70% of parents want some form of integrated education> what’s the problem John?

One of things Micheal Martin picked up on in his interview with Conor Bradford yesterday morning was the rather emphatic result of Lucid Talk’s poll in favour of integrated eduction:

In the latest Lucid Talk poll those in favour of children of all denominations sharing the same classroom stands at a massive 70%.

Tellingly, this figure represents almost identical proportions of Catholics and Protestants. On any other issue this would be accepted as the will of the people and politicians would act accordingly.

Martin asked, given the overwhelming majority of kids are still educated apart, what are blocks to making this happen? Indeed. Perhaps that’s a question that ought to be directed at the Education Minister, John O’Dowd?

, ,

  • zep

    Seamus – you should be very proud of raising such a bright bunch! At a guess, a sound upbringing and encouragement to learn probably also played a big part in their achievements. I’m afraid we disagree on the merits of selection. I am influenced by my experience of teaching languages to a class of pupils who varied in ability from strong conversational, down to those who were unable to form complete sentences. It was a real struggle to try and run a class that would stimulate all involved, and I felt like I was constantly doing someone a disservice. Maybe I was just rubbish at it! Any way up I do feel we need to stream pupils to a certain degree but there you go.

  • BluesJazz

    Great achievements on all counts. *but*
    You didn’t mention the subjects.

    A PhD from Cambridge is on a different level from a PhD in Media Studies from Coleraine.

    Law degrees are 2 a penny and solicitors are the equivalent of estate agents in iq level.

    The HND is an excellent qualification and BMC and others do well in this regard. probably the best of the bunch.

    Lumen Christi is not Harrow or Rodean. it aspires to be but it’s just another Methody.

    Try looking at comprehensives in Tower Hamlets and their results if you believe in Tony Crosland’s crazed vision.

  • abucs

    ‘I am asking you why you aren’t a Muslim because I would like you to explain why you think we should default to a Christian ethos for our children’s education.’ ……………..

    Not being a Muslim and wanting education to default to the Christian ethos are two entirely separate things. And i have not argued for either so your sentence doesn’t make sense.

    And again it is not ‘our’ children. It is my children and yours. We have a different culture. In a pluralist society it is something that we should recognise. You seem to want to continue to subvert me into a secular view of society where it is all the same and operates under your rules and values. Again totalitarian.

    You seem very scared at the idea that people might be allowed the freedom to make up their own minds,. That is essentially what I am proposing. That’s the core of my argument. That we educate children as best we can about the world (including religions) and let them judge which religion is the right one for them, if any. That’s the opposite of totalitarian.

    But you want to force all groups to do this from one perspective which is yours. That it totalitarian. Teaching facts about religion as if it was geography and having the initial assumption they are all the same man made cultural creations of equal value is a very superficial view of Christianity as well as other religions.

    A superficial view of Christianity is a secular view with secular assumptions at the outset which surprisingly end up with secular conclusions. Secular education has shown that it produces secular people. I could just as easily ask whether you are scared to not force a narrow secular perspective on religion onto kids instead of letting their families decide what is best. I am the one arguing for choice, you are arguing for your philosophy to be mandated to every child and assuring me it is fair and balanced. It is neither and i can talk about its unbalance if you want examples.

    ………………….It is not making sense to say you must not take part or experience Hindu life until you are old enough to reject it. You are coming from a Christian mindset that has already made up its mind that there is no Vishnu and the facts support your view – hey, this is easy, isn’t it! Seriously though, you can’t all be right. I’ve got guys telling me to believe in all sorts of gods here – who is right, and why? Maybe you need to think harder about this, if you’ve picked the wrong god you could be in big trouble!…………

    You need to seriously look at your argument here. I am not restricting people from taking part in Hindu life or any life. I don’t know if you are silly enough to argue that sending your kids to a secular school somehow allows them to take part in a Hindu life. They don’t. You can’t send your 8 year old kid to a secular school and have them have a Hindu perspective. Or Muslim perspective. There is educational research to show that students up to about 12 (on average) can’t relate to perspectives other than their own. All you are doing is confusing them and teaching them that all religions are the same. As i mentioned earlier the secular syllabus has to force kids too think all religions are the same. If kids start coming out of secular school thinking one religion is better then the secular education is failing to uphold its secular ethos. It is somehowe favouring a religion and must adjust its curriculum to stop this. There is no true investigation into religion. Or even a pretended investigation. Religion is looked at from a narrow secular perspective. There is no credible investigation into Christianity and science, Christianity and hospitals, Christianity and social justice, Christianity and art, Christianity and the intelletual underpinning of the west because this may favour Christianity. So people grow up with a very ill-formed and truncated view of not only Christianity but religion in general. That is, they grow up with a secular view.

