New Publication on Theorising Catholic Education in Schools in Ireland Co-Authored by UCD School of Education Faculty Professor Dympna Devine and Dr Richard Byrne
The broader theoretical frameworks of both Bourdieu (and his concepts of habitus, field, doxa, collusio and capital) and Bernstein (and his concepts of classification, framing and ritual) provide a deeper understanding of the distinctiveness of Catholic schooling. This article presents a model for theorising Catholic schooling in which levels of action can be seen to be at work in Catholic schools. We argue the habitus of the participants can be closely aligned with the framing of a school’s values through consensual rituals and other leadership practices. The stronger the alignment between these levels generates an experience of collusio, and the greater the extent that agents within a Catholic school generate practices towards preserving Catholic spiritual capital, the more strongly that school is classified from other types of schools with its own distinct voice and identity. We conclude by demonstrating how this model was applied in researching Catholic schooling in Ireland.