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Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent

Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic Schooling in Canada

Graham P.McDonough, Nadeem A.Memon, Avi I.Mintz

Publication Year: 2013

The education provided by Canada’s faith-based schools is a subject of public, political, and scholarly controversy. As the population becomes more religiously diverse, the continued establishment and support of faith-based schools has reignited debates about whether they should be funded publicly and to what extent they threaten social cohesion.

These discussions tend to occur without considering a fundamental question: How do faith-based schools envision and enact their educational missions? Discipline, Devotion, and Dissent offers responses to that question by examining a selection of Canada’s Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic schools. The daily reality of these schools is illuminated through essays that address the aims and practices that characterize these schools, how they prepare their students to become citizens of a multicultural Canada, and how they respond to dissent in the classroom.

The essays in this book reveal that Canada’s faith-based schools sometimes succeed and sometimes struggle in bridging the demands of the faith and the need to create participating citizens of a multicultural society. Discussion surrounding faith-based schools in Canada would be enriched by a better understanding of the aims and practices of these schools, and this book provides a gateway to the subject.

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The editors gratefully acknowledge financial support for this book from the Dean’s Office at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Education, the University of Tulsa’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and RAZI Group. In addition, Avi Mintz’s work on this project was made possible through a Summer Fellowship granted from the University of Tulsa. ...

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pp. 1-22

The 2007 Ontario provincial election brought educational questions of faith-based schools and social cohesion into high relief. The Progressive Conservative Party, under the leadership of John Tory, campaigned with, among other things, a promise to extend full funding to all faith-based schools (pre-kindergarten through high school) in Ontario. ...

Part A: Aims and Practices

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1. The Jewish Day Schools of Canada

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pp. 25-44

While this chapter will deal primarily with Jewish day-school education in Canada, it is important at the outset to properly define the borders of Jewish education as it is perceived by the Jewish community. Until the enlightenment in Europe, all Jewish education was religious in nature, a direct result of the famous verse in Deuteronomy 6:7: ...

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2. The Distinctiveness of Catholic Education

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pp. 45-72

The distinctiveness of Catholic education is based on a detailed elaboration of the words “Catholic” and “education.” Their union as “Catholic education” is the result of merging educational convictions that are informed by one’s age and time, and by a faith tradition that is perennial, ...

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3. Between Immigrating and Integrating: The Challenge of Defining an Islamic Pedagogy in Canadian Islamic Schools

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pp. 73-98

The initiation and establishment of Islamic schools1 in Canada has a relatively short history. The earliest school and those established soon after can all be traced back to a movement that began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The first school, founded in Mississauga, Ontario, has been followed by schools founded in suburbs of other major Canadian cities: ...

Part B: Faith and Citizenship

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4. Jewish Education, Democracy, and Pluralistic Engagement

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pp. 101-120

In his book For Goodness Sake: Religious Schools and Education for Democratic Citizenry, Walter Feinberg foregrounds the paradoxical challenge of liberal democratic pluralism: how do we allow for the reproduction of diverse communities without which there can be no pluralism, ...

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5. Canadian Catholic Schools: Sacred and Secular Tensions in a Free and Democratic Society

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pp. 121-144

Canada’s Catholic schools derive their raison d’être from the teachings of the Catholic Church and their legal legitimacy from, among other things, being designated as Catholic schools by Catholic bishops. Within those schools the values of respect for the Other, fairness,1 the common good,2 and democracy3 are taught and promoted to both students and staff alike. ...

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6. London Islamic School: Millstone or Milestone?

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pp. 145-168

“My father came to London because of London Islamic School. I knew how you looked like before the first day of school, we went on the website and I saw your picture,” said Zach to his teacher one October morning. Zach’s father is the breadwinner for his family. When I was beginning to research the London Islamic School in November 2009, ...

Part C: Dissent and Critical Thinking

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7. The Changed Context for Jewish Day-School Education

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pp. 171-188

Since the mid-nineteenth century, North American Jews have employed two primary frameworks for providing children with formal Jewish education: religious supplementary schools, operating at evenings and weekends; and all-day parochial schools, offering a dual curriculum of Jewish and general studies within a single institution. ...

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8. Teaching Subject Matter That Is Controversial among Catholics: Implications for Intellectual Growth in the Church

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pp. 189-212

Catholic school curriculum content and experiences are aimed toward ends that extend well beyond simply the transmission of knowledge for its own sake. Similarly, the socialization of students in a Catholic school is also intended to be accomplished for something beyond simply effecting an efficiently operating institution. ...

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9. A Canadian Islamic School in Perspective: A Critique of the “Moderate” and “Strong” Categories in Faith-Based Schooling

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pp. 213-234

I remember being asked an obvious question that I should have expected during my interview to become a teacher at a well-known Islamic school1 in Toronto in August 1997: “How will you make your classroom feel like an Islamic school classroom?” I was prepared to answer interview questions related to curriculum implementation, ...


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10. Diversity and Deliberation in Faith-Based Schools: Implications for Educating Canadian Citizens

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pp. 237-250

“Faith-based schools” are often treated as a single category in Canada. Critics, employing one of their most frequent objections, group faith-based schools together because they share features that allegedly pose a fundamental threat to Canadian unity: rather than bringing students from different religions together so that they may come to understand and respect each other, ...


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pp. 251-258

The Contributors

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pp. 259-264


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pp. 265-272

E-ISBN-13: 9781554588688
E-ISBN-10: 1554588685
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554588411

Page Count: 282
Publication Year: 2013