University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Enriching the Historiography of Religious Education: Insights from Oral Life History

Doney, J. and Parker, Stephen and Freathy, R. (2017) Enriching the Historiography of Religious Education: Insights from Oral Life History. History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society, 46 (4). pp. 436-458. ISSN Print 0046-760X Online: 1464-5130

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This article seeks to exemplify the extent to which oral life history research can enrich existing historiographies of English Religious Education (RE). Findings are reported from interviews undertaken with a sample of key informants involved in designing and/or implementing significant curriculum changes in RE in the 1960s and 1970s. The interviews provided insights into personal narratives and biographies that have been marginal to, or excluded from, the historical record. Thematic analysis of the oral life histories opened a window into the world of RE, specifically in relation to professional identity and practice, curriculum development, and professional organizations, thereby exposing the operational dynamics of RE at an (inter-)personal and organizational level. The findings are framed by a series of methodological reflections. Overall, oral life histories are shown to be capable of revealing that which was previously hidden and which can be confirmed and contrasted with knowledge gleaned from primary documentary sources.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society on 29th September 2016 (online), available online: .”

Staff and students at the University of Worcester have access the full-text of the published version via Library Search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Keywords: oral life history, methodology, professional identity and practice, curriculum development, professional organisation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LA History of education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Stephen Parker
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 14:09
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 10:37

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