Recent research has explored how art and narrative theology can be used in the classroom.

Religion, Spirituality and Education Network

Network Co-ordinator: Rob Freathy

This network brings together researchers with an interest in the areas of religion, spirituality and education and provides a space to explore and develop themes across these areas.

Aims

The aim of the network is to bring together researchers, professionals and postgraduate students with interests in research, teaching and practices in the field. The network provides a lively and supportive space in which to share ideas and beliefs and to compare them with those from other disciplines and cultural backgrounds; and to explore new syntheses and emerging understandings within the network and the wider society.

Besides enriching on-going research and practice through, for example, presentations of work-in-progress and consideration of papers from different fields and genres, the network is designed to foster links leading to collaborative activity between members, and to support the preparation of bids for research funding.

Research interests

Members’ interests to date encompass:

  • the history of religious education in England
  • international comparative histories of religious education
  • understanding ‘understanding’ in religious education
  • children’s understandings of religion
  • pedagogies of religious education informed by narratival philosophy and theology
  • metacognition and children’s worldview profiling in religious education
  • spirituality as a dimension of lifelong learning and professional practice
  • the relationship between spirituality, religion and citizenship
  • the spiritual development of young people
  • the relationship between religion and science education
  • spiritual development in nomadic cultures
  • intersections between ‘equalities’ such as race, gender, sexuality and religion

Theoretical, methodological and practical approaches undertaken by members to the study of spirituality and religious education include:

  • historical analyses and interpretations
  • questionnaire surveys and interviews with school pupils and teachers
  • curriculum development and critical trialling in primary and secondary schools
  • personal construct theory and worldview profiling
  • the application of complexity, ecological and narratival theories
  • auto-ethnographic, auto/biographical and narrative methods