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Title: The emergence of philosophy within Scottish secondary school Religious Education
Author: Nixon, Graeme
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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The central research question this thesis seeks to address is ‘what factors have led to the emergence of philosophy within Religious Education in Scottish secondary schools?’ This thesis therefore considers changes in the subject Religious Education within the context of Scottish secondary schools, charting a development towards the increasing use of philosophical skills and content in the course of the last four decades. Before considering the nature, extent and timing of this development this thesis provides a broader context within which to understand educational change in Scotland. Subsequent sections in the review of literature explore the emergence of philosophy in Religious Education and the social, educational and epistemological changes that have precipitated such a development. 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 more democratic and reflective pedagogy), and also as a result of the close relationship between the epistemological areas of philosophy and religious education. This thesis 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 the review of policy and research literature this data demonstrates that the 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. Considering the data collected as a case study in curricular changes also allows the researcher to consider educational policy change in Scotland, particularly in a post-Devolution context. Based on the above findings, this study makes recommendations and suggests areas for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy ; Religious education ; Education ; Secondary ; Christian education