On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X
NIXON, Graeme. The emergence of philosophy in Scottish secondary school Religious Education. Koers (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.77, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2304-8557.
This article considers changes in the subject Religious Education (RE) within the context of Scottish secondary schools, charting a development towards the increasing use of philosophical skills and content. Before considering the nature, extent and timing of this development this article provides a broader context within which to understand educational change in Scotland. The emergent hypothesis is that Religious Education has become more philosophical as a result of changes in society (particularly secularisation), changes in education (particularly the move to reflective pedagogy), and also as a result of the close epistemological relationship between philosophy and religious education. This article adopts an interpretative research paradigm and considers quantitative and qualitative data drawn from a survey of 126 secondary schools and seventeen key informant interviews. Taken alongside existing reviews of policy and research literature this data demonstrate that three interlinked hypothetical strands have been at the heart of the move towards more philosophical Religious Education, although other possibilities are also raised and considered. This study also suggests areas for further research based on the above findings.