Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Do they really believe that? Experiential Learning outside the Theology and Religious Studies Classroom Denise Cush and Catherine Robinson.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Do they really believe that? Experiential Learning outside the Theology and Religious Studies Classroom Denise Cush and Catherine Robinson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do they really believe that? Experiential Learning outside the Theology and Religious Studies Classroom Denise Cush and Catherine Robinson

2 Living Religion Project Survey of experiential elements in TRS Survey of experiential elements in TRS Increase opportunities for fieldwork placements Increase opportunities for fieldwork placements Provision of on-line support materials Provision of on-line support materials Encourage dialogue about religion as lived experience Encourage dialogue about religion as lived experience

3 Cultural and Religious Diversity Contested nature and relationship of ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ Contested nature and relationship of ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ Wider Equality and Diversity agenda Wider Equality and Diversity agenda Age Age Gender Gender Sexuality Sexuality Disability Disability Tensions between dimensions of Equality and Diversity agenda Tensions between dimensions of Equality and Diversity agenda

4 Survey of TRS Departments 19 responses from 40 departments 19 responses from 40 departments 14 responses indicated some form of experiential elements 14 responses indicated some form of experiential elements Four main types Four main types Day visit Day visit Study visit abroad Study visit abroad Fieldwork placement Fieldwork placement Vocational placement Vocational placement

5 Bath Spa University Experiential elements Experiential elements Day visits Day visits Study visit abroad (South Korea) Study visit abroad (South Korea) Fieldwork placement Fieldwork placement Focus on day visits and fieldwork placement Focus on day visits and fieldwork placement

6 Experiential Learning Direct encounter Direct encounter Reflection on experience Reflection on experience Embedded in student programmes Embedded in student programmes Valuable learning opportunity Valuable learning opportunity (McGill & Warner Weil, 1989: 248; Moon, 1994: 120)

7 Experience of Religions or Religious Experience? Theology cf. Religious Studies Theology cf. Religious Studies Religious Studies ethos and experience of religions Religious Studies ethos and experience of religions Religious experience Religious experience Clash between understanding and empathy on the one hand and believing and endorsement on the other Clash between understanding and empathy on the one hand and believing and endorsement on the other

8 Learning in and outside the Classroom Cultural and Religious Diversity in the classroom Cultural and Religious Diversity in the classroom Students, staff and visitors Students, staff and visitors Books, documentaries, etc. Books, documentaries, etc. Cultural and Religious Diversity outside the classroom Cultural and Religious Diversity outside the classroom Holistic Holistic Contextualised Contextualised

9 Day Visits Defined as group visit to religious centres and places of worship led/accompanied by a tutor or lecturer but in which students interact with members of faith communities Defined as group visit to religious centres and places of worship led/accompanied by a tutor or lecturer but in which students interact with members of faith communities Most common experiential element according to survey of TRS departments Most common experiential element according to survey of TRS departments

10 Day Visit to Bristol

11

12

13 Day Visit to Glastonbury

14

15

16

17

18 Representation and Reality Baba Balaknath Mandir – Hindu or Sikh? (Geaves, 1996) Baba Balaknath Mandir – Hindu or Sikh? (Geaves, 1996) Hinduism – textual or anthropological? (Narayanan, 2000) Hinduism – textual or anthropological? (Narayanan, 2000) Increased use of ethnography (e.g. Wuthnow & Cadge, 2004: 363) Increased use of ethnography (e.g. Wuthnow & Cadge, 2004: 363)

19 Student Responses Advantages of day visits Advantages of day visits First-hand direct experience First-hand direct experience Encounter with believers Encounter with believers Going beyond two dimensions Going beyond two dimensions Authenticity of insider Authenticity of insider

20 Student Responses Disadvantages of day visits Disadvantages of day visits Bias or selectivity Bias or selectivity Deviation from academic norms Deviation from academic norms Too brief Too brief

21 Student Responses Learning by seeing and doing Learning by seeing and doing Concerns and sensitivities Concerns and sensitivities How to ask questions without giving offence and to observe the protocol and etiquette of communities How to ask questions without giving offence and to observe the protocol and etiquette of communities How to cope with challenges to personal beliefs and values and to enter into constructive dialogue How to cope with challenges to personal beliefs and values and to enter into constructive dialogue

22 Fieldwork Placements Defined as an intensive or sustained experience, often residential, in which students spend time in religious communities and employ ethnographic methods in their study Defined as an intensive or sustained experience, often residential, in which students spend time in religious communities and employ ethnographic methods in their study Also found elsewhere according to survey of TRS departments Also found elsewhere according to survey of TRS departments

23 Examples of Placements

24

25

26

27 Ethnography and Religions Nature of ethnography (Brewer, 2000: 10) Nature of ethnography (Brewer, 2000: 10) Case for an ethnographic approach to religions (Saliba, 1974) Case for an ethnographic approach to religions (Saliba, 1974) Significance and benefits of fieldwork combined with particular demands and difficulties (Geaves, 2007) Significance and benefits of fieldwork combined with particular demands and difficulties (Geaves, 2007) Engaged and ethical dimension (Knott, 1995: ) Engaged and ethical dimension (Knott, 1995: )

