Christian universities and schools in relation and context
Bowie, B. 2019. Christian universities and schools in relation and context. International Journal of Christianity & Education. 23 (3), pp. 275-277.
There is often a relationship between Christian universities and colleges of higher education and schools of a Christian character. Canterbury Christ Church University was initially founded to provide more teachers for Church schools (Bowie et al., 2018a). It is part of a group of English universities called Cathedrals Group universities which profess an agenda for values-led higher education (https://www.cathedralsgroup.ac.uk/). A research study to find out what students, staff and schools thought really mattered in the teacher education provision made by these universities found they were seen as centres of expertise in teaching and learning and as having a distinctively person-centred philosophy of education (Bowie et al., 2018b). The qualitative and quantitative 2-year study involving six English universities with Christian foundations also found a rich variety of interpretations of this philosophy, according to context, self-understanding regarding the mission of universities, and the distinct contours of schools served by this provision. This ranged from what might be called a common good mission to ‘The Five Thousand’, which sought to provide a good teacher formation for all schools, to a specific apostolic mission to ‘The Twelve’ to serve the Christian schooling sector, as well as a particular concern to serve the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in schools. The English context is marked by diverse and plural populations of students and a secular climate in general. Additionally, the research found staff and student understanding and view of the Christian dimension of the university varied between institutions to a considerable degree. Nevertheless, that dimension was valued by the schools they served.
The experience of leading this project in part inspired this journal issue. This issue draws together research into the different dimensions of engagement between Christian schools and Christian universities. The relationship between these institutions and the contexts in which they are situated reveals a web of interconnections. These interconnections are shaped by both an interest in a more historically grounded awareness of the development of educational ideas in the formation of teachers, and a pressure to be more ‘profession’ orientated.
|Journal||International Journal of Christianity & Education|
|Journal citation||23 (3), pp. 275-277|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1177/2056997119866142|
|Funder||Church Universities Fund|
|Online||09 Aug 2019|
|01 Nov 2019|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||22 Jun 2020|
Bowie R, Casson A, Hulbert S et al. (2018a) What really matters about teacher education at Cathedrals Group Universities? Volume 2: The case studies. Research report. Canterbury, UK: Canterbury Christ Church University.
Bowie R, Casson A and Hulbert S (2018b) What really matters about teacher education at Cathedrals Group Universities? Volume 1: Final report. Research report. Canterbury, UK: Canterbury Christ Church University.
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