Improving Religious and Worldview Education in Schools
We are working to find out ways of supporting teachers to develop and improve religious and worldview education. An important way forward is for a more hermeneutical approach to the subject which focusses on classrooms becoming places where interpretation and meaning is investigated and becoming a wise interpreter is central to the subject. Worldview education really matters as it illuminates both the grammar of meaning that each person reads the world through, as well as the traditions of meaning found in religious and non-religious worldviews.
Religious and Worldview Education: Why?
Everyone has a worldview, a lens through which our interpretation of the world around us is observed and lived. In today’s world it is recognised that modern society is composed of a complex labyrinth of worldviews that align with, nurtures, shapes and challenges our personal beliefs. Therefore, it is imperative that young people are given the appropriate tools to develop a confident perception of their own beliefs and values, as well as an appreciative, empathetic understanding of others differing views.
In September 2018, the Commission on Religious Education, (CoRE) issued its final report, entitled Religion & Worldviews: the way forward. A National Plan for RE. Alongside several suggestions, the final report recommended that Religious Education be renamed ‘Religion and Worldviews’ to reflect the various religious and non-religious beliefs that contribute to our modern world. While this final report is not issued as a legally binding policy, it endorses the need to offer all pupils a broader and deeper encounter with the subject. This vision however, is tempered with the acknowledgement that the current standard of RE in some schools needs improving so that pupil experience in the classroom adequately prepares them for life in a society where people hold different worldviews from their own.
The Text and Teachers Project
How can this help?
The Text and Teachers project is driven by the aim to improve the quality of classroom practice through a more disciplined approach to study, as well as aid the transition to Religion and Worldviews education. The project introduces a valuable resource, equipping teachers to explore a new pedagogical approach that enables pupils to become proficient interpreters of meaning.
Who can benefit from this?
Teachers, curriculum leaders, curriculum designers and examination boards
Links to the Resources
The findings report demonstrates how, with subject specific support, teachers are empowered to confidently bring pupils into an active exploration of sacred texts using hermeneutical discipline. Consequently, it signifies the fundamental worth of hermeneutics and sacred text study for developing in pupils a systematic sense of knowing from their own and other worldviews.
This guide outlines a development programme for teachers who are interested in creating a hermeneutically designed curriculum, as well as support for those who are seeking to develop new resources framed by hermeneutics. It additionally offers insight for professionals involved in developing examinations and questions that look to elicit deeper understanding of sacred texts and higher quality responses.
Down the Rabbit-Hole: A hermeneutical journey is a series of videos related to teaching hermeneutics in schools and associated questions for religious and worldview education.
If you would like to arrange for a member of NICER to speak to you or your organisation about this area of work, email firstname.lastname@example.org