Developing a living theory of theopraxis: How do I improve my practice as a professional educator in Religious Education?

TitleDeveloping a living theory of theopraxis: How do I improve my practice as a professional educator in Religious Education?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJames, M
JournalEducational Journal of Living Theories
Volume2
Start Page108
Issue2
Pagination280-294
Date Published08/2009
Type of ArticleLiving theory
ISSN2009-1788
Abstract

In this paper I attempt to explain why I believe that a relational form of teaching is a vital aspect of good pedagogical practice in Religious Education (RE). This applies to those who wish to become teachers of RE, as well as to those who teach them, like myself. I have come to this belief through my experience of engaging with issues around dominant forms of RE, grounded as they are in dominant forms of theory; I have done this as part of my action enquiry in which I interrogate my practice in an effort to improve it. I have come to understand that most contemporary conceptualisations of RE see it as a subject to be taught, rather than an experience to be lived. This, I believe, stems from a commitment to propositional forms, which are inadequate to offer explanations for the lived realities of people’s lives. I prefer to engage with generative transformational forms, from my commitment to understanding life as in the moment and theory as constituted of the descriptions and explanations we offer as we make sense of our lives in the present. I explain how I try to live this view in practice, by revealing how my practice becomes an aspect of my faith-based living; and I explain how I am finding new forms of visual and linguistic expression that communicate appropriately the dynamic relational forms that I seek to live in my practice.

Short TitleDeveloping a living theory of theopraxis
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