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Educational Studies and Faith-Based Schooling: Moving from Prejudice to Evidence-Based Argument

Gerald Grace
British Journal of Educational Studies
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 149-167
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3122418
Page Count: 19
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Educational Studies and Faith-Based Schooling: Moving from Prejudice to Evidence-Based Argument
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Abstract

Much of the political and public debate about faith-based schooling is conducted at the level of generalised assertion and counterassertion, with little reference to educational scholarship or research. There is a tendency in these debates to draw upon historical images of faith schooling (idealised and critical); to use ideological advocacy (both for and against) and to deploy strong claims about the effects of faith-based schooling upon personal and intellectual autonomy and the wider consequences of such schooling for social harmony, race relations and the common good of society. This paper will attempt to review some of these controversies in the light of recent educational and research studies. Particular attention will be given to research investigations of Catholic schooling systems in various cultural and political contexts, studies which are largely unknown outside the Catholic community. In addition to reviewing educational studies of faith-based schooling, the paper will offer critical appraisal of the main arguments in the debate and it will also outline a possible research agenda for future inquiry in this sector of educational studies.

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