R******us Education: How RE lost its soul

I was once asked to run a lunchtime detention for a misbehaving year nine boy called Troy.* Having not encountered him before, I decided with five minutes to go, to strike up a conversation. ‘What have you been studying in History lately Troy?’ He pulled a pained face before grunting the obvious, ‘History.’ Unperturbed, I tried another question, ‘What have you been studying in Geography?’ Predictably, his unenthusiastic reply was ‘Geography.’ Feeling the rhythm of the conversation I thought I’d try one more question. ‘What about RE?’ Just as I thought I knew where the conversation was going, Troy paused, looked slightly puzzled and then replied ‘feelings…we just talk about our feelings, we don’t really learn much.’

Unintentionally, Troy had articulated an issue that plagues RE at its very core and from which many others flow. We fear the phenomenon that is the essence, the heart, of our subject. We are afraid to drop the R bomb…

Read the full article here on the RE:ONLINE website

RE Online

*Troy is a fictional character. This story is not of any one time or place, but is a composite, accurately reflecting an observed pattern.


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