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Curriculum Judaism and Pupils’ Attitude Development

Schmack, Yvonne Joy (2015) Curriculum Judaism and Pupils’ Attitude Development. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The thesis examines the relationship between the teaching of Judaism and secondary school pupils’ perceptions of and attitudes to Jews. The study has two distinct contexts. The first is the perpetuation of negative attitudes towards Jews in England, and the second is the study of Judaism within Religious Education (‘curriculum Judaism’). Following an introductory chapter Chapters 2 and 3 analyse attitudinal development and the impact of strategies to challenge misconceptions. Particular reference is made to negative attitudes and behaviours to Jews in contemporary England and the impact of characteristics traditionally attributed to Jews. In Chapter 4 and 5 the context of curriculum Judaism is examined. Through a review of scholarly literature and policy documentation it is argued that the history of curriculum Judaism is unique and has been shaped by factors not conducive to presenting the tradition accurately. It maintains that teachers’ confidence in selecting appropriate content and teaching methods, and in challenging misconceptions, is pivotal for positive attitudinal development. Through a mixed methods approach, qualitative data is gathered from the three sources closest to curriculum Judaism - pupils, teachers and class textbooks. The data analysis in Chapter 7 and 8 contends that teachers often lack both confidence and appropriate knowledge to reflect the integrity of contemporary Judaism. Discussion of the selection and presentation of curriculum content and resources leads on to a consideration of the impact on pupils’ attitudes to Jews, with particular reference to the teaching of the Holocaust as a part of curriculum Judaism. The thesis argues that to meet the demands described above new approaches need to be established which develop teachers’ knowledge, discernment and confidence regarding appropriate content selection; effective learning experiences and strategies to effectively challenge misconceptions and stereotypes which inevitably develop into antisemitism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Antisemitism; Religious Education; Attitude Development; Curriculum Judaism
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > University of York St. John
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.677288
Depositing User: Mrs Yvonne J. SCHMACK
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 09:47
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 15:44
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10642

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