This project is being funded by Templeton World Charity Foundation as part of a wider scheme of research titled Big Questions in Classrooms.

Although studies have explored school pupils’ attitudes concerning science and religion, there has been little research on beginning teachers’ experiences in their development and formation and not much is known about how big questions are framed in classrooms or the extent of teachers’ experiences of the science/religion encounter. This project addresses the gap, develops informed responses for teacher education and finds some preliminary understandings of the impact of the use of that knowledge in teacher education programmes.

The project comprises three sub-projects two of which are researching specific gaps in knowledge of teacher development and how big questions are framed in science and RE classrooms and a third which seeks to implement some changes.

Sub-project 1

Researched the encounter between science and religion in classrooms, using a video research technique that uses clips of recorded interactions in the classroom as catalysts for talking about and making sense of the encounter.

Sub-project 2

Researched the science/religion understanding and classroom experience of student teachers of RE and science at universities across the country with teacher training programmes. This sub-project used group interviews and quantitative surveys to generate a comprehensive understanding of where student teachers find themselves at the beginning of their school professional lives.

Sub-project 3

Combined the findings of both to make a teacher education resource for general use by teacher training courses and schools. We are seeking to evaluate its initial impact trialling a change to teacher education programs and evaluating the early impact of that change. The resources are available now.

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This project has been funded by
Templeton World Charity Foundation