Signposts: Policy and Practice for Teaching About Religions and Non-religious World Views in Intercultural Education

9789287179142: Signposts: Policy and Practice for Teaching About Religions and Non-religious World Views in Intercultural Education

Signposts, written by Robert Jackson, results from the work of an international panel of experts convened jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Wergeland Centre.
How can the study of religions and non-religious worldviews contribute to intercultural education in schools in Europe? An important Recommendation from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe aimed to explain the nature and objectives of this form of education. Signposts goes much further in providing advice to policy makers, teachers and teacher trainers on tackling issues arising from the recommendation. Taking careful account of feedback from education officials, teachers and teacher trainers in Council of Europe member states, and of recent research, Signposts gives advice on issues such as:

  • clarifying the terms used in this form of education;
  • developing competence for teaching and learning, and working with different didactical approaches;
  • creating 'safe space' for moderated student to student dialogue in the classroom;
  • helping students to analyse media representations of religions;
  • discussing non-religious worldviews alongside religious perspectives;
  • handling human rights issues relating to religion and belief;
  • and linking schools (including schools of different types) to one another and to wider communities and organisations.
Signposts is not a curriculum or a policy statement. It aims to give policy makers, schools and teacher trainers in the Council of Europe member states, and to others who wish to use it, tools to work through the issues in interpreting the Council of Europe's Recommendation to meet the needs of individual countries.

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About the Author:

Robert Jackson is Professor of Education at the University of Warwick, was founding Director of Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (1994-2012), and is Professor of Religious Diversity and Education at the Council of Europe-related European Wergeland Centre in Oslo. He was Editor of the British Journal of Religious Education 1996-2012. In 2013 he received the William Rainey Harper Award from the Religious Education Association (USA), presented to 'outstanding leaders whose work in other fields has had profound impact upon religious education'. 


"...this is a remarkable publication that not only marks a significant point in the ongoing European debate about the educational value of open forms of religious education but also provides a basis for further debate, clarification, policy-making and experimentation. It can only be hoped that its judicious use leads, as is its intention, to the next stage of intercultural educational development in Europe ... 'and possibly beyond'."
Dr Bill Gent, British Journal of Religious Education, 2015.

'Written clearly, Signposts deals with major issues in language accessible to policy makers and teachers alike. It does not shirk away from the difficult issues involved in teaching about religions today, but unpacks these honestly and with sufficient detail. The chapters mix theoretical reflection, relevant research findings from across Europe, and examples of recent practice in specific national situations. ...The chapter on teaching about non-religious worldviews...helpfully guides readers through this complex issue.'
Dr Dan Fleming, Religious Education Journal of Australia, 31,1, 2015, p38

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