09 SES 08 C, Assessing Religious Education and the Implementation of Sustainable Development Education
Parallel Paper Session
In recent decades—in the light of 9/11 events in America and its impact on religion and politics in the world—Religious (RE) has become a curriculum area of interest particularly in Western societies where it seen as a subject well placed to inform and inculcate in children about merits of common citizenship (Conroy and Davis 2008; Jackson 2007). However, while in this endeavor many aspects of RE have been subject to critical examination including in major funded projects (see Weisse 2007), the issue of assessment in RE remains a subject that has received little attention in the discourse (Blaylock 2000; Fancourt 2005). As a school subject, RE is difficult to assess not least due to disagreements over what to assess, how this should be done (Hargreaves 1995) and even whether it is possible or even desirable to assess the subject (Hand 2006).
Problems of assessment in RE are directly related to the contested aims of RE: (a) teaching cognitive facts about religions (Smart 1984), (b) teaching for religious commitment (Baker 2001) and (c) teaching about religious knowledge as much as about religious commitment (von Brömssen and Olgaç 2010). In Scotland, this debate is polarised between the way RE is offered in the two sectors of public education, namely, denominational (largely Catholic) and non-denominational. While in both sectors pedagogy is based on a (Christian) neo-confessional framework, the major difference lies in what each of the sectors emphasises. In Catholic denominational schools RE emphasizes faith development while in non-denominational schools RE (known by the nomenclature ‘Religious and Moral Education’ (hereinafter RME)) adopts a phenomenological approach (Rodger 2003).
This paper is concerned with assessment issues in non-denominational RE (i.e. RME) in Scotland in the light of the new 3-18 ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ (CfE) programme which was introduced in 2009. The moderation project focused on during this paper, had three specific aims: (a) to capture and record best practices in RME, (b) to assess the extent to which teaching, learning and assessment in RME has improved in the light of curriculum improvements in the subject from the previous curricular guidelines to the current CfE and (c) using CfE framework, to examine effective assessment strategies in RME.
This work is of interest and value not only to Scotland but to other countries as well due to the fact that the analysis of the data reveals a number of issues that impact adversely on good assessment practices in RME. While the findings are specific to Scotland, they may also inform the wider debate on similar challenges schools in other national contexts face in assessing RME, and crucially what measures can be undertaken to address the shortcomings.
Baker, D. G. (2001). "Future of Homemakers and Feminist Awakenings: Autoethnography as a Method in Theological Education and Research." Religious Education, 96(3), 395-407. Blaylock, L. (2000). "Issues in Achievement and Assessment in Religious Education in England: Which Way Should We Turn?" British Journal of Religious Education, 23(1), 45-58. Conroy, J., and Davis, R. (2008). "Citizenship, education and the claims of religious literacy", in M. Peters, A. Britton, and H. Blee, (eds.), Global Citizeship Education: Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy. Rotterdam & Taipei: Sense Publishers, pp. 187-203. Fancourt, N. (2005). "Challenges for self‐assessment in religious education." British Journal of Religious Education, 27(2), 115-125. Hand, M. (2006). Is Religious Education Possible?, London: Continuum. Hargreaves, D. H. (1995). "School Culture, School Effectiveness and School Improvement." School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 6(1), 23-46. Jackson, R. (2007). "European institutions and the contribution of studies of religious diversity to education for democratic citizenship." Religion and Education in Europe: Developments, contexts and debates, 27–56. Rodger, A. (2003). "Religious Education", in T. G. K. Bryce and W. M. Humes, (eds.), Scottish Education: Second Education - Post-Devolution. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 600-605. Smart, N. (1984). "The Scientific Study of Religion in its Plurality." Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion: The humanities, 365. von Brömssen, K., and Olgaç, C. R. (2010). "Intercultural education in Sweden through the lenses of the national minorities and of religious education." Intercultural Education, 21(2), 121-135. Weisse, W. (2007). "The European Research Project on Religion and Education (REDCo): An Introduction", in R. Jackon, S. Miedena, W. W. Weisee, and J. Willaime, (eds.), Religious Education in Europe: Developments, Contexts and Debates. New York & Berlin: Waxman Muster, pp. 9-25.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.