Engaging Phronesis: religious education with primary initial teacher education students

Whitworth, Linda (2018) Engaging Phronesis: religious education with primary initial teacher education students. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the initial teacher education of non-specialist primary undergraduate student teachers in teaching Religious Education. The focus of the research is a short module taught in the second year of the students’ degree course, which prepares students to teach in predominantly multicultural classrooms in London. The module adopts an Interpretive Approach to Religious Education, which contributes to a realignment of the students’ conceptualisation of knowledge through examination of the concepts of episteme and phronesis. Findings show that overt acknowledgement of the student teachers’ developing professional understandings, situated in decisions which reference values as well as subject knowledge, can alter their understanding and confidence about teaching Religious Education and indicates wider benefit in their appreciation of their developing teacher personae.

The Structure of the Research

Chapter 1 is a contextual introduction which presents a series of lenses through which to view the Religious Education module.
Chapter 2 is an exploration of three main ideas which influenced the research: the Interpretive Approach to RE, the concept of phronesis, and the benefits to understanding pedagogy through self-study in teacher education.
Chapter 3 explains the methodological thinking behind the research, ethical considerations and the methods employed. These include practitioner research, use of ethnographic and reflexive lenses and analysis of data from both students and personal reflection through self-study.
Chapter 4 reports the findings from the research carried out with students, exploring the ideas which emerge from their responses to the module and my observations and interviews which illuminate ideas which emerge from the analysis.
Chapter 5 is a discussion of the content and development of the module itself, exploring the impact and development of activities which influence the students’ understanding of RE.
Chapter 6 draws together the threads of the research to explore the vision of a transformative ITE RE module, which recognises the value of acknowledging and developing phronesis in primary non-specialist student teacher education and concludes with recommendations to improve the current situation in RE in primary ITE.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
B. > Theses
Item ID: 23887
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 12:02
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 12:02
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23887

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