chapter  8
37 Pages

Critical religious education

The theory and practice of religious education is broad-ranging: it entails issues of curriculum construction and development, of classroom teaching and learning, of pupil assessment and teacher development, of politics and economics, etc. The present chapter does not aim to present a comprehensive account of critical religious education. Rather, it is concerned to establish a basic philosophical framework for the subject, informed by the under-labouring support of critical realism. The triumvirate of ontological realism, epistemic relativity and judgemental rationality identify three critical questions that inform the basic philosophy of critical religious education: what is reality ultimately like? What is the extent and scope of our knowledge of ultimate reality? How might our knowledge of ultimate reality be enhanced and expanded? Realistic answers to these questions enable the emergence of a philosophy of the subject that stands in continuity with the historical focus of traditional religious education, takes religious and secular worldview pluralism seriously, and strives to generate religiously literate pupils and a religiously literate society.