Mellan tradition och förnyelse : Utmaningar i religionsläraruppdraget

Detta är en avhandling från Västerås : Mälardalen University

Sammanfattning: The current assignment of religious studies teachers is grounded on a confession-free foundation, expressed through the values of Swedish society. However, the subject still carries traces of a confessional tradition. Up until recently, Christianity played a major role in both teaching and teacher assignments. This study focuses on the complexity that emerges when it comes to the assignment of religious studies teachers in Swedish schools. In order to shed light on two traditions of importance – a confessional Christian tradition and an objective religious tradition, an analytical contextualisation is constructed within the time span 1842–1994. Such a long-term perspective is seen as a necessary historical contextualisation for the empirical study, which contains an analysis of the contemporary religious studies teacher assignment, here called the uncertain period (1994-2011). The study is to be regarded as an analysis of a school subject related challenge from a general didactical approach. In order to study the religious studies teacher assignment, religion as a school subject will be a key component in this study. The use of the subject – in the sense of its status, role and function – is clarified, and has implications for the teacher assignment as such. The historical context has its starting point in a literature study of policy documents and texts, and shall be regarded as the study’s secondary literature. The empirical material of the study comes from a journal entitled Religion & Livsfrågor (Religion and Life Issues) from the time span of 1994–2011. The material is analysed and attention drawn to different voices on the religious studies teacher assignment. The challenges that the teacher assignment is facing are summarised in three concluding challenges: Between tradition and renewal, Limitless assignment in limited time, and Pupil-related questions or “when-it-pops-up”-pedagogy. An account is given of the contributions made by two educational philosophers, John Dewey and Wolfgang Klafki, in the latter part of the study. These contributions serve as basis for analyses of the challenges in the uncertain period of contemporary religious studies teacher assignment. Their writings on theory and practice, tradition and renewal, as well as teacher engagement, add a valuable perspective to the analyses in order to understand the challenges the teacher assignment faces. In conclusion, the analyses of the voices on the religious studies teacher assignment and its challenges are summarised and related to their historical context characterised both by a confessional and an objective tradition. The thesis provides a more detailed image on the complexity of the religious studies teacher assignment, through a contextualization of the contemporary assignment in curriculum historical perspective.  

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