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RE as Liberal Education: A Proposal for a Critical Religious Education

Christopher, Katherine Beatrice; (2020) RE as Liberal Education: A Proposal for a Critical Religious Education. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research examines the claims that Religious Education (RE) will both contribute to social justice and enable an understanding of religion and belief. The nature of problems and inconsistencies with the aims of RE are identified and a proposal for a single, clear aim of the subject is made. The proposal is supported by arguments from the field of analytic philosophy of education. A new model of RE is proposed, following the aim of understanding, justified by liberal educational principles. The dual aims of RE; both personal and intellectual, are shown to be competing and incompatible, limiting the educational scope of the subject. It is argued that the subject, although presented as non-confessional, is in fact a liberal form of confessionalism. The influence of the community cohesion agenda is shown to further limit RE’s educational scope. It is argued that both liberal confessional and community cohesion aims are non-educational. A single aim of understanding is proposed, presented as an aim suitable for teachers and students in an educational setting. It is proposed that multiple analyses of religion and worldviews, to reflect the multiple dimensions of religion and worldviews, are employed, based in disciplinary thinking. Teaching and learning materials drawn directly from the classroom are given as examples of how theoretical insights from critical race, multicultural and political philosophical thinking might be taught. Philosophical and ethical problems with aspects of liberal education and analytic philosophy of education are addressed, such as abstraction and neutralism. A liberal educational approach is justified ultimately for the clarity of aims it affords for the practical endeavour of teaching.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: RE as Liberal Education: A Proposal for a Critical Religious Education
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105717
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