Pray for my soul!


As part of a research study on the impact of participation in religious associations in secondary schools, I interviewed nearly 50 students from Toronto area secondary schools. When I asked the students if they had suffered from discrimination as a result of their involvement in a religious association, several students paused before responding as though to consider a topic they had not previously considered. Interestingly, several students involved in the Christian Alliance at their school had similar responses. They described what they referred to as “teasing” which typically occurred when they announced they were off to a meeting of the Christian Alliance. The comments included: “Enjoy your Bible study! Pray for our souls! Do a good deed! Help save my soul!”

As a researcher, I did not follow up with these students to further discuss the discrimination they had experienced as I did not feel it was my role to do so. In addition, I felt bound by the code of conduct set out for me as a researcher. However, I found it difficult not to follow up.


To learn more about this scenario, including the author’s own response, please attend the Intersections of Diverse Teachers and Diverse Learners at CSSE 2013, or stay tuned to the DiT website because we will be posting those details in the near future.

Until then, please leave a comment so that we can read your responses to this scenario. Here is something to consider interacting with each other and the author (Dr. Antoinette Gagne, from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, at the University of Toronto) about:

  1. I wondered how I might address these comments if I were the teacher advisor for the Christian Alliance.  Would I raise the issue among the members of the group or just ignore it?



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