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Durham e-Theses
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Promoting spiritual development through religious education in the first school

Willows, Sarah Anne (1997) Promoting spiritual development through religious education in the first school. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The aim of this thesis is to explore what it means in practice for teachers of young children to promote spiritual development within the context of the National Curriculum and in the light of the guidelines given by the 1988 Education Reform Act. The thesis begins by setting the discussion within a particular historical and philosophical context; a context which has been heavily influenced by the basic assumptions of Rationalism. I then discuss the influential work of Ronald Goldman in Religious Thinking from Childhood to Adolescence (1964) who applied the psychological methodologies of Jean Piaget (1929) to the particular subject of Religious Education, looking specifically at his understanding of children’s language development. The possibility of encouraging the development of language skills alongside the opportunity to experience the spiritual side of reality is then discussed as a means of developing children's conceptual understanding of God. The thesis then offers a critique of New Methods in R.E. Teaching: an Experiential Approach (Hammond et al., 1990) as an example of one particular model for promoting spiritual development in the classroom. The role of the imagination is then drawn out as being of crucial importance for Religious Education and those involved in seeking to promote spiritual development through it. Finally, this theory is fully developed in a practical context through a programme of activities which have been used effectively in the classroom as a means of seeking to promote spiritual development.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:40

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