New report into 7-8 year-old children's religious and non-religious beliefs and values launched today

29 Jun 2015
Children's Beliefs and Belonging: A Schools and Families Report

A new research report by Dr. Karl Kitching and Dr. Yafa Shanneik will be launched today as part of the wider 'Making Communion' Study

Children’s Beliefs and Belonging: A Schools and Families Report presents the findings of a timely study by UCC’s Dr. Karl Kitching and Dr. Yafa Shanneik, funded by the Irish Research Council, which will also be launched at the event. The report demonstrates that 7-8 year old children are highly diverse in religious and non-religious terms. They actively make sense of their own worlds, placing different emphases on sacred understandings, popular culture, media and consumer items from within and outside school. Their understandings, beliefs and values are place-specific however. School type, urban/rural location, gender and family religious, ethnic and social class background mediate their views and their sense of belonging to school and amongst peers. Given its structuring into the school and ‘coming of age’ experiences of most children in Ireland, we suggest First Holy Communion continues to have a significant but not totalising role in ‘benchmarking’ a child’s life and experience of belonging at a particular point in time in Ireland.

The report will be launched as part of the wider reserach showcase titled 'Towards a Better Understanding of Children and Young People's Lives in Ireland' hosted by ISS21 UCC

The publication of the report is funded by the College of Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Research Publication Fund and the School of Education UCC,


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