Celebrating Religious Diversity in the UK: Listening to and Resourcing Young People
Launch of New Book & New Curriculum Resources on Young People & Religious Diversity
On 24 January 2016, WRERU held an event in Coventry Cathedral to launch a new book—Young People’s Attitudes to Religious Diversity (Elisabeth Arweck. ed., Routledge 2017, https://www.routledge.com/Young-Peoples-Attitudes-to-Religious-Diversity/Arweck/p/book/9781472444301) and new curriculum resources for primary school pupils—Exploring Why (Tania ap Siôn, Bear Lands Publishing, https://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources.html).
The launch event was a major public engagement event, organised in collaboration between WRERU, staff in the Peace and Reconciliation Ministry of Coventry Cathedral, and the St Mary Centre, Wales. It sought to broaden the pathway for further dialogue and common initiatives between WRERU and Cathedral staff and local religious communities.
The event attracted a substantial audience comprising academic and non-academic stakeholders concerned with religious education and religious diversity, from a number of religious and worldview backgrounds.
The programme consisted of a welcome address by the Dean of Coventry Cathedral, The Very Reverend John Witcombe and presentations (by Prof. Robert Jackson, Dr Elisabeth Arweck, Prof. Leslie Francis, and Dr Tania ap Siôn) about the book and the curriculum resources as well as responses to both publications from a Christian (Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester) and Muslim perspective Dr Abdullah Sahin, WRERU).
The event also provided opportunities for those present to network with and get to know each other, with a view to exploring avenues for possible future collaboration. The event was financially supported by the University of Warwick’s Public Engagement Fund.
The book reports data from focus groups interviews and a detailed survey involving nearly 12,000 young people from across the four nations of the UK. The research was sponsored by two major Research Councils (AHRC and ESRC) as part of the Religion and Society programme.
The findings from this research have been used to inform the new curriculum resources, introducing pupils to the religious diversity within the communities around them. The two new series, sponsored by the Welsh Government, comprise 13 books, and online resources published in both English and Welsh.
New publication: Young People's Attitudes to Religious Diversity, edited by Elisabeth Arweck
A one-day public engagement event organised by Dr James Hodkinson from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and Dr Elisabeth Arweck from the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU) in the Centre of Education Studies (CES) at Warwick took place on 18 May 2016 at the Scarman Conference Centre.
Professor Francisco Vargas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile, visiting Professors Leslie Francis and Robert Jackson at Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit on 16 February 2015 to discuss research co-operation.
Warwick–Monash Alliance: Second Workshop of CES and Monash Staff
The second of two workshops involving staff from the Centre of Education Studies (CES) at Warwick and staff from Monash University took place 2–4 February 2015 at the Monash Conference Centre in Melbourne, Australia. The participants included Prof. Mary Lou Rasmussen and Prof. Gary Bouma from Monash University and Prof. Robert Jackson and Dr Elisabeth Arweck from the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU) as well as Dr Anna Halafoff and Dr Andrew Singleton from Deakin University at Melbourne. The purpose of the workshop was twofold: to continue work on a grant proposal for the Australian Research Council and to meet with colleagues and stakeholders to discuss diverse worldviews education and social inclusion in the context of education about religions and beliefs in Australian schools. A component of the workshop was a presentation by Prof. Jackson on Signposts, a document he authored on policy and practice for teaching about religions and non-religious worldviews in intercultural education across European countries, published by the Council of Europe in 2014. The workshop is financially supported by the Warwick–Monash Alliance Seed fund which is designed to facilitate the development of joint research and educational collaboration between Monash University and the University of Warwick.
Dr Anna Halafoff (Deakin), Prof Gary Bouma (Monash), Dr Elisabeth Arweck (Warwick)
Professor Robert Jackson speaks at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, 4th February 2015, about his new book for the Council of Europe, 'Signposts' . The audience included policy makers, academics and members of inter faith and humanist groups from different parts of Australia.