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A pastoral approach to critical pedagogy: effecting social justice

Petrie, Pauline Dawn (2011) A pastoral approach to critical pedagogy: effecting social justice. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: Empirically grounded and qualitative in orientation, this case study came about because of anecdotal evidence from participants completing The Craighead Institute’s ‘Integrating Life and Faith’ course. The Craighead Institute is a Scottish-based Christian, ecumenical lay institute whose work is underpinned by Ignatian spirituality. Research was necessary to investigate participants’ assertions that they felt ‘changed’ by their experience of the course. It was necessary to establish whether or not there was any ‘change’ and if so, what was the nature of that ‘change’ and how was it brought about? The Institute embraces a ‘methodology’ designed to enable participants to play their part in bringing about a more just society and world. The research identified this ’methodology’ as being a pastoral approach to critical pedagogy and this pedagogy became the focus of the study. Part 1 of the study was philosophical, theological and historical in its conceptual framing enabling the researcher to investigate and explore the ideas and theories of three thinkers foundational to the Institute’s ‘way of proceeding’, Cardijn, Freire and Ignatius of Loyola. Parts 2 and Part 3 interpret the data of the ethnographic study of three ‘Integrating Life and Faith’ courses running in tandem in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Glasgow. The researcher was a participant observer in each group for a period of nine months from September, 2006 until June 2007. Forty three interviews were conducted between June 2007 and January 2008 on completion of the courses. These interviews along with learning summaries and fieldnotes were analysed. The process of analysis and interpretation was already underway during the ‘fieldwork’ and became more focused on its conclusion. NVivo software was used as an aid to sorting the three sets of data during the coding process. Categories and codes arose out of the conceptual framework of Part 1 of the study and also emerged as the fieldwork and analysis progressed. Part 2 examines the ‘Shared Praxis’ which emerged during the ethnographic study, using the lens of Groome’s ‘Five Components’ and ‘Five Movements’ to illuminate the ‘pedagogical activity’. In Part 3, four main theories emerged and became the lenses which allowed the researcher to tell the analytic story with further coherence through metaphor. These were ‘Liminal Space’, the ‘Affirmation of Ordinary Life’, ‘Christians in the Public Square’ and ‘Doing “public theology”’. This study offers a new contribution to knowledge about the way in which a pastoral approach to critical pedagogy can be employed in a liminal space to enable lay people to use their faith as a resource in the way they live out their Christian vocation to transform the world by humanising it. The study has implications, not only for The Craighead Institute but also for religiously affiliated Higher Educational institutions where the aim is to bring about “mature discipleship” and humanising pedagogies for learners and leaders of all ages.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: pastoral approach, critical pedagogy, social justice, social change,liminal spaces, affirmation of ordinary life, public theology, Christians in the Public Square, identity, voice, personal vocation, integration of life and faith, spirituality and well-being
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
Supervisor's Name: Conroy, Professor James C. and Davis, Professor Robert
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Pauline Dawn Petrie
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2991
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 14:02
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2991

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