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This recent seminar led by Dr Ann Casson draws upon some key findings from the Faith in the Nexus report that considers the diversity of expression and understanding associated with a sense of belonging and connection. The main Nexus report found that where a strong, active relationship between church and school was perceived, then there was more evidence of faith-related activities at home. In this seminar, Dr Ann Casson considers:
Consolation and hope in a time of crisis is a two-year funded research project commencing in June 2021. It aims to investigate how experienced chaplains from Church of England and Catholic sectors can help mitigate the consequences of the various aspects of loss and suffering, caused by Covid-19 disruption, for year7 pupils during their induction year. The` project has a particular interest in pupils disproportionately disadvantaged by Covid-19 disruption, including pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and pupils receiving pupil premium.
A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
Senior research fellow, Dr Ann Casson and researcher, Ann Pittaway will work with the school chaplains creating an ecumenical virtual community of practice. The research team will bring to this community of practice a detailed digest of the latest research on the induction process and spiritual well-being, for consideration by the chaplains. We will facilitate 9 virtual communities of practice over the course of 24 months, offering the community opportunities to reflect and identify best practice, and develop policies and resources for induction 2022-23 and beyond.
Bringing together chaplains from different Christian backgrounds in a community of practice will directly impact student well-being and spiritual resilience and reveal insights into the professional roles. The shared expertise from the virtual community of practice will provide a forum for debate and an exchange of new ideas and practices for a wider audience, disseminated through the medium of online platforms. Termly reports for UK school leaders and policy makers will offer a detailed record of induction practices for 2022/23 and present resources to develop strategic plans in readiness for any potential re-occurrence of the Covid pandemic.
If you are interested in speaking to one to the team about the project please contact the centre firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for papers (Please submit your proposal not later than the 21st of April 2021)
Education Formation and the Church II (August 25-27, 2021)
Brokenness, sin and grace in human formation
We kindly invite you to the biannual academic conference, organised by the Theological University Apeldoorn and the Theological University Kampen. This conference was meant to be held in the summer of 2020, but was postponed because of the pandemic. The conference will be held online and is entitled ‘Brokenness, sin and grace in human formation’.
The conference is scheduled for the 25 , 26 and 27 of August 2021.
Within Christian education we are used to expressions such as ‘growth’, ‘talents’ and ‘human flourishing’. Observing current pedagogical and psychological approaches it may seem that human perfection is the norm. The emphasis on the positive side of faith in human formation can entail the risk of the reality of sin and brokenness being dismissed from the educational vocabulary. At the same time, there is an intrinsic pedagogical motive for adopting stimulating perspectives. The question can, therefore, be raised whether Christian education has become infected by a narrow and reductionist conversation about human flourishing, understood in the meaning of growth, perfection and success.
The upcoming EFC conference will explore questions related to the place of brokenness and grace in the pedagogical theory and practice. How are we to understand good and evil in human nature? How do good and sin manifest themselves in education and formation? Do positive and negative views on pupils, teachers and pedagogy contribute to human formation or to human frustration? How are we to evaluate the current instrumental strive for perfection? How do we cope with the effects of sin and brokenness; the effects of evil in classrooms, learning processes and human formation? This is an opportunity for pedagogues and theologians to inform and inspire one another by understanding and rethinking brokenness and grace in the process of human formation.
The Formation Conference wishes to continue the conversations initiated at the successful conference in 2018. Invited key note speakers are Jan Habl (CZ), Petruschka Schaafsma and Wolter Huttinga (both NL). We are happy to announce that Ros Stuart-Buttle (UK), David Smith (US) and Ronelle Sonnenberg (NL) will be part of the panel in the last part of the conference.
Call for papers
Researchers, professionals and scholars in theology, education and related disciplines are invited to submit paper proposals for the paper sessions. Both practical/professional and scholarly contributions are welcome. The text of the proposal should not exceed a maximum of 500 words, apart from the title of the paper, the author’s name, affiliations and the paper’s four key words.
Please submit your proposal not later than the 21st of April 2021 to Annemarie Kuijvenhoven, member of the preparation committee (email@example.com).
If more information is needed, feel free to connect with one of the members of the committee.
The conference will be held in English. We will consider publishing the lectures and a selection of short papers in a volume with the proceedings of the conference.
Cooperation in partnership
The initiative is taken by the cooperating professors Bram de Muynck (Theological University of Apeldoorn) and Roel Kuiper (Theological University of Kampen).
The conference will be organized with the support of NICER at Canterbury Christ Church University and Centre for Christian Education at Liverpool Hope University.
The conference will also be supported by CHE (university of applied science Ede), Driestar Christian University Gouda and VIAA hogeschool (university of applied sciences Zwolle).
Prof. Bram de Muynck
Prof. Roel Kuiper
Tirza van Laar-Jochemsen MSc, MPhil Willemieke Reijnoudt-Klein MA Annemarie Kuijvenhoven MA
Geranne Tamminga MA
Emeritus Professor Trevor Cooling talks with experienced RE teacher Jason Ramasami about the experience of collaborating and cooperating productively with people who might seriously disagree with you. Topics include conviction, cancel culture and epistemic humility.
Season 1 Episode 3
The first Growing Faith podcast is now live, including an interview with Dr Ann Casson, and the voices of young people from Southeark Diocese. (And as a bonus there’s an uncut version of my interview with Ann looking at her Faith in the Nexus research.)
Our Faith in the Nexus research report has led to dioceses offering training based on the report. Here is one offer by the Diocese of York.