28 Student Responses Should be required part of RS programme as new and important form of learning Should be required part of RS programme as new and important form of learning Integral to broad-based study of religions Integral to broad-based study of religions Find out more than is possible from lectures and books Find out more than is possible from lectures and books Apply theory and method for oneself Apply theory and method for oneself See religious community in its everyday life See religious community in its everyday life Learn how to interact with people from different backgrounds Learn how to interact with people from different backgrounds Develop both personally and academically Develop both personally and academically

29 Student Responses Possible challenges Possible challenges ‘Culture shock’ ‘Culture shock’ Balance between participation and observation Balance between participation and observation Interpersonal dynamics Interpersonal dynamics Keeping an open mind Keeping an open mind Questioning own values Questioning own values Independence and self-management Independence and self-management Interpretation and representativeness Interpretation and representativeness

30 Student Responses Possible areas of controversy Possible areas of controversy Avoidance of ‘researcher effect’ Avoidance of ‘researcher effect’ Hostility towards students Hostility towards students Clash of values Clash of values Implications of participation in religious activities Implications of participation in religious activities

31 Experiential Elements and Cultural and Religious Diversity Actual rather than theoretical Cultural and Religious Diversity Actual rather than theoretical Cultural and Religious Diversity Plurality within as well as across religions Plurality within as well as across religions Complex interactions of religions and cultures Complex interactions of religions and cultures Tensions between respect for other and integrity of self Tensions between respect for other and integrity of self Dialogue in difference Dialogue in difference

32 Skills Audit Based upon TRS Subject Benchmarking Statement and Subject Centre Employability Guide Based upon TRS Subject Benchmarking Statement and Subject Centre Employability Guide Experiential elements facilitate development of skills including those relevant to Cultural and Religious Diversity and thus to controversy arising out of conflicting beliefs and values Experiential elements facilitate development of skills including those relevant to Cultural and Religious Diversity and thus to controversy arising out of conflicting beliefs and values

33 Skills Audit Examples from Benchmarking Statement Examples from Benchmarking Statement Representation of views other than one’s own with fairness and integrity and express own identity without denigration of others Representation of views other than one’s own with fairness and integrity and express own identity without denigration of others Awareness of the passions and claims to certainty in traditions with their positive and negative effects Awareness of the passions and claims to certainty in traditions with their positive and negative effects Engagement with the convictions and behaviours of others with empathy and integrity Engagement with the convictions and behaviours of others with empathy and integrity

34 Skills Audit Examples from Employability Guide Examples from Employability Guide Interpersonal sensitivity Interpersonal sensitivity Questioning Questioning Achievement orientation Achievement orientation Adaptability and flexibility Adaptability and flexibility Tolerance of stress Tolerance of stress

35 Ongoing Research and Future Plans Host community interviews Host community interviews Host community templates Host community templates Visits to partner University departments Visits to partner University departments Project website Project website Case studies Case studies Good practice guides Good practice guides Curriculum and assessment Curriculum and assessment Anything else? Anything else?

36 Wider Context Future of TRS in Higher Education Future of TRS in Higher Education Place of religions in the public sphere Place of religions in the public sphere ‘Big Society’ ‘Big Society’ Volunteering Volunteering Social enterprise Social enterprise Combating extremism Combating extremism Equality and Diversity Agenda Equality and Diversity Agenda

37 Bibliography Brewer, J.D. (2000) Ethnography. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press. Geaves, R. (1996) ‘Baba Balaknath: An Exploration of Religious Identity.’ DISKUS, 4 (2). [Online] available from: de/religionswissenschaft/journal/diskus/geaves.html. de/religionswissenschaft/journal/diskus/geaves.htmlhttp://web.uni-marburg- de/religionswissenschaft/journal/diskus/geaves.html -- (2007) ‘Fieldwork in the Study of Religion.’ In: Chryssides, G.D. & Geaves, R. The Study of Religion: An Introduction to Key Ideas and Methods. London & New York: Continuum, pp

38 Bibliography Knott, K. (1995) ‘Women Researching, Women Researched: Gender as an Issue in the Empirical Study of Religion.’ In: King, U. ed. Religion and Gender. Oxford Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, pp McGill, I. & Warner Weil, S. (1989) ‘Continuing the Dialogue: New Possibilities for Experiential Learning.’ In: Warner Weil, S. & McGill, I. eds Making Sense of Experiential Learning. Milton Keynes: SRHE/Open University Press, pp

39 Bibliography Moon, J.A. (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. London & New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Narayanan, V. (2000) ‘Diglossic Hinduism: Liberation and Lentils.’ Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 68 (4), pp Saliba, J.A. (1974) ‘The New Ethnography and the Study of Religion.’ Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 13 (2), pp

40 Bibliography Wuthrow, R. & Cadge, W. (2004) ‘Buddhists and Buddhism in the United States: The Scope of Influence.’ Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 43 (4), pp


Download ppt "Do they really believe that? Experiential Learning outside the Theology and Religious Studies Classroom Denise Cush and Catherine Robinson."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google