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ERIC Number: EJ953080
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1361-7672
Context, Complexity and Contestation: Birmingham's Agreed Syllabuses for Religious Education since the 1970s
Parker, Stephen G.; Freathy, Rob J. K.
Journal of Beliefs & Values, v32 n2 p247-263 2011
The present article offers an historical perspective on the 1975, 1995 and 2007 Birmingham Agreed Syllabuses for Religious Education. It draws upon historical evidence uncovered as part of "The hidden history of curriculum change in religious education in English schools, 1969-1979" project, and curriculum history theories, especially David Labaree's observations about the distance between the "rhetorical" and "received" curricula. We argue that, contrary to the existing historiography, curriculum change in religious education (RE) has been evolutionary not revolutionary. Multiple reasons are posited to explain this, not least among which is the capacity and agency of teachers. Furthermore, we argue that ongoing debates about the nature and purpose of RE, as exemplified in the Birmingham context, reflect the multiple expectations that religious educators and other stakeholders had, and continue to have, of the curriculum subject. These debates contribute to the inertia evident in the implementation of RE curriculum reforms. A consciousness of the history of RE enables curriculum contestations to be contextualised and understood, and, thereby, provides important insights which can be applied to ongoing and future debates and developments. (Contains 1 table and 9 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)