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Harper’s Encyclopedia of Religious Education by Iris V. Cully and Kendig B. Cully

July 17, 2015

EREThe sort of RE we do in England and Wales in the envy of the rest of the world. I remember talking to a group of Lutheran ministers from Bavaria who went into schools without teaching qualifications, and did catechesis. In some countries, like France and the US, religion is banned from schools.

This book has a wide selection of entries (over 600) that show how things are done differently across the globe. The contributors (270 of them) are learned.

We get material about pupils’ development – both cognitive and spiritual.

There are entries about the way different denominations and religions approach education. Also movements like Cursillo.

The use of art, the bible, children’s literature, discussion, dance, drama, dream investigation, role-models/saints, music, festivals, programmed learning, videos, role-play, social justice issues (politics in the classroom).

The work of famous educators is covered. So are periods of history.

How can teachers use discipline in a way that is consistent with their theology – forgiveness?

Can you teach empathy – is it a learned behaviour or an innate quality?

How can you evaluate your effectiveness? Assessment – what are you trying to measure and should you? Should this influence lesson planning?

If you are a head of department, how do you monitor your staff? How do you involve parents – or keep them at arm’s length?

Do you induct children into their own religion or teach about all the religions neutrally?

What sort of time allocation is appropriate for RE?

What is the role of spiritual direction when it comes to teaching?

How, if at all, is collective worship related to RE?

This is a treasure trove for all involved or interested in education in its widest sense.

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