Worldview Project : Update on Progress 6th March 2020

Literature Review

v The aim is to produce a broad literature review that surveys work on the use of the concept of worldview across a broad spectrum of disciplines. It will not be possible for the attendees of the June event to have expertise in all of the disciplines that could be germane so the literature review has a critical function of ensuring that things are not overlooked. In addition to work within theology, religious studies, religious education, and sociology of religion, I’m keen to ensure that scholarship from disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, and history (and others) are included too.

v We advertised through our networks for academics to bid for the work. There were 25 applications. It was an extremely strong field. Shortlisting was undertaken by Trevor Cooling, Rudi Eliott Lockhart and Denise Cush, with input from Stephen Pattison. Interviews were held for the top 5 applications. The interview panel comprised Trevor, Rudi, and Stephen. We offered the work to the clear first choice and they have accepted.

v The work will be undertaken by Céline Benoit (Aston), Rachael Shillitoe (Birmingham), and Tim Hutchings (Nottingham). Céline will be the link individual to ensure that there is full clarity over reporting lines.

v The review will be completed by the end of April 2020.


June event

v We will hold a two day residential event on Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd June for 13 senior academics, overseen by Trevor & Rudi, and by Denise and Stephen. This part of the project (along with the literature review) is being undertaken in conjunction with TRS-UK.

v The aim of this event will be to produce a set of position papers offering a range of options for understanding the way in which the concept of worldview is used in RE (along with how it might be used).

v In advance of the event, all 13 of the senior academics will be sent the literature review and be invited to submit a piece (no longer than 1,000 words) giving their understanding of the use of worldview. These pieces will be shared between all participants in advance of the meeting.

v We hope to be working with Amira Tharani for this event with her taking on the role of rapporteur and drafter. Amira was an extremely capable part of the CoRE work where she was drafter of the reports.


Autumn event

v In the autumn we plan to host a two day residential meeting. We will invite each REC member organisation to send two people to attend.

v The position papers that will be produced in June will be made public as soon as possible in order to give REC members some chance to have internal discussions about them.

v The event will use structured discussions to try to reach shared understandings of the use of the concept of worldview in RE. There will not be an expectation that we will be able to reach a simple consensus about the concept and its use.

v We intend to be working with Amira Tharani on this part of the project.

v The output from the event will be a report describing the shared set of understandings of the use of the concept of worldview in RE. It will be an accessible document that will be of interest to RE specialists (not limited to academics). It will not be intended as a teaching resource (although I anticipate that teachers will be very interested in it).

v The report coming out from the Autumn event should provide a solid foundation for constructive dialogue about worldview in RE and a basis for work in 2021 where the REC might work with others to consider more fully what the developing concept of worldview means for teachers in the classroom and for the resources that they will require.