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versão On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versão impressa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.2 Pretoria  2011


Paradigms, beliefs and values in scholarship: A conversation between two educationists


Paradigmas, vooronderstellings en waardeoriënterings in wetenskapsbeoefening: 'n Gesprek tussen twee opvoedkundiges



C.D. Roux; J.L. van der Walt

Faculty of Education Sciences Potchefstroom, Campus North-West University, Potchefstroom. E-mail:;




Scientific paradigms constantly play a role in scholarship, but researchers tend not to examine the roles of the belief and value systems associated with them. From time to time, how-ever, a researcher may be confronted with a situation where such an analysis is unavoidable. This article takes the shape of a conversation between two researchers who have been work-ing for several years in quite different research paradigms in the field of Religion Studies/Religion Education/Religion in Education.1They investigate the possibility of collaboration as they were initially trained at the same university. After their graduate studies, their ways parted, and they developed quite different scholarly paradigms as well as belief and value systems. Their conversation not only highlights the differences in their respective current worldviews, belief systems, value systems, and academic approaches to Religious Studies, but also shows in practical terms how different scholarly paradigms (with their concomitant belief and value systems) can impact on researchers' (views of) scholarship, science practice and research in Religion Education and Religion in Education.

Key concepts: beliefs, education, paradigms, scholarship, values


Wetenskapsparadigmas speel deurlopend 'n rol in akademie-skap, maar min navorsers verwoord eksplisiet hulle navorsings-paradigmas. 'n Navorser word soms wel gedwing om analities na sy/haar navorsingsparadigma te kyk. Hierdie artikel is in die vorm van 'n gesprek tussen twee navorsers wat vanuit hulle verskillende paradigmas op die terrein van die Religiestudies/ Religieuse Onderrig/Religie in Onderwys2 werk en moontlike samewerking vanuit hierdie verskillende paradigmas oorweeg. Hierdie oorweging spruit daaruit dat hulle aanvanklik aan dieselfde universiteit studeer het. Hulle weë het egter na hulle voorgraadse studiejare uiteen gegaan, en gaandeweg het hulle heeltemal verskillende wetenskaplike, paradigmatiese waarde-oriënterings ontwikkel. Hulle gesprek lig nie slegs die verskille in hulle onderskeie lewensbeskouings, waardeoriënterings en benaderings tot Religiestudie uit nie, maar dui ook prakties aan hoe die verskillende wetenskaplike paradigmas (met hulle samehangende waardeoriënterings) 'n navorser se (sienings oor) akademieskap en navorsing in Religie in Onderwys en Religieuse Onderrig kan beïnvloed.

Kernbegrippe: akademieskap, opvoedkunde, paradigmas, waarde-oriënterings, waardes



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1 The terms Religion Studies/Religious Education/Religion in Education are de-fined in the South African Policy on Religion in Education (2003) and explicated in more detail in the Curriculum for Religious Studies for the FET-Band. The ambivalent use of the name for the subject Religious Education and/or Bible Education prior to 2003 led to confusion, and the various interpretations (natio-nally and internationally) that were bandied about necessitated the formulation of a definition for circumscribing the new subject in the curriculum, namely as a subject that would be fully inclusive. Its curriculum embraces a study of various different religions and value orientations (worldviews) and hence differs con-siderably from the content and definition of the previous religious education (cf. Summers & Waddington, 1996; Krüger, 2003; Prinsloo, 2008).
2 Die terme Religiestudies/Religieuse Onderrig/Religie in Onderwys word in die Suid-Afrikaanse Beleid oor Religie in Onderwys (2003) gedefinieer en in die kurrikulum vir Religiestudies in the VOO-band verduidelik. Die ambivalente gebruik van die naam van die vak, Religieuse Onderrig en/of Bybelonderrig, voor 2003 het tot verwarring gelei en verskillende interpretasies (nasionaal en inter-nasionaal) het 'n definisie genoodsaak om die nuwe "vak" in die kurrikulum mee te identifiseer, naamlik as 'n vak wat inklusief van aard sou wees. Die kurrikulum daarvan sluit die bestudering van verskillende godsdienste en waardeoriën-terings (werklikheidsbeskouings) in en verskil derhalwe aansienlik van die inhoud en definisie van die vorige religieuse onderrig/godsdiensonderrig (vgl. Summers & Waddington, 1996; Krüger, 2003; Prinsloo, 2008).

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