (2008) Religion in Northern Ireland: Rethinking Fundamentalism and the Possibilities for Conflict Transformation, Journal of Peace Research, 45: 421-438 Gilbert, C (2012) Towards A self-improving system: the role of school accountability Nottingham: National College for School Leadership Goodall, J & Vorhaus, J (2011) Review of best practice in parental engagement. London: Institute of Education Hansson U., O’Connor Bones U., McCord, J (2013) Integrated education: a review of policy and research evidence 1999-2012 Belfast : The Integrated Education Fund Hayes, B., McAlister, & Dowds, L (2007) Integrated Education, Intergroup Relations, and Political Identities in Northern Ireland Social Problems, 54: 454–482. Jackson, J.W (1993) Contact theory of intergroup hostility: A review and evaluation of the theoretical and empirical literature International Journal of Group Tensions, 23: 43–65 Koschate, M. and Van Dick, R. (2011) A multi-level test of Allport’s contact conditions. Group processes and Inter-group relations. 14: 769-787 Kvale, S (1996) InterViews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing London: Sage Liechty, J & Clegg, C (2001) Moving beyond Sectarianism Dublin: Columba Press McGlynn, C, Niens, U, Cairns, E and Hewstone, M (2004). Moving Out of Conflict: The Contribution of Integrated Schools in Northern Ireland to Identity, Attitudes, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation Journal of Peace Education 1: 147–63 McGrellis, S (2004) Pushing the Boundaries in Northern Ireland: Young People, Violence and Sectarianism London South Bank University: Families and Social Capital ESRC Research Group Montgomery, A, Fraser, G, McGlynn, C., Smith, A & Gallagher, T (2003) Integrated Education in Northern Ireland Integration in Practice Report 2 UU: UNESCO centre Munn, P (1998) Parental influence on school policy: some evidence from research, Journal of Education Policy, 13: 379-394, Murray, D (1985) Worlds Apart: The character and culture of Catholic and Protestant schools in Northern Ireland Belfast: Appletree Press NICIE (2012) Statement of Principles for Integrated Schools http://www.nicie.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Statement-of-Principles.pdf (accessed June 2016) Niens .U., O'Connor,U & Smith, A (2013) Citizenship education in divided societies: teachers' perspectives in Northern Ireland, Citizenship Studies, 17:1, 128-141 Paolini, S., Harwood, J., & Rubin, M. (2010) Negative intergroup contact makes group memberships salient: Explaining why intergroup conflict endures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36: 1723–1738. Pettigrew, T Tropp L. , Wagner, U., & Christ, C., (2011) Recent advances in intergroup contact theory International Journal of Intercultural Relations 35: 3, , 271–280 Pettigrew, T and Tropp L (2006) Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes Journal of personality and Social Psychology, , Vol. 90, No. 5, 751–783 Russell, Glenda M. & Kelly, Nancy H. (2002). Research as Interacting Dialogic Processes: Implications for Reflexivity [47 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(3), Art. 18 Stephan, W. G. (1987). The contact hypothesis in intergroup relations in C. Hendrick (Ed.) Review of Personality and Social Psychology 13-40. Beverly Hills: Sage. Stringer, M, Irwing, P Giles, M, McClenahan, M Wilson, R, & Hunter JA., (2009) Intergroup contact, friendship quality and political attitudes in integrated and segregated schools in Northern Ireland British Journal of Educational Psychology 79 (2), 239-257 Tatum, B. D. (1996). Talking about race, learning about racism: The application of racial identity development theory in the classroom in C. Turner, M. Garcia, A. Nora &, L. I. Rendon (Eds.), Racial and ethnic diversity in higher education .150–169. ASHE Reader Series. Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster Taylor, S Bogdan, R & DeVault, M (2015) Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: A Guidebook and Resource (3rd Ed) New Jersey: Wiley Press Walker, I., and Crogan, M. (1998) Academic perform¬ance, prejudice, and the jigsaw classroom: New pieces to the puzzle. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 8: 381–393.",
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Integrated Schools and Intergroup Relations in Northern Ireland: the importance of Parents. / Donnelly, Caitlin; Furey, Andrea; Hughes, Joanne.

In: Educational Research, Vol. n/a, 30.09.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Integrated Schools and Intergroup Relations in Northern Ireland: the importance of Parents

