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ERIC Number: EJ953072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-1361-7672
Too Many Competing Imperatives? Does RE Need to Rediscover Its Identity?
Teece, Geoff
Journal of Beliefs & Values, v32 n2 p161-172 2011
The intention of this paper is to make a contribution to religious education (RE)'s constant search for a rigorous curriculum identity. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)/Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project "Does RE work?" has recently reported its findings, in which it concludes that RE suffers from too many competing expectations. A major reason for this is that, according to the report, policymakers have "freighted it with too many competing imperatives". Such imperatives range from religious literacy, through multicultural awareness, philosophical understanding, moral development and understanding heritage to sex and relationship education. In all, the project lists 13 such imperatives! It is little wonder then that the project echoes OfSTED's recent finding that teachers were under-confident and unsure as to the aims and purposes of the subject. The AHRC/ESRC project's findings also reflect a theoretical debate in RE that has been going on for some time. This debate might be termed "religious education and disciplinary identity". So, should RE be regard as a discipline in its own right, rather like history is regarded as a discipline, or is RE better understood as employing a number of disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology, psychology in its pursuit? This question of the subject's identity did not simply arise out a move from a "confessional" Christian identity to a multi-faith identity in the 1970s but was a live issue well before then. This paper takes the view that RE needs to prioritise its aims for the subject and place the aim of pupils' spiritual and moral development at the forefront of its concerns. In so doing religious educators need to continue the debate about the representation of religion in RE. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom