Religious education and social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL)

Clive Erricker

RE and social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL)

a_a_Books-112.jpg Social development includes a range of aspects such as ‘the development of skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together’ and ‘functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society’ (Ofsted 2003: 18). It also extends to understanding economic and political principles and organisations of democratic societies, at a macro-level, and developing good relationships and values and respecting differences, at a personal level. It is clearly connected to community cohesion, citizenship and rights, respect and responsibilities initiatives. It also has obvious links with spiritual, moral and cultural development.

The emphasis on interpersonal skills and effective contribution to community life within social development connects it to emotional development or emotional literacy. SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning) are intertwined through, for example desired outcomes such as, ‘adjusting to a range of social contexts by appropriate and sensitive behaviour’ and relating ‘well to other people’s social skills and personal qualities’ (Ofsted 2003:20)

Social development and emotional literacy

a_a_Books-112.jpg Religious education can contribute in a number of ways to social development and emotional literacy through the opportunities it offers to consider how religion has impacted on and influenced societies, how religion has been instrumental in the creation of social values, how emotional factors have been part of the formation and lives of leading and influential religious figures. These aspects of religious education can resonate powerfully with children’s experience and promote effective engagement through story, drama and such strategies as community of enquiry.

Additionally, religious education provides opportunities for social action, charity participation and community service drawing on the need to work cooperatively to common purpose, arrive at agreed consensus and challenge injustice. Religious literacy also informs social and emotional development through consideration of such concepts as reconciliation, atonement, forgiveness, prejudice, the Sikh concept of sewa (service) and the Muslim concept of umma (community).

Through its contribution to social and emotional aspects of learning religious education can be seen to enhance the positive involvement of pupils within the school as a community by their of sharing ideas and values, taking part in decision making and ensuring that ‘pupil voice’ is heard and valued.

Developing social and emotional aspects of learning

a_a_Books-112.jpg Developing social and emotional aspects of learning can be seen as integral to addressing community cohesion. Both are judged on the basis of their contribution to outcomes and both demand active pupil involvement in changing attitudes and levels of participation within and beyond the school to the acceptance of diversity and difference, tolerance and respect. This will often involve a steep learning curve for pupils in which they need to develop confidence in their own views but also be willing to listen to the views of others and work collaboratively to a common outcome despite disagreements. The skills and qualities to be promoted in religious education and effective engagement with its subject matter can be of great benefit in this respect.

However, it is necessary to ensure that religious education, along with other curriculum subjects, fosters the skills and capacities at the heart of emotional literacy in the way in which it is learnt. For example, there is a need to understand and manage thoughts, feelings and actions; promote self esteem; manage conflict and promote communication skills that are effective in their affective communication (see Sharp 2001: 46).

Resources

Resources

References

References

  • Erricker, C. And Erricker J. (2000) Reconstructing Religious, Spiritual and Moral Education, London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Erricker, J. (2000) 'Moral education as relationship in community', Erricker, C. And Erricker J. Reconstructing Religious, Spiritual and Moral Education, London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Erricker, C. Erricker, J. Ota, C. Sullivan, D. And Fletcher, M. (1997) The Education of the Whole Child, London: Cassell.
  • Hay, D. (1985) 'Suspicion of the Spiritual: Teaching Religion in a World of Secular Experience', British Journal of Religious Education, 7.1, pp. 140-7.
  • Hay, D. with Nye, R. (1998) The Spirit of the Child, London: Fount.
  • Jackson, R. (1997) Religious Education: an interpretive approach, London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  • Jackson, R. (2004) Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality: issues in diversity and pedagogy, London and |New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • MacIntyre, A. (1985) After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, London: Duckworth.
  • National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education (1999) All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education, London: DfEE and DCMS.
  • Nesbitt, E. (2004) Intercultural Education: ethnographic and religious approaches, Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press.
  • Office for Standards in Education (1999) Handbook for Inspecting Primary and Nursery Schools, London: Ofsted.
  • Office for Standards in Education (2003), Promoting and Evaluating Pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development: guidance for schools, London: Ofsted.
  • Priestley, J. (1997) 'Spirituality, Curriculum and Education', International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 2.1, pp.23-34.
  • Sharp, P. (2001) Nurturing Emotional Literacy, London: David Fulton.
  • Webster, R.S. (2009) 'The educative value of Dewey’s religious attitude for spirituality', International Journal of Children’s Spirituality 14.2. pp.93-104.
Books

Books

  • Alexander, H. (ed.) (2004) Spirituality and Ethics in Education: philosophical, theological and radical perspectives, Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press.
  • Copley, T. (2000) Spiritual Development in the State School, Exeter: University of Exeter Press.
  • Copley, T. (2005) Indoctrination, Education and God: the struggle for the mind, London: SPCK.
  • De Souza, M., Durka, G., Engebretson, K., Jackson, R. And McGrady, A. (eds.) (2006) International Handbook of the Religious, Moral and Spiritual Dimensions of Education, (2 vols), Dordrecht: Springer
  • Erricker, C., Erricker, J., Ota, C., Sullivan, D. and Fletcher, M. (1997) The Education of the Whole Child, London: Cassell.
  • Erricker, C. and Erricker J. (2000) Reconstructing Religious, Spiritual and Moral Education, London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Erricker, C. And Erricker, J. (eds.) (2001) , London and New York: Continuum.
  • Erricker, C. (2001) When Learning Becomes Your Enemy: Spirituality, Education and Economics, Nottingham: Educational Heretics Press.
  • Erricker, C. (2009) 'A Buddhist Approach to Alternative Schooling' in Woods, Philip, A. and Woods, Glenys J. (eds) Alternative Education for the 21st Century, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Erricker, C. (2010) Religious Education: a conceptual and interdisciplinary approach for secondary level, London: FultonRoutledge.
  • Erricker, C., Lowndes, J., Bellchambers, E. (2010) Primary Religious Education-a new approach: conceptual enquiry in primary RE, London: FultonRoutledge.
  • Gardner, R., Cairns, J., Lawton, D. (eds.) (2000) Education for Values: morals, ethics and citizenship in contemporary teaching, London: Kogan Page.
  • Grimmitt, M. (2000) Pedagogies of Religious Education, Great Wakering, Essex: McCrimmons.
  • Hay, D. with Nye, R. (1998) The Spirit of the Child, London: Fount.
  • Jackson, R. (1997) Religious Education: an interpretive approach, London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  • Jackson, R. (2004) Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality: issues in diversity and pedagogy, London and New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Nesbitt, E. (2004) Intercultural Education: ethnographic and religious approaches, Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press.
  • Ota, C., Erricker, J., Erricker, C. (eds) (2001) Spiritual Education: cultural, religious and social differences – new perspectives for the 21st Century, Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press.
  • Ota, C. and Erricker, C. (eds) (2005) Spiritual Education: literary, empirical and pedagogical approaches, Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press.
  • Wright, A. (2004) Religion, Education and Post-modernity, London and New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Wright, A. (2007) Critical Religious Education, Multiculturalism and the Pursuit of Truth, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Journals

Journals

  • British Journal of Religious Education
  • International Journal of Children’s Spirituality
  • Journal of Beliefs and Values
  • Journal of Moral Education

All these journals are available electronically at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/online.asp

Useful websites

Useful websites