The European Wergeland Centre (EWC) is a resource centre for education professionals, researchers, civil society, policymakers, parents and students. This resource centre has made available an important document for policy and practice for teaching about religions and non-religious worldviews. A download link is given.
From The European Wergeland Centre, Prof Robert Jackson has made availalble Signposts – Policy and practice for teaching about religions and non-religious world views in intercultural education which many teachers and practitioners of multifaith and interfaith activities may find useful. You can download this publication free of charge and forward it to colleagues and students.
Signposts is about increasing ‘religious literacy’ for the whole population – increasing tolerance and opening up the possibility of generating respect and recognition for others’ views and values. It acknowledges the internal diversity of religions, and sees religious extremism as marginal to particular religions.
Signposts is not a blueprint, but a document to assist practitioners and policy makers from member states in their thinking and action in relation to their own context. This is so with all topics, but perhaps especially with incorporating non-religious convictions.
There is a distinction between religious nurture (fostering religious understanding within a tradition) and understanding religion(s), (something that all can engage in). There is a relation between the two, and ‘outward looking’ people involved in nurture can assist/support understanding religions. Signposts is concerned with helping learners to understand religions – to generate religious literacy, but recognises that this needs to be developed in some very different educational contexts.
The topics covered in Signposts are the ones identified as problematic by members of the Council of Europe Education committee who answered the questionnaire. Signposts draws upon and summarises available research in dealing with many of these topics. (The topics on terminology and non religious convictions discuss spirituality a bit)
Specialist teachers are needed with knowledge and understanding of religious diversity, AND with skills to facilitate dialogue in ‘safe space’ with agreed groundrules. Such teachers can help with the training/professional development of other teachers.
The European Wergeland Centre
The European Wergeland Centre (EWC) is a resource centre for education professionals, researchers, civil society, policymakers, parents and students.
EWC was established by the Council of Europe and Norway to support member states to bridge policy, research and practice in the field of education for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding.
The Centre is open to all the 47 member states of the CoE and offers capacity building activities, disseminates resources and organizes seminars and conferences for practitioners, trainers, researchers, policymakers and the public at large.
You can visit the website of The European Wergeland Centre