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ERIC Number: EJ948446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0141-6200
Inspiration: A Thought-Provoking Concept for RE Teachers
van der Zee, Theo
British Journal of Religious Education, v34 n1 p21-34 2012
While the present individualistic and religio-culturally pluralistic scene requires RE teachers to re-evaluate their educational orientation, research shows that they find it difficult. How do RE teachers carry out their task when dealing with an individualistic, pluralistic population? It is argued that communication in the RE classroom is not only about learning to understand the other, but also about learning to relate to larger contexts like the community or society. Such an approach calls for a particular kind of communication to be effective. Teachers could make their communication regarding larger contexts more effective by inspiring students. Inspiration refers to the stimulating influence that teachers have on students. A study was designed to establish whether teachers are in fact credited with an inspiring influence, and whether certain effects ascribed to students are the result of teachers' inspiring influence. The research permits certain conclusions that are pertinent to teachers' inspiration as a positive influence on students. Inspiring teachers are credited with such qualities as proficiency in their subject, the ability to motivate students to achieve, devoting special attention to weaker students and finally with demonstrating the meaning of things. The study also shows that the teacher's inspiring influence is regarded to help students to develop social virtues, knowledge and insight as well as spirituality and a sense of transcendence. Thirdly, qualities ascribed to teachers significantly influence the virtues attributed to students, while the various parties' cultural, social or religious background has limited influence. Remarkably, imparting the meaning of things is a key factor in explaining the inspiration emanating from teachers. Findings are discussed with a view to RE teachers. It is recommended that RE teachers explicitly demonstrate how their actions convey meaning, whether these entail teaching, modelling, feedback or whatever. They should not only communicate with students by questioning aspects such as otherness and sameness, but also by asking whether things are meaningful: "What is this good for?"
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands