Creativity, innovation and the power of listening – the religion and worldviews community is thriving!
25 June, 2021, Dr Kathryn Wright
This week I’ve been lucky enough to take part in two great online events. The first was the AULRE conference, the second was our own Culham St Gabriel’s Grants Showcase.
The AULRE conference clearly demonstrated the depth and range of research taking place across the religion and worldviews community with themes including applying research to agreed syllabus development, worldview literacy, teacher agency and inclusive classrooms.
I was struck by the different ways in which many presenters wrestled with what we understand by knowledge in our subject. Professor Lynn Revell referenced the work of Bell Hooks (Teaching to Transgress, 1994) and the notion of collectively listening. Dr Brian Gates also presented about listening to others. For me, this principle of listening together, learning from one another, actively listening for the wisdom in another’s understanding of knowledge adds richness and is one of the huge benefits of working within the religion and worldviews community. It also struck me that the ethos and atmosphere created by AULRE provides a truly hospitable space for early career researchers, as well as more experienced colleagues to contribute to the conversation, and be listened to!
Our Grants Showcase event had me captivated and intently listening for two hours. We had invited some of our grant award holders to share their work, and it was an inspiring evening. Without the creativity and innovation of grantees, our Trust would not be able to make an impact. High quality professional films about the diversity of career options for Theology and Religious Studies graduates were shown. Innovative approaches to the teaching of religion and worldviews were demonstrated, including alternative ways to approach curriculum design, visual resources and use of the creative arts. Two projects demonstrated in depth analysis of how teachers engage in and with research. There was also an opportunity for some new award holders to share their plans. These included projects to promote positive attitudes towards the study of religion and worldviews especially with parents, educationalists, policy makers and the media.
Both events this week showed me that our religion and worldviews community is thriving with innovation and creativity. We are a community of deep thinkers; but also, one of enterprising and pragmatic individuals and organisations; We are a community where insight and imagination abounds; yet, also one where application to the classroom lies at the heart and a passion for promoting the importance of our subject underpins all we do.
If you are interested in applying for a small or large scale project grant more details are available here: https://www.cstg.org.uk/grants/projects/
Details of all our current grant projects can be found here: https://www.cstg.org.uk/grants/projects/grants-awarded/