The semiotic pedagogies of the European Court of Human Rights: hijab and crucifixes

20th February 2019 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Nigel Fancourt (Associate Professor of Learning, Teaching and Values)

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Rooms G/H

Convener: Ian Thompson

Convener: Harry Daniels

Seminar abstract

The European Court of Human Rights has made two important decisions on the place of religious symbols in the classroom.  Dahlab v Switzerland concerned a teacher’s right to wear hijab, and Italy v Lautsi concerned a pupil’s right not to have crucifixes on their classroom wall.  In deliberating these cases, the ECHR judges – and those of the courts below – semi-implicitly set out their pedagogical assumptions on the ways that religious symbols teach or educate pupils.  However, alongside a legal or ethical perspective, their assumptions can also be interpreted through a socio-cultural perspective on the inter-relationship between the material, organisational and social features of schools and schooling.  

About the Department of Education

In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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