RE-flect: A programme to foster metacognition in the RE classroom

Shirley Larkin, Rob Freathy, Karen Walshe and Jonathan Doney undertook this project between 2010 and 2013. It was informed by consultative action research principles and with a mixed methods design. Six primary school teachers and 160 pupils (8-10 year olds) took part in the second year of this two year project. With the teachers, the project team sought to create and evaluate metacognitive learning environments - consisting of meta-thinking, worldview and resources zones - in which Religious Education (RE) could be taught in primary schools. As part of the project, pupil attainment in RE and pupil perceptions of the learning environment were measured. Data from classroom observations, Worldview Profiles, and pupil and teacher interviews were also analysed qualitatively. The results showed an overall increase in attainment in RE; a positive change in pupil perceptions of the learning environment and learning in RE; and the ability of pupils to reflect on and articulate their worldviews.