Education for Diversity and Mutual Understanding

The Experience of Northern Ireland

by Norman Richardson (Volume editor) Tony Gallagher (Volume editor)
©2011 Edited Collection 371 Pages
Series: Rethinking Education, Volume 1


Much has been written over recent decades about the impact of community conflict on Northern Ireland’s children and schools. There have been fewer attempts, however, to record and evaluate the experience of those who have worked to offset the negative impacts of these realities by developing educational programmes which encourage positive responses to diversity and promote mutual awareness, understanding and respect. This book shows how such processes, ideas and pedagogies have developed, evaluates their successes and failures, and proposes what can be learned from this experience for those undertaking similar work elsewhere.
Commencing with a broadly-based rationale for Education for Diversity and Mutual Understanding, this book explores developments since the early days of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ to the present, noting the broader context of community relations over the period. The editors explore some of the pedagogical issues in more detail, including whole-school ethos, creating ‘safe space’, managing conflict and prejudice, group-work methodologies and teaching controversial issues. In conclusion the book brings the picture up to the present day. It offers further evaluation at a time when Northern Ireland’s diversity is taking new directions and presenting schools with a mixture of old and new challenges.


ISBN (Softcover)
education Northern Ireland schools pedagogical issues community relations
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. 371 pp., num. tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Norman Richardson (Volume editor) Tony Gallagher (Volume editor)

Norman Richardson gained his MA(Ed) from Queen’s University Belfast in 1992 and was formerly a teacher in primary and post-primary schools. He now lectures in teacher education programmes at Stranmillis University College, Belfast. His main areas of teaching and research are in religious and cultural diversity, inclusive religious education and intercultural education. Tony Gallagher was awarded a PhD in psychology from Queen’s University Belfast in 1986. He is a Professor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s University Belfast and former Head of the School of Education. His main research interest lies in the role of education in divided societies, and while the main focus of his work has been Northern Ireland, he has also worked in Israel/Palestine and south-east Europe.


Title: Education for Diversity and Mutual Understanding