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Religious identity of Catholic schools: some challenges from a Canadian perspective

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In three Canadian provinces Catholic schools receive full government funding. This funding is premised on Catholic schools providing a distinctive educational environment based on the religious beliefs and practices of, among others, the teachers who work in these schools. A variety of official documents underline this notion of teachers playing an irreplaceable role in animating the religious dimension of Catholic schools. Contemporary culture, marked by a rise in a more secular and personal religious affiliation, places significant challenges before schools. These are especially pertinent when coupled with a generational shift in the staffing of Catholic schools. Some of these challenges include the need for schools to find a critical mass of suitably committed teachers and the need to reconceptualise the catechetical intent of schools and how teachers in schools are supported.
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Keywords: Canadian Catholic schools; ethos; religious dimension; teachers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: St Joseph's College, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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