Bridging the Gaps: negotiating differing constructions of religion in RE in initial teacher education
1 October 2015 - 30 September 2018
PI/s in Exeter: Dr Karen Walshe
Funding awarded: £ 7,136
Sponsor(s): St Luke's College Foundation
About the research
The overall aim of the project is to help trainee teachers of Religious Education (secondary school) to bridge the gaps between the various (and often conflicting) constructions of religion and religious education that they encounter as they move between different communities of practice.
The objectives are to provide opportunities for trainee teachers of Religious Education (secondary school) at the Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, to:
- Identify and examine the beliefs, values and assumptions underpinning the various constructions of religion and religious education that they encounter in different communities of practice: their undergraduate degree; their PGCE course; faith communities; their secondary school placements.
- Consider how the Framework for Collaborative Dialogue tool might help trainees to: -‐ bridge the gaps between the various discourses encountered; -‐ negotiate their place within these discourses; and -‐ situate themselves in their future community of practice (secondary schools)
- Share their experiences with members of the wider RE community of the discourses encountered and their use of the Framework for Collaborative Dialogue to bridge the gaps between and negotiate their place within those discourses.
It is hoped that this project will:
- Help trainees to negotiate their way through the various and often conflicting understandings of religion that they encounter
- Have a significant impact on the depth and breadth of trainees’ understanding of religion(s) and what it might mean to study religion(s)
- Have a significant impact on the way that trainees teach about religion(s) in the classroom
- Enhance the learning of pupils taught by University of Exeter PGCE trainees
- Have an impact on the understandings of religion and religious education held by members of the various SACREs who are responsible for setting the curriculum for RE in secondary schools in the South West
- Raise awareness of members of the wider RE community of the need for RE teachers to both recognise and bridge the gaps between the various discourses they encounter