chapter  4
Pupil learning
WithTrevor Cooling
Pages 18

This chapter reviews the way thinking has changed since the 1950s regarding what pupils should be learning in Religious Education (RE). In particular, it focuses on the sorts of attitudes that should be promoted and suggests that openness to learning from people who are different from oneself is a central aim for education in modern, multi-faith societies. This requires the development of strategies that overcome the negative perception of religion prevalent in modern youth culture. There is an ongoing debate in the literature on RE about how the subject matter studied in RE should be used to achieve this goal. Two influential curriculum development projects are reviewed to support the notion that the key skills are the ability to listen carefully to the believer’s perspective and the ability to apply what is heard to the pupils’ own world of experience. A particular emphasis is given to planning lessons based on understanding religious concepts, rather than just passing on information about the religions.