University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Religious Education and Its Interaction with the Spiritual Dimension of Childhood: Teachers’ Perceptions, Understanding and Aspirations

Hill, Ellie and Woolley, Richard ORCID: (2022) Religious Education and Its Interaction with the Spiritual Dimension of Childhood: Teachers’ Perceptions, Understanding and Aspirations. Religions, 13 (4). p. 280. ISSN 2077-1444

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In England, religious education (RE) is a part of the basic curriculum mandatory for all pupils in the compulsory years of schooling. This paper explores how RE and spirituality interact and whether one can contribute to the effective delivery of the other. It explores the experience of a small group of subject leaders working in schools in one local authority area in the West Midlands of England, drawn from schools with a religious affiliation and those without. Using in service training activities, questionnaires and reflective processes, it seeks to elicit their aspirations for the interaction between RE and spirituality (also referred to as meaning-making). The findings suggest the subject leaders have an intention to develop both activity to promote learning and activity to apply that learning to real life experience. This suggests that developing a spiritual dimension to religious education requires a move from the abstract or theoretical and from knowledge acquisition towards increased engagement, making a personal response and considering what difference can be made as a result. As such, a spiritual dimension to learning cannot be passive. The project has the potential to impact policy and practice on both national and international levels, given its focus on values and pedagogy rather than specific curriculum content.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: religious education, children’s spirituality, subject leadership, in service training and development, curriculum, values, childhood
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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Copyright Info: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Depositing User: Miranda Jones
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 11:05
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 11:05

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