AU - Donnelly, Caitlin

AU - Furey, Andrea

AU - Hughes, Joanne

N1 - UIR Compliant - evidence uploaded to other files Reference text: Allport, G. W., (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Bekerman, Z., & Zembylas, M., (2016). Identity negotiations in conflict-ridden societies: Historical and anthropological perspectives Paedagogica Historica. 52(1-2), 201-218. Birch, M., Miller, T., Mauthner, M & Jessop, J., (2012) Introduction in M Mauthner, M Birch, J Jessop, T miller Ethics in Qualitative Research London: Sage Bott, E, (2010) Favourites and others: reflexivity and the shaping of subjectivities and data in qualitative research Qualitative Research vol. 10(2) 159–173 Boyatzis R.E, (1998) Transforming Qualitative Information. Sage: Cleveland Brown, R ., Vivian, J., & Hewstone, M. (1999) Changing attitudes through intergroup contact: the effects of group membership salience European Journal of Social Psychology. 29:741-764 Crozier, G. & Davies, L (2007), Hard to reach parents or hard to reach schools? A discussion of home–school relations, with particular reference to Bangladeshi and Pakistani parents British Educational Research Journal 33: 295–313 Denzin, N.K & Lincoln, Y. S., (2011) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research USA: Sage Integrated Education Fund (2016) List of Integrated Schools in Northern Ireland http://www.ief.org.uk/resources/integrated-schools-northern-ireland/ (accessed June 2016) Dixon J., Durrheim, K & Tredoux, C., (2005) Beyond the Optimal Contact Strategy A Reality Check for the Contact Hypothesis American Psychologist 60: 697–711 Dixon, J & Reicher, S (1997) intergroup contact and desegregation in the new South Africa British Journal of Social Psychology, 36: 361-381 Ganiel, G., & Dixon, P., (2008), Religion, pragmatic fundamentalism and the transformation of the Northern Ireland conflict, Journal of Peace Research, 45: 419-436 Dickson Switft, V; James, E ; Kippen S and Liamputtong P (2007) Doing sensitive research: what challenges do qualitative researchers face? Qualitative Research vol. 7(3) 327–353 Donnelly, C. 2004 (a) “What Price Harmony? Teachers’ Methods of Delivering an Ethos of Tolerance and Respect for Diversity in an Integrated School in Northern Ireland, Educational Research 46: 3–16. Donnelly, C. 2004(b) Constructing the Ethos of Tolerance and Respect in an Integrated School: The Role of Teachers British Educational Research Journal 30: 263–78. Donnelly, C., & Hughes, J. (2006) Contact, culture and context: Evidence from mixed faith schools in Northern Ireland and Israel. Comparative Education, 42: 493-516. Dovidio, J. F., Eller, A., & Hewstone, M. (2011) Improving intergroup relations through direct, extended, and other forms of indirect contact Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 13: 147-160. Dunn, S & Morgan, V (1999) A Fraught Path: education as a basis for developing improved community relations in Northern Ireland Oxford Review of Education, 25: 141-153. Dunn, S., (1990) A Short History of Education in Northern Ireland 1920-1990; A paper prepared for the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights; Centre for Study of Conflict: University of Ulster Education (Northern Ireland) Order (1989) Belfast: HMSO. Emerson, L., Orr, K & Connolly, P (2014) Evaluation of the effectiveness of the prison to peace: learning from the experience of political ex-prisoners’ educational programme Belfast: Centre for Effective Education, Queen’s University Belfast Everett, J.A.C. (2013) Intergroup Contact Theory: Past, Present, and Future. In-Mind 17 Finlay, A (2001) reflexivity and identification in Northern Ireland in Smyth, M & Robinson G (Eds)(2001) Researching Violently Divided Societies 55-76 Flick, U (1998) An introduction to Qualitative Research London: Sage Gaertner, S & Dovidio J (2012) Reducing Intergroup Bias: The Common In-group Identity Model New York: Routledge Ganiel, G., & Dixon P (2008) Religion in Northern Ireland: Rethinking Fundamentalism and the Possibilities for Conflict Transformation, Journal of Peace Research, 45: 421-438 Gilbert, C (2012) Towards A self-improving system: the role of school accountability Nottingham: National College for School Leadership Goodall, J & Vorhaus, J (2011) Review of best practice in parental engagement. London: Institute of Education Hansson U., O’Connor Bones U., McCord, J (2013) Integrated education: a review of policy and research evidence 1999-2012 Belfast : The Integrated Education Fund Hayes, B., McAlister, & Dowds, L (2007) Integrated Education, Intergroup Relations, and Political Identities in Northern Ireland Social Problems, 54: 454–482. Jackson, J.W (1993) Contact theory of intergroup hostility: A review and evaluation of the theoretical and empirical literature International Journal of Group Tensions, 23: 43–65 Koschate, M. and Van Dick, R. (2011) A multi-level test of Allport’s contact conditions. Group processes and Inter-group relations. 14: 769-787 Kvale, S (1996) InterViews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing London: Sage Liechty, J & Clegg, C (2001) Moving beyond Sectarianism Dublin: Columba Press McGlynn, C, Niens, U, Cairns, E and Hewstone, M (2004). Moving Out of Conflict: The Contribution of Integrated Schools in Northern Ireland to Identity, Attitudes, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation Journal of Peace Education 1: 147–63 McGrellis, S (2004) Pushing the Boundaries in Northern Ireland: Young People, Violence and Sectarianism London South Bank University: Families and Social Capital ESRC Research Group Montgomery, A, Fraser, G, McGlynn, C., Smith, A & Gallagher, T (2003) Integrated Education in Northern Ireland Integration in Practice Report 2 UU: UNESCO centre Munn, P (1998) Parental influence on school policy: some evidence from research, Journal of Education Policy, 13: 379-394, Murray, D (1985) Worlds Apart: The character and culture of Catholic and Protestant schools in Northern Ireland Belfast: Appletree Press NICIE (2012) Statement of Principles for Integrated Schools http://www.nicie.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Statement-of-Principles.pdf (accessed June 2016) Niens .U., O'Connor,U & Smith, A (2013) Citizenship education in divided societies: teachers' perspectives in Northern Ireland, Citizenship Studies, 17:1, 128-141 Paolini, S., Harwood, J., & Rubin, M. (2010) Negative intergroup contact makes group memberships salient: Explaining why intergroup conflict endures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36: 1723–1738. Pettigrew, T Tropp L. , Wagner, U., & Christ, C., (2011) Recent advances in intergroup contact theory International Journal of Intercultural Relations 35: 3, , 271–280 Pettigrew, T and Tropp L (2006) Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes Journal of personality and Social Psychology, , Vol. 90, No. 5, 751–783 Russell, Glenda M. & Kelly, Nancy H. (2002). Research as Interacting Dialogic Processes: Implications for Reflexivity [47 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(3), Art. 18 Stephan, W. G. (1987). The contact hypothesis in intergroup relations in C. Hendrick (Ed.) Review of Personality and Social Psychology 13-40. Beverly Hills: Sage. Stringer, M, Irwing, P Giles, M, McClenahan, M Wilson, R, & Hunter JA., (2009) Intergroup contact, friendship quality and political attitudes in integrated and segregated schools in Northern Ireland British Journal of Educational Psychology 79 (2), 239-257 Tatum, B. D. (1996). Talking about race, learning about racism: The application of racial identity development theory in the classroom in C. Turner, M. Garcia, A. Nora &, L. I. Rendon (Eds.), Racial and ethnic diversity in higher education .150–169. ASHE Reader Series. Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster Taylor, S Bogdan, R & DeVault, M (2015) Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: A Guidebook and Resource (3rd Ed) New Jersey: Wiley Press Walker, I., and Crogan, M. (1998) Academic perform¬ance, prejudice, and the jigsaw classroom: New pieces to the puzzle. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 8: 381–393.

