Exploring Worldviews

The REC is running a project to support conversations in the RE community exploring the concepts of Worldviews in religious education. To equip these explorations, we are delighted to offer some free resources for you to download.

REC Discussion Papers on Worldview

These papers were produced through an innovative process designed to give expression to a wide range of opinion.

Click here to download<The Worldview Project discussion papers

Thirteen leading academics and advisers working in a variety of fields relevant to RE were recruited by the REC and gathered for five online conversations in June 2020. They represented a wide range of views on the usefulness of the worldview idea, from enthusiasm to scepticism. Their task was to reflect on the potential implications for RE in schools of the preceding REC literature review  that was produced to survey the international academic discussion of the notion of worldview. The conversations were rich, despite the challenges of the online format. They moved between theory and practice, between shared assumptions and deep disagreements. Many of the group found their pre-understandings challenged and found themselves testing new ideas in ways which revealed the potential of the concept of worldview to open up exciting new vistas.

Amira Tharani, who was our  consultant from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations running these online conversations (and was herself formerly an RE teacher) wrote a commentary on the online conversations to create the four discussion papers. These papers are her take on the flavour of the conversations having carefully analysed the extensive recordings from the five events. They should not be taken as representing either the consensus of the group or the opinions of any of the individuals involved. Nor are they REC policy. Rather they are stimulus material that will, we hope, support REC member organisations and others in thinking through their response to the worldview idea.

REC Literature Review on Worldview

The language of worldview is not particularly familiar to the British RE community, yet there has been extensive discussion in the international academic literature. The REC therefore commissioned a literature review to give academics, teachers, students and others access to that international literature

click here to download the REC Worldview Report

Compiled and written by three university academics (Céline Benoit, Timothy Hutchings and Rachael Shillitoe), this review is a background resource to the Worldview Project. What it makes clear is the extensive worldwide discussion of the worldview idea in a range of academic disciplines.

“As Chair of the REC, I am delighted to commend these resources as a contribution to an important debate about the future direction of RE. I would encourage you to share them widely and use them in supporting your thinking about and contribution to RE. I would also encourage you to book in for the linked training events run by the REC. These are exciting times for RE!”

Professor Trevor Cooling, Chair of REC.