Death education: Knowledge, attitudes and perspectives of Irish parents and teachers
Barry, Margaret M.
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McGovern M. & Barry, M.M. (2000). Death Education: Knowledge, attitudes and perspectives of Irish parents and teachers. Death Studies, 24(4), 325-333
This article reports on a cross-sectional survey of the knowledge, attitudes and perspectives of Irish parents and school teachers concerning children's grief and the concept of death education. The sample comprised 119 parents and 142 teachers of Irish Primary-school children (5-12 years of age) who completed a self administered questionnaire. Both parents and teachers reported high levels of understanding of the nature of children's grief and strongly supported the view that death should be discussed with children before they encounter it. Although discussions of death were reported in the classroom and in the home, both teachers and parents, particularly men, reported being uncomfortable talking to children about death. There was general support for the inclusion of death education in the school curriculum, with both teachers and parents supporting the need for further teacher training to undertake its delivery. There were few significant differences between the expressed attitudes of parents and teachers. However, teachers were more likely than parents to agree that death education would take away from parental responsibility. The implications of the findings for further work in this area are considered.