Educating teachers for Ontario's multi-religious classroom: accommodating religious learners and respecting student autonomy

Bursey, Wallace Dean (2018) Educating teachers for Ontario's multi-religious classroom: accommodating religious learners and respecting student autonomy. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The 2015 revisions to the Ontario teacher education program were intended to give greater attention to diversity in the Ontario classroom and provide new teachers with more knowledge of the Ontario context. Using an interpretivist methodology, a careful examination of the curriculum changes undertaken by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario College of Teachers indicates that these objectives have not been met. Despite being an integral part of the identity and experience of a large number of Ontario teachers and students, religion is not one of the diversities given attention to in the revisions. This omission has revealed a gap in the Ontario teacher education curriculum in which the religious diversity component of the Ontario context is largely ignored. The gap in teacher education has also created a misunderstanding of the nature and intent of the secular classroom where, instead of being a place where all religions are given equal attention and one that fostering healthy religious conversations, it has become an environment of fear and silence, where teacher and students are unsure of how to engage it religious conversations. My research concludes that the OCT curriculum does not provide sufficient curriculum content that addresses teacher knowledge, skills and attitudes in the area of religion, nor does it provide information about religious belief systems and world views or clarify religious language and terminology. Despite the fact that teachers and parents welcome the academic, non-confessional study of religion in the classroom, the OCT and the OME have not indicated through the revisions that this is the direction in which they intend to proceed. Enacting changes to increase the amount of time required for teacher education has not prepared teachers to address the multi-religious context of the Ontario classroom or to meet the needs of religious students.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Teacher education, religious education, learner autonomy, diversity, secular classroom, higher education.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
Supervisor's Name: McKinney, Dr. Stephen
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Mr Wallace Dean Bursey
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-39047
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 10:50
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2019 10:08

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