How do church primary schools facilitate opportunities for children’s exploration of faith and spiritual life in the home?
The Faith in the Nexus research project has identified the fruitful ways in church primary schools (working in collaboration with churches and other interested stakeholders) facilitate opportunities for the exploration of children’s faith/spiritual life in the home.
The research findings emerged from research focus group interviews with 450 participants (pupils, parents & staff), and an online survey with 1000 participants across 20 church primary schools in England.
This session explores the report and the implications of the findings for our work with children and young people in the Diocese of York
DATE:21 Apr 2021
TIMES:7:30pm – 9:00pm
I am really pleased to be able to publish this special Advent conversation with Dr David Lewin of Strathclyde university. I had been wanting to talk to David for a while, ever since hearing a paper he gave at a symposium on reduction and the curriculum. More recently he got in touch about a project he is working on looking at religious education in schools might learn from the movement away from the world religions paradigm of teaching in higher education. That might come as a bit of a shock for RE teachers where World Religions has tended to be seen as a more progressive approach than other approaches but perhaps Lewin is revealing that the school subject has more to learn from academic developments and Lewin’s own insights are interesting. In this video we touch on this issue and also a number of other related topics.
David’s related publications:
Lewin, D. (2020) “Religion, Reductionism and Pedagogical Reduction”. In Biesta and Hannam (eds.) Religion and Education. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill | Sense. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004446397…
Lewin, D. (2020) Reimagining the RE/RS Curriculum, in The BASR Bulletin, the British Association for the Study of Religions. Available at: https://basr.ac.uk/2020/11/18/basr-bu…
Lewin, D. (2020) Between horror and boredom: fairy tales and moral education, Ethics and Education, 15:2, 213-231, DOI: 10.1080/17449642.2020.1731107
Lewin, D. (2018) Toward a Theory of Pedagogical Reduction: Selection, Simplification, and Generalization in an Age of Critical Education. Educational Theory, 68: 495-512. https://doi.org/10.1111/edth.12326
The Faith in the Nexus research project has identified the fruitful ways in which twenty church primary schools (working in collaboration with churches and other interested stakeholders) facilitate opportunities for the exploration of children’s faith/spiritual life in the home. The research findings emerged from research focus group interviews with 450 participants (pupils, parents & staff), and an online survey with 1000 participants across 20 church primary schools in England.
Trevor Cooling remembers and writes about the impact and influence of his tutor, Paul Hirst on his own thinking.
9th June 2011 was a big day for me; I gave my inaugural lecture as Professor of Christian Education at Christ Church (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCedF10YJfk). The phrase Christian Education is not widely used in the UK (unlike other parts of the world); I know of only one other person who has taken this professorial title, the Catholic scholar John Sullivan at Liverpool Hope University. I chose it because of the influence of one man, Professor Paul Hirst.
When I first encountered Hirst in 1972, he was an up-and-coming sensation in the philosophy of education. As part of the London School (in association with RS Peters) he pioneered a rationalist approach that sought to base education on the principles of reason. The prestigious Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, which he founded in 1964, is part of his legacy. Hirst’s ideas had a profound and lasting influence on British education. I often hear them in training sessions and read them in the academic literature from people who have never heard of Hirst. The greatest tribute to an influencer is to have your language adopted by people who have no idea where it came from. Hirst achieved that.
In 1972 I was a student at Cambridge, newly studying the Education Tripos. Hirst had just arrived as our new professor. Our set text was his The Logic of Education and we were inducted into forms of knowledge and his other philosophical ideas. I remember him as a flamboyant lecturer, immaculately turned out and a master of the art of rhetoric and persuasion.
As a young Christian, the thing that really provoked my interest was Hirst’s assertion that Christian education was a “contradiction in terms”. His argument was that Christianity was a controversial belief system, whereas education should be based on universal human reason and established knowledge. To put the words “Christian” and “education” together was, for Hirst, a contradiction in terms. To make the point clear, he classified educational approaches as either “primitive” (faith-based), where indoctrination prevailed, or “sophisticated” (reason-based), where rational autonomy prevailed. As Cambridge students we were taught this as established fact.
However, this was a problem for me since I was committed to the idea that being a Christian fundamentally shaped how one approached the educational task. It was a problem that other students shared. So, we got together to search for counter arguments. We unearthed an academic literature in the North American Christian Reformed tradition that took seriously the notion that all truth is God’s truth. Rather pretentiously, we published a paper challenging Hirst’s views about Christian Education. We were told that he was somewhat miffed by this, which is understandable given that we never consulted him, but also a little sad as, looking back, I see it as a huge tribute to his inspiration.
The interest that Hirst sparked in 1972 led me first to an MA and then a PhD in which I sought to grapple with the “contradiction in terms” challenge. These formal courses went side by side with a career as an RE teacher, then work for a Christian education charity, the Church of England and, finally, ten years as a professor at Christ Church. I am still convinced that Hirst was profoundly wrong about the contradiction in terms, but am now convinced that he was profoundly right to want to distinguish between primitive and sophisticated forms of education. He just did it on the wrong basis.
I am not, therefore, a Hirst disciple. But at the sad event of his passing away, I bear testimony to the massive influence he had on my life. His ideas inspired a life-long intellectual pursuit. At my inaugural, nearly forty years after I first encountered Hirst, I described myself as “Professor of Contradiction in Terms”. What greater tribute can there be to a teacher than that?
Trevor Cooling., Emeritus Professor of Christian Education, Canterbury Christ Church University.