    ………….’You accuse me of misrepresenting religion – I know that you know that every example I gave you of religious teachings is accurate. Why are you lying? By mentioning the punishment for ‘crimes’ such as apostasy, the belief that being gay is sinful etc, how am I being “misrepresentative of that which [I] wish to address”? I didn’t invent these examples………….’

    I stand by my words. You are putting all religion in a bucket and treating them the same and cherry picking the very worst examples. What you are doing is exactly secular. This is what the kids would be learning – your secular narrow minded view of religion. The Catholic Church has not taught that any one individual is in hell. If they have then tell me a name who they have said is in hell. There is a whole metaphysical concept of Heaven and hell and the reality of sin which starts at the children’s level and ends with the some of the brightest minds in the history of Western civilisation. Your secular view never gets out of the childrens model of Christianity. If students only have the superficial childrens level then they never get the intellectual rigour of Christianity. In fact they grow up secular not even realising it exists. Your view of education is deficient, and you yourself do not even know it because you yourself only have a childs view of religion and Christianity. I want my children to be more educated than you. You secular model is superficial and narrow and biased with its assumptions.

    As far as Catholicim goes they do not do genital mutilation. Again you are putting all religion in one box and categorising it by your choice of what you think is the very worst of a particular religion. Your view is superficial and non sensical and extremely misleading. It is a poorer biased system. It was designed to be such.

    ………………….“State forced mode of education” – Well, state funded is what we are discussing here. I am not suggesting we force the closure of religious schools. I’m suggesting we don’t give any special funding preference to any one religion. Again, there are many religions out there. I would like you to explain to me why you aren’t a Muslim…………………..

    So you agree that education funding should be on a demand basis from families? If so, i agree. If you are wanting to subvert that and make your ideology a default without such demand then i oppose you. We also have to be careful what you mean by ‘special funding’ If there are 200 Christian schools and 5 Muslim schools based on demand do you consider that ‘special’ and unworthy of government funding? I really don’t know why you keep wanting me to say why i am not a muslim. If i don’t come up with an answer that is satisfactory to you does that mean you want to force the same number of Muslim schools as Christian? Why does it matter to your argument?

    ………..By the way, my ‘argument’ didn’t ‘originate with the Russians’ – it came out of my own bloody head. I was brought up in NI, went to a school with a religious ethos and received religious instruction in my free time (not my choice). It didn’t make much sense to me. I used my brain to reflect upon my experiences and the wider world, and then came up with some thoughts. I didn’t read it in a book and just accept it as gospel……..

    No. You were exposed to western education in the last few decades which has had secular values at its base. It started in 1974 in England and spread from there. It is truely amazing that so many people have come out of that era of education and think they decided this all in their own head. No. It was taught to you in the curriculum in the three types of teaching modes – explicit, implicit and by omission. Somebody sat down and designed the curriculum you had. In the west, we have made the mstake of that curriculum being based on a secular ethos that people mistakenly though was neutral.

    …………Religions are not progressive. How can they be? They rely on a series of core truths which are unbending and MUST be accepted, on pain of eternal torture. Ask Galileo about progress. Some religions teach useful morals, unfortunately they also teach a big stack of dangerous things – thus, ‘do unto others as they would do unto you’ sits alongside such principles as ‘DON’T BE GAY!’ and ‘STOP HAVING ALL THAT SEX!’ and ‘YOU’RE GUILTY FROM BIRTH, BEG ME FOR FORGIVENESS!’ You know, creepy stuff like that.7………….

    Again you are reflecting the secular mindset. Do you ever stop o think why so many people have come out of education constrained in the same thought patterns as you? If secular education cannot favour Christianity then how can you ever know the progressive contributions of Christianity. Your secular model does not allow it. If people came out of secular education thinking how great Christianity was then secular education would be failing its reason for being.

    I am ready to talk to you about any of the subjects you mentioned and you mention so many on a very superfical basis (secular education).

