Advertisement

Journal of Religious Education

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 169–184 | Cite as

The right to participate in reform: parents and RE

  • Pauline DimechEmail author
Article

Abstract

The author identifies different parties who express interest in Religious Education, and who make demands on the nature and content of religious education as it is provided in schools, but focuses only on one of these parties, namely the parents. The author explores the reasons why parents seek to be involved in—or even are legally bound to be responsible for—certain decisions pertaining to Religious Education in schools. In the process of her discussion, the author explores the constitutional and the legislative provisions that defend the role (and authority) of parents where the Religious Education of their children is concerned. She defends the interest taken by parents, arguing that Religious Education is not comparable to any other subject on the school curriculum. She also argues that “interference” in Religious Education (which is not as evident where other fields of knowledge are concerned) is justifiable, and that it is even essential for the law to be in place where the rights of parents in relation to Religious Education are concerned. She also argues, however, that there are risks involved in having parents alone make the final decision concerning Religious Education. Parents alone should not have the right or authority to decide on issues pertaining to Religious Education in schools.

Keywords

Religious education Parent involvement Rights Reform Laws Malta 

Notes

References

  1. Bunnell, P. W., Yocum, R., Koyzis, A., & Strohmyer, K. (2018). Parental involvement in elementary children’s religious education: A phenomenological inquiry. Journal of Research on Christian Education,27(1), 1–19.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10656219.2018.1442269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burtt, S. (1994). Religious parents, secular schools: A liberal defense of an illiberal education. The Review of Politics,56(1), 51–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Byrne, G. (2014). Why religious education has an important role to play in our society. The Irish Times, Thu, Jul 3, 2014. Accessed online https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/why-religious-education-has-an-important-role-to-play-in-our-society-1.1853105.
  4. Clarke, C. & Woodhead, L. (2018). A New Settlement Revised: Religion and Belief in Schools, Westminster Faith Debates. http://faithdebates.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Clarke-Woodhead-A-New-Settlement-Revised.pdf. Accessed 13 March 2019.
  5. Code of Canon Law. (1983). http://www.jgray.org/codes/cic8d3eng.html. Accessed 13 March 2019.
  6. Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. (1950). Council of Europe. https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf. Accessed 12 March 2019.
  7. Debono, J. (2019). Growth in pupils choosing ethics over religious studies. Malta Today, 31 January 2019. https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/92553/growth_in_pupils_choosing_ethics_over_religious_studies#.XRCEM-gzbcc. Accessed 24 June 2019.
  8. European Court of Human Rights, “Right to education. Guide on Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights.” First published in January 2016. The update used in this article was finalised on 30 April 2019. https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Guide_Art_2_Protocol_1_ENG.pdf.
  9. Global Partnership for Education. https://www.globalpartnership.org/. Accessed 12 March 2019.
  10. Guillaumier, J. (2017). Ethics surely deserves higher place in curriculum. Malta Today, 31 March 2017. https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/comment/letters/75719/ethics_surely_deserves_higher_place_in_curriculum#.XGLvuVxKjcc. Accessed 13 March 2019.
  11. Hardon, J. A. (2003). Rights and responsibilities of parents in religious education. http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Education/Education_005.htm. Accessed 12 March 2019.
  12. Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (1997). Why do parents become involved in their children’s education? Review of Educational Research,67(1), 3–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Maritain, J. (1960). Education at the crossroads (The Terry Lectures Series). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Mifsud Bonnici, U. (2013). An introduction to the law of education. Malta: Malta University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Segoe, B. A., & Bisschoff, T. (2019). Parental involvement as part of curriculum reform in South African schools: does it contribute to quality education? Africa Education Review.  https://doi.org/10.1080/18146627.2018.1464692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Smyth, E. (2010). Religious Education in a Multicultural Society: School and Home in Comparative Context Funding Scheme: Collaborative Project—Small or Medium Scale Focused Research Project. Period covered: from 1/1/08 to 31/12/2009. http://www.docs.hss.ed.ac.uk/education/creid/Reports/17i_REMC_SchHm_FinalRpt.pdf.
  17. Taylor, R. E. (2015). Responsibility for the soul of the child: The role of the state and parents in determining religious upbringing and education. International Journal of Law, Policy and The Family,29, 15–35.  https://doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebu018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. The Constitution of Malta. (1964). http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8566. Accessed 12 March 2019.
  19. The Education Act, Chapter 327. http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/downloaddocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8801. Accessed 12 March 2019.
  20. UN General Assembly, Declaration of the Rights of the Child. (1959). https://www.unicef.org/malaysia/1959-Declaration-of-the-Rights-of-the-Child.pdf. Accessed 12 March 2019.
  21. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (1960). Convention against Discrimination in Education. http://www.unesco.org/education/pdf/DISCRI_E.PDF. Accessed 12 March 2019.

Copyright information

© Australian Catholic University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MaltaMsidaMalta

Personalised recommendations