PY - 2016/9/30

Y1 - 2016/9/30

N2 - Abstract Background: Integrated schools were established in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. With an explicit intention to build better relations between Catholics and Protestants, it has an intuitive appeal in a society which has long experienced sectarian division. Whilst the sector has attracted considerable research, less is understood about how parents’ perceive the approach adopted by schools to build intergroup relations.Purpose: The present article seeks to address the gap in the literature by exploring parents’ views of integrated education. Drawing on theories of intergroup contact, the paper seeks specifically to explore how parents and Headteacherss perceive and negotiate the approach that the schools adopt to build intergroup relations. Method: In an attempt to probe the deeper meanings that participants attach to integrated education, a qualitative research approach was adopted; semi structured interviews were carried out with 17 parents and 2 Head teachers in two integrated primary schools. Findings: Through the data analyses, three main aspects were evident. Firstly, the study reveals something of the relational dynamic between Headteachers and parents and the significance of this relationship for determining how intergroup relations are pursued in integrated schools. Secondly, it highlights the nebulous nature of identity salience and the practical challenges of making identity salient within mixed identity contexts. Finally, the study suggests the value of qualitative approaches for exploring intergroup contact initiatives. Conclusions:Overall, the paper demonstrates the inherent challenges of establishing an integrated school where good relations will be developed when multiple interpretations of what constitutes an appropriate response to difference and diversity prevails.

AB - Abstract Background: Integrated schools were established in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s. With an explicit intention to build better relations between Catholics and Protestants, it has an intuitive appeal in a society which has long experienced sectarian division. Whilst the sector has attracted considerable research, less is understood about how parents’ perceive the approach adopted by schools to build intergroup relations.Purpose: The present article seeks to address the gap in the literature by exploring parents’ views of integrated education. Drawing on theories of intergroup contact, the paper seeks specifically to explore how parents and Headteacherss perceive and negotiate the approach that the schools adopt to build intergroup relations. Method: In an attempt to probe the deeper meanings that participants attach to integrated education, a qualitative research approach was adopted; semi structured interviews were carried out with 17 parents and 2 Head teachers in two integrated primary schools. Findings: Through the data analyses, three main aspects were evident. Firstly, the study reveals something of the relational dynamic between Headteachers and parents and the significance of this relationship for determining how intergroup relations are pursued in integrated schools. Secondly, it highlights the nebulous nature of identity salience and the practical challenges of making identity salient within mixed identity contexts. Finally, the study suggests the value of qualitative approaches for exploring intergroup contact initiatives. Conclusions:Overall, the paper demonstrates the inherent challenges of establishing an integrated school where good relations will be developed when multiple interpretations of what constitutes an appropriate response to difference and diversity prevails.

KW - Integrated Schools

KW - Parents

KW - Intergroup contact

KW - Northern Ireland

KW - identity salience

U2 - 10.1080/00131881.2016.1232916

DO - 10.1080/00131881.2016.1232916

M3 - Article

VL - n/a

JO - Educational Research

T2 - Educational Research

JF - Educational Research

SN - 0013-1881

ER -