Beyond Sectarianism - new thinking for a new generation
Dr Margery McMahon, School of Education, University of Glasgow Lesley Atkins, Glasgow City Council & Shawlands Academy
1 June 2010 to 25 January 2011
This project allowed 13-15 year-old pupils from Glasgow and Derry to collaboratively explore the new thinking required for the respective communities to address issues of racism and sectarianism. This would build on past learning about how both communities had worked to create more inclusive communities prepared to overcome division and build greater social cohesion. Download the report
- To provide the participants with the opportunity to explore the past from the other’s perspective, using their shared and lived experiences
- To construct meaning and understanding of the present, in ways that can shape their future
- To develop a model for exploring cross community historical and cultural understandings through planned learning experiences, involving pupil and teacher exchanges and situated learning through field visits.
Thirteen 3rd year pupils from Thornhill College, an all girl Roman Catholic grammar school in Derry, and thirteen 2nd year pupils from Shawlands Academy, a multi-cultural and linguistically diverse school in Glasgow spent three days (two nights) in each other’s local environment. This was preceded by teacher exchanges for the purpose of planning draft programmes, which they then shared with pupils. The programmes were constructed on models of situated learning, drawing on resources available in local communities. Photos are featured on the Shawlands Academy website.
- Pupil learning
- Situated learning - the overall experience appeared to create a significant level of curiosity which generated questions that, in turn, resulted in learning
- Pupils gained a deeper understanding of their own city's history, culture and context by comparing it with another
- They were aware of their own learning - there was a clear desire to learn among students and they were happy when they were aware that learning had occurred
- An awareness of differences in school cultures
- The importance of visual learning – seeing
- The importance of informal learning through social interaction
- Overall, a desire to have their voices heard and wanting to be in control of their own learning experiences.
- Outcomes in line with Modern Studies and the Curriculum for Excellence (Scotland)
- Research strand