Thinking in RE
2 July 2008Add to My Folder
Discover how RE can play a central role in the development of children’s thinking skills
Religious education plays an important role in preparing children to live in a multicultural and pluralist society. It allows children to challenge stereotypes and celebrate the diversity within our society. The skills of questioning, reflection and evaluation are relevant to both the subject RE and thinking skills. Thinking skills should, therefore, be seen as an important tool for developing RE where children learn to express opinions, make judgements and reflect on the thoughts and beliefs of others.
What are the benefits of using the following thinking approaches in RE?
- Increasingly make connections to earlier contributions in class discussions
- Ask a greater number of higher order level questions
- Explain their thinking and justify their beliefs Improve their listening skills and, in some cases, their confidence
- Become more interested in RE because they are choosing the questions discussed in lessons
- Be supported in formulating questions, aiding children with English as an additional language or children with special educational needs.
This article offers approaches to teaching RE using thinking skills that can be adapted and used in a wide variety of RE lessons. Each of these approaches requires children to be able to articulate their thoughts, speak clearly to an audience, listen to each other and reflect on what others have said. The activities enable children to learn to justify their opinions and to make connections between their own and other children’s beliefs. The activities can help children become more self-aware, open-minded and emotionally literate.
The three activities in the article are linked and support each other in building children’s speaking and listening and questioning skills. The activities focus the children on asking meaningful questions, allowing you to act as facilitator so that the children can build on the thoughts and ideas of others. It is also important that children are able to articulate the type of question to ask in order to gain the information they want. Many children find this difficult and the pack aims to support this learning.
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