Teaching Religion and the Representation of Minorities
Level of Study
Spring (not taught every year)
Place of Instruction
Online course, and therefore not restricted to Bergen
Objectives and Content
The goal of the course is to study basic principles for a study-of-religion approach to religion education. The course will in particular focus on how religious minorities are represented in curricula and textbooks, media and popular culture. Through various learning activities the students shall learn how to apply and critically reflect on different teaching content, teaching material and methods in religion education.
The course shall convey knowledge of didactic theory in the study of religion (minority and majority issues, confessional and non-confessional teaching, integrative and separative models, learning about vs. learning from religion).
Content: As individual countries vary greatly when it comes to the place and legitimacy of religion education in school, a main focus is concerned with different models of religion education. In this course students will be able to investigate how religion is taught (or not) in their own national and/or local context by looking at policy documents, curricula and textbooks.
The student shall by the end of the course have gained the following learning outcome defined in knowledge, skills, and general competence:
- has advanced knowledge of didactic theory and principles for a study-of-religion approach to religion education
- can analyze the different models and approaches to religion education in various national/local contexts
- can analyze the various types of teaching content, material and teaching methods in religion education and how these relate to minority/majority issues.
- can analyze different representations of minorities and negotiations over minority issues in the classroom
- has good knowledge of the most important current scholarly and political debates about religion education in schools
- can use relevant study-of-religion approach in religion education in an independent manner
- can analyze and deal critically with different models of religion education
- can critically assess and reflect on the use of different teaching material and teaching methods in religion education
- can discuss these issues with other students
- can cooperate with other students in collaborative assignments
- can apply knowledge of core issues in teaching religion education from a study-of-religion approach to the independent writing of a short essay, using the terminology and concepts representative of the field of studies
- can analyze the complexity of making pedagogical choices in different learning contexts and situations and demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity towards it
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
The course literature is in English. Students should therefore have a sound knowledge of English
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Admission to the Master¿s Programme in the Study of Religions or other Master¿s Programmes at the UiB.
Teaching and learning methods
The teaching and student activities in this course will entirely take place online.
- short introductory videos.
- individual feedback on discussion postings and essays from the instructor
- participation in online discussions
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
In this course the following compulsory requirements have to be approved in order to sit for the examination:
- two smaller collaborative assignments
- discussion posting that answers one of more questions as well as a response to postings by other students.
- comments on essays of other students (peer-reviewed assignments)
- short draft (800 words) for peer-review
Compulsory requirements are evaluated with "approved/not approved."
Forms of Assessment
The examination consists of an essay (2000 words).
A graded marking scale (A to F) is used. A is the top grade and F means Failed.
The reading list consists of approximately 500 pages.
The reading list is published by June 1st. for the autumn semester and by December 1st. for the spring semester.
The course unit will be evaluated regularly.