Challenging knowledge in RE: big questions, different perspectives
Religions are dynamic and complex, but these features are not always taken into account in religious education (RE). A multidisciplinary approach to learning about religions and worldviews can reveal their historical, geographical, and cultural contexts, as well as the personal contexts of those who practice religion. The big questions that religions address also require the perspectives of different disciplines.
RE Today will produce resource books and professional development for exploring RE through the disciplinary lenses of theology, philosophy, religious studies, natural sciences, psychology, and sociology. By giving primary and secondary RE teachers access to creative and engaging strategies, resources, and training, Stephen Pett and RE Today’s advisors will stimulate thinking and teaching about how knowledge works in religious education.
This Big Questions in Classrooms project addresses the following questions:
- How can a set of curriculum resources encourage teachers to adopt multidisciplinary RE?
- To what extent is impact dependent upon the kind of interaction and training teachers have with these resources?
- What impact does a multidisciplinary approach have on pupil outcomes?
Project outputs will include twelve books of resources and strategies (six for primary teachers and six for secondary teachers). These will each explore appropriate content from the perspective of two disciplines, introducing teachers and their pupils to the questions asked, the methods used, and the answers given by these disciplines. Training opportunities will be offered alongside these print resources at different levels of engagement.
The team aims to enable around 4000 teachers to practice multidisciplinary RE by giving them access to creative, stimulating, and engaging strategies and resources, along with different levels of training and support. Through these resources, the project will influence conversations around the future development of RE in England and beyond.