Research Cluster - International Education

A joint project of the Kellogg Institute and the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI)

PI’s: Faculty Fellows Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC (political science), Ernest Morrell (English and IEI), and Rev. Timothy Scully, CSC (political science and IEI), and Nicole Stelle Garnett (Law School)

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As the world’s largest nongovernmental provider of K-12 education, the Catholic Church saw over 53 millionstudents pass through the doors of its nearly 150,000 schools in 2015, and the numbers continue to rise, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, there has been little systematic, empirically robust research to better understand the impact of the Church’s global educational mission, the challenges it faces, and the implications of such faith-based education for integral human development.

In this interdisciplinary research cluster, which brings together two major University institutes and a range of scholars with expertise in education, religion, politics, law, and methodology, researchers are embarking on an ambitious study of Catholic international education as a precursor to a future comparative study of faith-based education more generally. The cluster aims both to establish Notre Dame as a world leader for research on international Catholic education and to build the foundation for a research agenda on international faith-based education.

The international education cluster will:

  • Map the current global landscape of Catholic schools, in both developed and developing contexts;
  • Develop a sustainable network of relationships among faith-based education researchers and practitioners;
  • Conduct comparative empirical analyses of Catholic education in five to seven different countries, using mixed-method case study methodology
  •  Address such topics as the impact of faith-based schools on academic achievement, identity formation, civic and religious participation, political pluralism, social cohesion, and attitudes of tolerance;
  • Consider how constitutional and other legal provisions, such as the appropriation of public funding for schools, shape schools’ culture and overall functioning.

Expected products: Database of networks of Catholic schools worldwide; comparative case study of international Catholic education; research reports, working papers, journal articles; edited volume

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