Worship and religious education
This research was undertaken in the light of Foucault's theories and methodologies of language
with particular reference to Discipline and Punish as applied to education. The opening section
gives a detailed review of these methodologies and the way they will be applied to the various
areas of educational practice.
There is detailed consideration of the relationship between church and state from the early
nineteenth century up until the Education Act, 1944, with particular reference to religious and
educational discourse. This is followed by a study of the principles underlying the teaching of
religion and the practice of worship in schools prior to 1944.
From this the thesis moves to a closer consideration of the 1944 Education Act with the
examination of the debate in parliament and in the country as a whole. Most of the evidence for
the period is taken from The Times as reflecting the wider use of religious and educational
The thesis then considers the outcome of the 1944 Education Act and the effects it had on
religious education until the passage of the 1988 act, with particular reference to the changes in
teacher praxis in the nineteen-sixties. Parallel to this is a survey of the main theological
developments in Britain between 1944 and 1988 and an assessment of the changes within
religious institutions during the same period.
Before coming to a detailed consideration of the 1988 Education Reform Act, the thesis
considers the changes that took place in teacher praxis between the nineteen-sixties and 1988,
and then considers the debate in parliament and in the country during 1988.
The final sections are concerned with the implementation of the act, with consideration of the
governmental documentation issued to supplement the act and various comments upon these.
Fieldwork within Hastings and Sutton has yielded data which attempts to place the research within
the context of present praxis in a range of schools.
The study concludes with media reaction to the act and an overview of the key points that have
arisen from the research.