“How Knowledge Works” in British Science and Religious Education: Considering the Impact of Big Questions in Classrooms ​

Rosie McLeod
New Philanthropy Capital

Project Summary

How can the concept of “how knowledge works” be best taught in UK schools?

By conducting landscaping research, this project seeks to answer that question. It will consider the formal curriculum requirements, assess the state of current practice, and explore people’s perspectives on these issues. Research will involve a literature review, qualitative interviews, and a workshop with expert stakeholders.

Moreover, the project will begin to develop a theory of change and an evaluative methodology for assessing the collective impact of grants in the Big Questions in Classrooms initiative (BQiC). The goal of this second strand is to help grantees effectively communicate the impact of their work in the context of strategically chosen portfolio of grants. NPC will work to clarify and amplify the narrative of BQiC. It will also gather, analyze, and communicate evidence of BQiC’s collective influence on teachers, students, and the education ecosystem in England.

The project’s ultimate goal is to provide information and evidence to encourage deeper consideration and engagement with the concept of “how knowledge works” in current science and religious education. To that end, it will produce a 40-page online report available to the public on NPC's website, on the potential for impact of philanthropic activities aimed to promote “how knowledge works.” It will also produce two short 10-page reports for BQiC grantees and other potential funders of Big Questions in Classrooms projects on collective theory of change and identification of a common indicator of change.

Project Details

Project Duration

1 January 20191 January 2021

Core Funding Area

Big Questions


Big Questions in Classrooms

Region of Activity


TWCF Number


Amount Awarded



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