The Ethos of the Church of Ireland Primary School: The Student Voice

Wilkinson, J. (2023) The Ethos of the Church of Ireland Primary School: The Student Voice. Post-Doctoral thesis, Bishop Grosseteste University.

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This study aimed to investigate the explicit ethos of the Church of Ireland (Anglican) primary school in the Republic of Ireland, and to gain insight into ethos as a lived experience among the students. The explicit ethos of the school was explored, as presented through the voices of the State, the Church of Ireland, and the school patrons. After considering the ethos of Anglican primary schools in England, a model of prescribed ethos for Church of Ireland primary schools was proposed. The model says the individual school has certainty about its Christian identity, it promotes inclusion, encourages parish-school links, values school assembly and religious education, and regards core Christian values as important to the school community. The empirical research was conducted through pupil surveys in October 2019; it investigated the lived experience of the ethos of the Church of Ireland primary school as voiced by its students, and explored a number of factors that affected student attitudes. The research employed three key instruments: adapted Lankshear Student Voice Scales (Lankshear, 2017), The Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity (Francis, 1978a; 1978b), and the Stirling Children’s Well-being Scale (Liddle & Carter, 2010). Each research instrument was found to be reliable and valid in this new context. It was concluded that students had positive attitudes towards the ethos of their schools, demonstrated positive levels of psychological wellbeing, and had positive attitudes toward Christianity; implying the Church of Ireland primary schools were working well in terms of student experiences of ethos and wellbeing, and were Christian in ethos. The study demonstrated the potential for listening to the student voice in relation to school ethos, and their voice being included in articulated school ethos statements. It has also added a new study to the international field of research into Anglican primary school ethos.

Item Type: Thesis (Post-Doctoral)
Additional Information: This is a PhD completed at Bishop Grosseteste University, awarded by University of Leicester. © 2023 Jacqueline Wilkinson
Depositing User: Stephen Macdonald
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 11:12
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 11:13

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