Is it a worldview?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Recently, influential reports and professional associations have attempted to advocate ‘Religion and Worldviews’ as a new name for the curriculum space of ‘Religious Education’ in England (Commission on RE 2018, Pett 2022). Although policy change seems unlikely, the term ‘worldviews’ has gained a considerable foothold in conversations around curriculum design in RE. However, the agenda has been criticised (e.g. Barnes, 2023), most significantly on the grounds of what the term includes and excludes as legitimate objects of study in education, and whether and to what extent ‘institutional’ (as opposed to 'personal') worldviews need to make ontological and epistemological claims or commitments of a distinctive or comprehensive nature.

This symposium intends to ‘stress test’ the concept of worldview by considering some boundary cases for inclusion in the RE curriculum.

Is veganism a worldview? Heather Marshall
The existence of vegans, particularly within our educational contexts, moves away from what Freire sees as an adaption to change to fit in with the environment around them, to a rebellious and at times defiant integration which could ultimately effect change. This paper is an opportunity to reflect on rebellious and defiant RE, where pupils are empowered, not simply by just altering school-based objectives or lesson content, but where students are encouraged in their criticality and given the opportunity to discuss, reflect and learn from multiple sources. The phenomenological foundations of the RE classrooms afford opportunities to experience learning about and being confronted by radical and defiant beliefs/worldviews, coupled with an aim to uncover what matters and affects the lives of individuals. Can RE become a radical praxis, where rebellious and defiant worldviews are encountered, achieved through a phenomenological and affirming process?
Period12 Sept 202314 Sept 2023
Event titleBritish Education Research Association (BERA) Aston University 2023
Event typeConference
LocationBirmingham, United KingdomShow on map