Spring 2022 – Ways of Knowing

Our theme this term is ‘ways of knowing’. What is meant by this?

The phrase is taken from the 2021 Ofsted Research Review for Religious Education

In this review, three types of knowledge are given that should be seen in the RE curriculum. They are described as ‘pillars of progression’.

  1. Substantive knowledge: the ‘stuff’ that is learnt
  2. Ways of knowing: the ways we make sense of the ‘stuff’
  3. Personal knowledge: how an individual’s own worldview shapes understanding

Ways of knowing refers to the wider ways of thinking that frame smaller pieces of substantial knowledge. This might refer to different disciplinary lenses, such as History or Art, employed to make sense of a person, people or action. While substantive knowledge describes ‘what to know’, the wider framing offered by disciplinary lenses allows pupils to understand ‘how to know’.

The Research Review describes ‘tools of scholarship’. The tools chosen to make sense of substantive knowledge will depend on the topic or pupils’ age, but the overall purpose is to allow pupils to respond to content in ‘informed, reflective and intelligent ways’.

This term we will present different ways of knowing and consider how they support an ongoing understanding of religion and worldviews. We will consider the use of data about religion and religious groups, what a hermeneutical view brings and how specific focuses, such as sustainability or decolonialism, can enhance knowledge and understanding.

Ways of Knowing - Resources of the Month...

Religion, worldviews and the media

A fascinating conversation with Ruth Peacock, director of the Religion Media Centre.