Module VPR-2408:
Religious Education

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Joshua Andrews

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to the role of Religious Education in contemporary Britain, equipping students with the required academic and vocational skills needed to progress onto a PGCE programme. The course will begin by exploring what the purpose of Religious Education is and why it holds a unique place within the UKs educational framework. As the module develops, we will explore the professional responsibilities of a Religious Education teacher, covering topics such as lesson preparation, lesson delivery and student assessment. Students will be encouraged throughout the course to improve their knowledge of the World Religions completing weekly tasks which will help prepare them for the diverse range of topics that can be taught as part of a rigorous Religious Education curriculum. Towards the end of the course, students will explore the demands of teaching examined in RE across Key Stages 4 and 5 and will be given the opportunity to organise revision workshops for A level students.

Course content

•The purpose of RE – This section of the course will examine the role of RE within the British educational framework, determining how the study of religion should be approached at both primary and secondary level. In particular, students will discuss the role of ethics, philosophy and non-religious worldviews in RE.

•Current issues in Religious Education – Students will evaluate the purpose of RE within primary and secondary education, determining the subject’s role in wider educational initiatives such as SMSC, British Values and Curriculum Cymraeg.

•Professional Responsibilities – This aspect of the course will explore pedagogical literature in order to determine what makes a ‘good RE lesson’. Students will discuss ideas such as student-centred learning, experiential learning experiences and philosophy for children, examining how all of these teaching strategies can create an engaging learning environment. Students will also examine the role of assessment in Religious Education across the Key Stages.

•World Religions- Students will explore some of the central tenants and practices of the six major world faiths in order to familiarise themselves with content of the new GCSE and A level syllabuses.

Assessment Criteria

good

•Demonstrate a very good understanding of the place of Religious Education within the British Education system.

•Demonstrate a very good understanding of the relationship between Religious Education and the student’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social education.

•Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of what constitutes an appropriate RE curriculum across the Key Stages.

•Demonstrate the ability to design very good learning resources.

•Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the central beliefs and practices of the world religions.

excellent

•Demonstrate an excellent understanding of the place of Religious Education within the British Education system.

•Demonstrate an excellent understanding of the relationship between Religious Education and the student’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social education.

•Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of what constitutes an appropriate RE curriculum across the Key Stages.

•Demonstrate the ability to design excellent learning resources.

•Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the central beliefs and practices of the world religions.

C- to C+

Demonstrate a good understanding of the place of Religious Education within the British Education system.

•Demonstrate a good understanding of the relationship between Religious Education and the student’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social education.

•Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of what constitutes an appropriate RE curriculum across the Key Stages.

•Demonstrate the ability to design good learning resources.

•Demonstrate a adequate knowledge of the central beliefs and practices of the world religions.

threshold

•Demonstrate a satisfactory understanding of the place of Religious Education within the British Education system.

•Demonstrate a satisfactory understanding of the relationship between Religious Education and the student’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social education.

•Demonstrate a basic knowledge of what constitutes an appropriate RE curriculum across the Key Stages.

•Demonstrate the ability to design satisfactory learning resources.

•Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the central beliefs and practices of the world religions.

Learning outcomes

  1. Compare and critically analyse a range of themes from a diverse range of primary and secondary sources, including materials from Theology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Educational Studies and where appropriate from related subjects such as the Humanities or Social Sciences.

  2. Demonstrate a capacity to apply formal learning to concrete social and vocational contexts.

  3. Demonstrate comprehension of and analyse a range of themes, debates and methods within Religious Education, and where appropriate from related subjects such as the Humanities or Social Sciences and evaluate a range of associated critical scholarship.

  4. Apply insights, themes and debates from theology, religious studies, and philosophy appropriately to broader social and disciplinary contexts, including Educational Studies and Politics.

  5. Demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the multi-faceted complexity of religions, for example, in the relationship between specifically religious beliefs, texts, practices and institutions, and wider social and cultural structures, norms, aesthetics and aspirations.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ORAL Presentation

Students will deliver an individual presentation on an aspect of the A level curriculum which they believe would be difficult to teach.

30
DEMONSTRATION Creation of a Teaching Resource

Students will design a lesson plan that could be employed by either a primary or a secondary teacher who specialises in Religious Education. Students will be required to submit a brief commentary on their lesson plan, explaining how it links to current pedagogical research in the field of Religious Education.

35
Written assignment, including essay Teaching Philosophy

Students will produce a teaching philosophy, which will outline their understanding of the role of RE as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Students will reflect on their own skills and experiences in order to highlight their suitability for a career teaching Religious Education.

35

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

There will be two hours of lectures each week (weeks 1-12).

22
Seminar

There will be a one-hour seminar held every week.

11
Private study

Students will be given directed reading to complete each week, these readings will be linked to specific topics that will be discussed in their subsequent lectures and seminars. Students will also be required to undertake detailed research in order to complete their written assignment, being encouraged to access a range of online publications and library resources. A selection of documentary films will be made available to them and it will be expected that students watch these during within a specified time frame.

167

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
  • Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
  • Sensitivity in interpretation of religious and philosophical texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
  • Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
  • The ability to use and criticise specialised religious and philosophical terminology.
  • The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
  • The ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods within the disciplines of philosophy and religion.

Resources

Reading list

• Baumfield, V. (2002)Thinking Through Religious Education Chris Kingston Publishing • Broadbent, L. Brown, A. (2002) Issues in Religious Education, Routledge • Grimmit, M. (2000) Pedagogies of Religious Education: Case studies in the research and development of good pedagogic practice in RE McCrimmon • Stern, J. (2006) Teaching Religious Education. Continuum • Rivett, A. (2007) Teacher’s Handbook of Religious Education RE Today

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: