Relating experiences of non-Christian educators in predominantly Christian schools in Kwa-Zulu [sic] Natal from a social justice perspective.
This research study deals with educators' experiences and daily encounters within two diverse school settings. Educators from both schools are from diverse religious, racial and cultural backgrounds. The study focuses on issues of social groups based on religious affiliations and was guided by theories of oppression and social justice. The following questions were the focus of the study: 1. What have been the experiences of non-Christian educators in a predominantly Christian school around religion? 2. What caused these experiences to be constructed in a way they did? 3. To what extent have the experiences of non-Christians at the school been similar to earlier experiences in relationship to religion in their lives? 4. To what extent are the experiences of non-Christians evidence for describing their situation as one of 'religious oppression'? A qualitative approach was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted at one school and questionnaires were completed at the second school, as the researcher was unable to interview educators because of time constraints. The results of the research indicated that educator experiences differed from one school to the next. Although it is not possible to make a judgement about religious oppression based on such limited contexts, there is significant evidence of social exclusion based on religion at the one school. At times these issues are caught up in racial and gender issues, or issues between non-Christian religions. However, at the second school educators experienced a high degree of inclusion. The research raises questions about the ways in which schools in South Africa are addressing the constitutional and policy requirements concerning the acceptance of religious diversity.