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Durham e-Theses
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The application of the thinking of Paulo Freire to the development of religious education in British schools

Bellett, Eileen Elizabeth (1984) The application of the thinking of Paulo Freire to the development of religious education in British schools. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis begins with a critical analysis of Paulo Freire's work. Brief biographical details are followed by an outline of the roots of Freire's philosophy and an account of his specific literacy method. The study then concentrates on the broader educational perspectives behind his method in an attempt to show that, while his theory has situated origins, its applications are potentially much wider. The Thesis then moves on to an examination of the educational implications of Freire's concept of man. This shorter section is, nevertheless, important, as, for Freire - 'every educational practice implies a concept of men and the world’. Central themes in Freire's ‘vision of man’ are examined and a critical evaluation of the more general educational implications of his concept, offered for consideration. The final section of the Thesis explores the implications of the thought of Paulo Freire for the development of Religious Education. Following a survey of main 'trends' in Religious Education from 1944 to the present day and an examination of the relationship between theology and approaches to Religious Education a new approach is suggested from the perspective of Paulo Freire, who, himself represents the inter-action of educational and theological ideas. Against the background of liberation Theology, the study attempts to show that Freire makes a significant contribution to the development of Religious Education in terms of approach rather than method. Freire's 'Cultural Action for Freedom' is offered as an exciting and genuine opportunity for developments which represent a new unity between theory and praxis. Acknowledging the centrality of 'choice' the Thesis recognises that the new approach may ultimately be rejected, but concludes that the voice of Freire is a challenging one and one that invites us to make our starting point ‘reality and not ideas’.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1984
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 15:45

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