An educated change in moral values: some effects of religious and state schools on their students

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Abstract

Research has suggested that schools provide one of the main sources for the moral socialisation of children. This paper analyses the effect of religious schools on the moral education of English secondary school students. Four scales were derived to measure general religious attitudes, specific Catholic beliefs, specific Jewish beliefs and secular morality. These scales were tested for internal consistency and used to compare a Catholic, a Jewish and a state school. The results of this study suggest that religious schools tend to produce students with stronger and more uniform attitudes towards religion and morality than state schools. Further, that there is no evidence of the class and ethnic differences which exist between the schools playing a role in defining religious or secular moral attitudes. Religion still provides an important part in ensuring the transmission of moral values to children in secondary schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
JournalOxford Review of Education
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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school
Values
student
morality
secondary school
Religion
religious attitude
moral education
Socialisation
evidence

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abstract = "Research has suggested that schools provide one of the main sources for the moral socialisation of children. This paper analyses the effect of religious schools on the moral education of English secondary school students. Four scales were derived to measure general religious attitudes, specific Catholic beliefs, specific Jewish beliefs and secular morality. These scales were tested for internal consistency and used to compare a Catholic, a Jewish and a state school. The results of this study suggest that religious schools tend to produce students with stronger and more uniform attitudes towards religion and morality than state schools. Further, that there is no evidence of the class and ethnic differences which exist between the schools playing a role in defining religious or secular moral attitudes. Religion still provides an important part in ensuring the transmission of moral values to children in secondary schools.",
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AB - Research has suggested that schools provide one of the main sources for the moral socialisation of children. This paper analyses the effect of religious schools on the moral education of English secondary school students. Four scales were derived to measure general religious attitudes, specific Catholic beliefs, specific Jewish beliefs and secular morality. These scales were tested for internal consistency and used to compare a Catholic, a Jewish and a state school. The results of this study suggest that religious schools tend to produce students with stronger and more uniform attitudes towards religion and morality than state schools. Further, that there is no evidence of the class and ethnic differences which exist between the schools playing a role in defining religious or secular moral attitudes. Religion still provides an important part in ensuring the transmission of moral values to children in secondary schools.

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