Analysing Metaphorical Pebbles in English RE

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This paper is a critical analysis of the use of metaphors in English Religious Education (RE). It is grounded in the educational theory of Anna Sfard (a professor of Mathematics) who has written about learning metaphors, before considering some of the metaphoric language used in English education generally and RE specifically. It will examine carefully at how the metaphors implicit within the Commission on RE Report might help us interpret it, considering particularly the National Entitlement and note the changes to these metaphors in the newly adapted national entitlement in the REC Worldviews’ Project Draft Handbook. It will then turn (metaphorically) to the Research Review into RE from Ofsted and examine some aspects of that through metaphorical lenses. It will consider the metaphors inherent in Ofsted’s Deep Dive methodology, the work of Fordham, Counsell and the Early Career Framework and Core Content framework materials. The paper will conclude with some thoughts about RE as a subject discourse, suggesting that RE continues to have an identity crisis, which is not helped by a disciplinary, or a worldview, approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Religious Education
Early online date26 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2022


  • Religious Education
  • metaphors


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