University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Teach Them to Pray Auntie: Children’s Hour Prayers at the BBC, 1940–1961

Parker, Stephen (2010) Teach Them to Pray Auntie: Children’s Hour Prayers at the BBC, 1940–1961. History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society, 39 (5). pp. 659-676. ISSN Print: 0046-760X, Online: 1464-5130

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From its inception in 1922 the BBC pioneered a new medium in the education of
children. This article traces the origins and development of a particular broadcast,
Children’s Hour Prayers
, a short worship time for children (appended to
Children’s Hour
) which began in wartime, and ended, along with the host
programme itself, in the early 1960s. This article considers the ways in which
adult–child relatedness is challenged and changed by the broadcasts, and how
disputes over the best approach to teaching the young to pray affirmed the
importance of treating children maturely, valuing their religious experience and
communicating with them authentically. This paper concludes by arguing that the
programme makers’ straightforward approach in exploring religious ideas with
children was a forerunner of pedagogical development in school RE, speculating
whether the demise of
Children’s Hour Prayers
is indicative of the incipient de-
Christianisation of Britain from the 1960s onwards

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: radio, broadcasting, BBC, prayer, worship, religious education, Second World War, de-Christianisation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 14:10
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:11

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