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Impartial teachers in religious education - a perspective from a Norwegian context
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education. University of Stavanger, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1900-4824
Number of Authors: 12017 (English)In: British Journal of Religious Education, ISSN 0141-6200, E-ISSN 1740-7931, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 25-39Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The debate about Norwegian religious education, since the change towards a more multi-faith and non-confessional school subject in 1997, has often touched upon issues of impartiality, using concepts such as neutral, objective, descriptive, critical and pluralistic. Still, international Human Rights bodies have criticised Norwegian regulations for religious education and by this contributed to change of both curriculum and practice. This makes the Norwegian example interesting from an international perspective. The national debates are, however, complex and sometimes confusing. Sometimes legal and educational perspectives on religious education may seem to be incommensurable, and also pedagogical, academic and even epistemological traditions differ. The article analyses and discusses Norwegian public debate as well as religious education research in order to approach general issues of impartiality and neutrality in non-confessional religious education. It argues that these issues should be contextualised both on a national and sub-national level and discusses what this means for the work in classrooms. Research suggests that teachers struggle with complex issues related to partiality and impartiality in their teaching; but that they have little opportunity to discuss their experiences. The debate about principles therefore needs to be accompanied by more cooperation between researchers and teachers in developing good teaching and learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 39, no 1, p. 25-39
Keywords [en]
Norway, impartiality, neutrality, teacher-training, religion, education, policy, practice
National Category
Educational Sciences Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137558DOI: 10.1080/01416200.2016.1149047ISI: 000388982300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-137558DiVA, id: diva2:1064759
Available from: 2017-01-13 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2019-12-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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