Worldviews in Religious Education launch

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This page created on: 28/10/2020

Last modified: 28/10/2020

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Published by: Theos Think Tank

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This is a recording of 'What are worldviews and why should schools teach them?' on 21st October 2020.



This is a recording of ‘What are worldviews and why should schools teach them?’ on 21st October 2020.

How RE is taught in schools is a central pillar of any society’s religious literacy, challenging false assumptions and expanding young minds to consider the role of religion and belief in a modern world. In 2018, the Commission on Religious Education launched new proposals for a paradigm shift in the subject, broadening the focus of RE in English schools to a consideration of “Religion and Worldviews”. However, while many RE professionals have embraced the proposed changes, including the focus on worldviews, the proposed shift generated considerable debate and has not yet been adopted by the government.  

Professor Trevor Cooling and Professor Bob Bowie (two of the authors of ‘Worldviews in Religious Education’, along with Dr Farid Panjwani) explain the argument of their new report for Theos. They argue that framing RE around the exploration of worldviews (including “organised”’ worldviews like Christianity and Humanism, and also “personal” worldviews, the beliefs and hidden assumptions which shape how each individual sees the world) is essential for revitalising the subject. They show how this can be done practically in the classroom, and respond to various criticisms that have been made of the paradigm shift.

Respondents Lois Lee and Jagbir Jhutti–Johal then offer thoughts on the report, before opening up a discussion of how the concept of worldviews might impact upon our understanding of our religion or belief landscape more widely.

This event will be of interest to anyone concerned about the future of RE, and about how we develop greater public understanding of our diverse and complex society.

You can find out more and download the full report here:


You can access the video here:

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