Being Human: Discovering and Advancing School Students’ Perceptions of the Relationships between Science and Religion
The proposed project will be the first major research project to study primary and secondary school students' perceptions of what science and religion say about the soul and free will; a domain that is relatively 'untouched' in educational research. The project will seek to identify ways to support young people's curiosity in this area, and to foster their developing insight into the relationships between science and religion. The motivation for the project comes in part from our previous research which shows that in many schools, children have few opportunities to ask questions about how science and religion relate. This theme has considerable potential as a way to strengthen and increase children's access to ideas and discussion.
The research will be conducted in schools in England and Australia, and will include organising days of workshops for schools in both countries. Once tested and refined, the workshop designs will be published on a free website for schools. The picture we gather through the study will help us to interact with policy makers and curriculum designers, nationally and internationally, and will also lead to high-quality publications. Alongside the research study, we will build a public awareness campaign to draw attention to the project. Our aims are to give silent students their voices, to inform curriculum design and classroom practice, to draw public attention to the project, and to have a sustained impact on children's access to a range of views about how science and religion relate.