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God in the Classroom: Exploring the Role of Religion in Five Case Study Schools in Lahore

Niaz, Laraib; (2022) God in the Classroom: Exploring the Role of Religion in Five Case Study Schools in Lahore. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Formed through a violent rupture on religious grounds in 1947, Pakistan remains an ethnically and religiously diverse country. Yet due to massive processes of Islamisation, over the years, religion is now immersed in the politics, economy and educational discourse in the country. Previous research has focused on how statesponsored textbooks and curriculum play an instrumental role in purporting the dominant religious narrative of the state and constructing an image of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ on predominantly religious lines. Yet, there is limited research on the role of religion in the classrooms, on teachers’ voices and on the involvement of religion in the daily atmosphere of the schools. This study attempts to fill this gap by aiming to investigate and explore the role of religion in everyday schooling in Pakistan. The research employs five qualitative case studies consisting of a sample of one low-cost private school, one elite private school, one public school, one church administered school and one army-administered school in Lahore, Pakistan. Data was collected through the ethnographic methods of classroom observations, semistructured interviews and observations of the visual and social environment of the schools. The study draws theoretical implications from the data by adapting Johnson's Cultural Web (1992) as a conceptual framework to present and discuss the findings. The elements of Johnson’s Cultural Web showed how religion was instrumentalised through the organisational structures, teachers’ power structures, rituals, symbols and the various stories, narratives and notions that contributed to the cultural paradigm of the schools, which focused on the construction of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ and in the moral and character education of the students. In this sense, several elements of everyday schooling were being used to create the image of the good Muslim/Pakistani. Yet, the elements of the web also showed how religion was an embedded and intrinsic part of everyday schooling that could also be considered equivalent to a reflection of the broader societal culture of Pakistan.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: God in the Classroom: Exploring the Role of Religion in Five Case Study Schools in Lahore
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10156666
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