IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Religion and education in Ireland, Europe and beyond

15 June 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Catholic school building - Flickr/Robert Cutts. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Join this event to hear Professor Daniel Faas discuss child agency, ethos and leadership in community national schools in Ireland.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Kiran Dhillon


Room 903
20 Bedford Way

Ireland has seen rapid social change in recent years. There is currently a mismatch between a largely Catholic primary education system and increasing ethno-cultural and religious diversity among students and the wider population. 

Considering these changes, there is now a variety of beliefs among children in schools, yet over 90 per cent of Irish primary schools are denominational.

Schools have a crucial role to play in terms of social integration and inclusion. Drawing on data from principals, teachers, parents and pupils in 11 community national schools (multi-denominational primary schools) in Ireland, this seminar will ask the following questions:

  • What do children know about other cultures and religions as a result of their primary schooling? To what extent does the stated school ethos correspond to classroom practice?
  • How do primary schools encourage intercultural and inter-faith dialogue among their diverse student intake?
  • What is the role of teachers and principals in exercising culturally responsive leadership and fostering inter-faith and intercultural dialogue?

While the empirical data presented focuses on Ireland, discussions will also classify a range of other European and non-European countries in how they approach the topic of religion in the classroom ranging from a compulsory subject approach to no religion in school.

It will be particularly useful for those interested in Irish education, social change and religion. 

Related links


St Oswald's Church of England Infant Scholl, Ashbourne, Robert Cutts, Flickr 

About the Speaker

Professor Daniel Faas

Professor in Sociology at Trinity College, Dublin

His research is in the sociology of migration and consists of three interlinked strands: (1) identities and integration, (2) comparative curriculum analyses, as well as (3) religion and schooling in Ireland and Europe.

He has published widely on these topics in high-impact peer-reviewed international journals, as well as a sole-authored monograph (Negotiating Political Identities: Multiethnic Schools and Youth in Europe, London: Routledge). In  2015, Faas was elected to Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin in recognition of his scholarship and research achievements.