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Open Access Religion and Religious Diversity within Education in a Social Pedagogical Context in Times of Crisis: Can Religious Education Contribute to Community Cohesion?

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In this article the author argues that the teaching of religion(s) in education, in a social pedagogical context, can encourage community cohesion especially when, during the current harsh crisis, the need for cohesion seems to be of paramount importance in enabling seemingly insurmountable problems to be overcome. At the same time minorities become vulnerable and diversity, a matter of high priority, comes to the fore. The author reviews evidence of research on the effect of educational intervention within Religious Education on student attitudes toward religious diversity. He proposes that constructivist methodology, using theatre/drama as a means of Religious Education, could give people the choice to be critical religious believers and active members in a society applying the fundamental social pedagogical principle of tolerance to and respect for the 'other'. In this article the author argues that the teaching of religion(s) in education, in a social pedagogical context, can encourage community cohesion especially when, during the current harsh crisis, the need for cohesion seems to be of paramount importance in enabling seemingly insurmountable problems to be overcome. At the same time minorities become vulnerable and diversity, a matter of high priority, comes to the fore. The author reviews evidence of research on the effect of educational intervention within Religious Education on student attitudes toward religious diversity. He proposes that constructivist methodology, using theatre/drama as a means of Religious Education, could give people the choice to be critical religious believers and active members in a society applying the fundamental social pedagogical principle of tolerance to and respect for the 'other'.

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Keywords: ACTION RESEARCH; APPLIED THEATRE; COMMUNITY COHESION; DIVERSITY; RELIGIOUS EDUCATION; RESEARCH; SOCIAL PEDAGOGICAL CONTEXT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2015

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Social Pedagogy makes a substantial contribution to the cross-cultural discourse around social pedagogy. With emphasis on a theory-practice connection, articles in IJSP reflect a wide range of social pedagogical traditions and provide a greater understanding of social pedagogy in ways that are both relevant at a practice level and contribute to the body of theory and research. The interdisciplinary field of social pedagogy is constantly developing and evolving, and needs a strong foundational theory base, supported by well documented practice. IJSP is the only UK based English-language journal dedicated to social pedagogy and has so far attracted substantial international attention. Recently adopted by UCL Press, one of the peer reviewers praised IJSP for being ‘at the forefront of developing a scholarship in social pedagogy in an English language context, attracting a mix of local and well-known international contributors’.
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