The history of post-war religious education, with particular reference to the relationship between religious and moral education : a study in pluralism
The study opens with an examination of the theory and practice of Religious and Moral Education in the forties. Special attention is given to the view, reaching back into the nineteenth century, that Religious Education and Moral Education were to be equated. From this base in monism the subsequent course of RME into increasing complexity, differentiation and plurality is analysed. Particular attention is given to the emergence of ME as an autonomous exercise, and to the relationship of RE both to a secular rational educational philosophy and to a multi-faith society. Advocacy of these positions began in the forties, and reached a convincingly argued case in the seventies. The major curriculum-development schemes in RE and ME in the seventies were said to operate on 'complementarity' as the best way of viewing the relationship between the two areas. But the teaching material implied that complementarity meant parallel practice rather than interaction. It will be argued in this thesis that such a position may be an over-reaction against the former view of equation between RE and ME. There may be a better way of seeing the relationship so as to allow for mutually beneficial intersection. This argument is not advanced primarily on empirical grounds, but a research-scheme in 1983 among Sheffield, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire teachers and headteachers gave encouragement to pursue the notion of an intersecting RE/ME, with possible benefits to Personal and Social Education.