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A critical realist epistemology and the Catholic notion of 'sensus fidei' as key to critical thinking in confessional Catholic religious education in the Philippines

Go, J; (2016) A critical realist epistemology and the Catholic notion of 'sensus fidei' as key to critical thinking in confessional Catholic religious education in the Philippines. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The research question is: ‘Is critical thinking compatible with confessional Catholic religious education as practiced in the Philippines? If so, in what way can it be taught to students and promoted in the classroom?’ Adopting an epistemological approach to critical thinking, I conducted a survey among 1,068 teachers in our network of fifteen Catholic schools in the Philippines and found that a significant percentage of our teachers—especially those teaching religious education—exhibited a level of epistemic cognition considered incompatible with critical thinking. Drawing from critical realism and the Catholic notion of the believer’s ‘sense of the faith’ (sensus fidei), I proposed that critical thinking be understood not only as (a) the expression of one’s commitment to judgemental rationality to serve as the basis for one’s motivation for critical thinking, but also as (b) the exercise of one’s sensus fidei to guide the actual practice of Catholic religious critical thinking in particular. Based on these two conceptions, corresponding to the disposition and competence components of critical thinking, respectively, I recommend two initial concrete steps to promote the practice of Catholic religious critical thinking in our confessional religious education classrooms in the Philippines: (a) the inclusion of a staff development programme that promotes epistemic self-awareness especially vis-à-vis a Catholic religious epistemology; and (b) the identification of the development and exercise of sensus fidei as an explicit learning objective and its implications on curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A critical realist epistemology and the Catholic notion of 'sensus fidei' as key to critical thinking in confessional Catholic religious education in the Philippines
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: critical thinking, critical realism, epistemology, religious education, Catholic, Philippines, sensus fidei, epistemic cognition
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 - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1498895
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