    For example – Galileo. Do you know

    He was taught by the Church
    He was given his house and food by the Church
    His Jesuit teacher Ricci believed in heliocentrism
    He was the personal friend of two Popes
    His uncle was an Italian bishop
    2 of his 3 daughters were nuns.
    He was a member of two scientific organisations that were dominated by the Church members.
    He wanted to be the Papal scientific director
    He received a special Papal Pension until he died
    The Pope wrote to him asking if he could do anything to make his stay more comfortable
    The Tuscan ambassodor wrote to the Tuscan King (where Galileo lived) saying that no convict was ever favoured so much as Galieo
    That Galileo followed the teachings of the Polish monk Copernicus who was honoured by his Pope.
    That Galileo lost a scientific debate on Geocentrism because the science at the time was against him

    You are not told anything about this in the secular model because in the secular superficial model all that is needed is somewhere in history where the secular model can rubbish the Church no matter true or not. They chose Galileo. It is a deeply biased system that needs to be because teaching the progressiveness of Christianity and the intellectual underpinning of the west by Christianity does not meet the narrow secular view of religion which is absurd.

    The scientific enterprise of the west came from Christianity. How progressive do you want to get. But secular education cannot teach this because of its own internal restrictions. You haven’t realised that. I urge you to broaden you narrow education and stop taking as gospel secular assumptions form your secular curriculum of last century.

    ‘…………..*proof not to include ‘a magic book’ or ‘believing really really hard’ as a child knows that those things aren’t really proof of anything……….’

    Again a very narrow minded and superficial view of Christianity that you are taking out of a secularly conceived box you call religion.

  • zep

    What a load of nonsense. ‘Cherry-picking the worst examples’ – that makes me laugh. Yes I am, I feel they are worthy of mention and you can’t stand over them. It’s not my ‘secular viewpoint’ – these are facts. These teachings on homosexuality, apostasy etc either exist or they do not. And they do.

    “Again a very narrow minded and superficial view of Christianity that you are taking out of a secularly conceived box you call religion.” – Great sentence there, lovely stuff. Gibberish. I’m giving you some facts about your religion, based on your magic book and pronouncements from your religious leaders. I didn’t come up with this stuff. I think gay people are just fine, and contraception is a great lark – it’s your religion that has the problem with these things. And that’s a fact.

    re. Galileo, I got my info from an exhibition I attended in a church in Rome of all places, straight from the horse’s mouth. And I didn’t like what I saw. So if they can’t spin it to look good, I doubt you can.

    I was going to respond to some more of your ‘points’ but what is the point, I’d be better off talking to the wall. I would have thought that it was obvious why I have been asking you why you aren’t a Muslim – I want you to explain why you picked one religion over another (yes, they are all the same!) – I have yet to meet a Christian who is as committed to Christianity as some of my Muslim friends are to Islam. Their faith is much stronger than any of the Christians I know. I would love to know why you think you have made the right choice and they the wrong. But of course it isn’t about choice, is it, it’s about ‘knowing’ you are right in the face of all the evidence.

    Not to worry, most of the major religions as we know them now will be dead and buried in a few thousands years, I’ll be long dead and not burning in hell or anywhere else and I’ll be all the better for not wasting my time trying to reason with religious fundamentalists! Goodbye.

  • Seamuscamp


    O ye of little faith!

    PhD – Childrens Literature; MA – Migration Studies; BA – 2.1Eng Lit (All UCL)

    PhD (Warwick)- The Robust and Typical Behaviour of Spatio-Temporal Dynamic Systems
    M Sc (Camb) – Mathematical Research Techniques
    B Sc (Bristol)- Pure Mathematics (Ist class)

    LLB (Leicester) (2.1) now a Grade 5 in Civil Service advising Cabinet and drafting Regulations.

    HND – electo-mechanical designer and prototyper.

    The two elder children are staggeringly clever; the two younger staggeringly hard-working.

    The point I make is that comprehensive schools can produce good results, just as selective schools can produce poor results. And I don’t think education is solely about exam results.

    As to your point about Tower Hamlets, I think London is a special case because of the impact of immigrants, particularly those with poor/little/no English.

    I don’t think Lumen Christi aspires to be a Harrow or Roedean – it doesn’t select on the basis of the depth of Daddy’s wallet. And it is co-educational.