This post is specifically of interest to participants of the two pilots of “Islam in RE; Religious literacy and Controversy through Enquiry” in the University of East Anglia and the Institute of Education. Please find a list of the CLIPs available for download here (a password has been provided to you by mail). In the public eCL newsletter library, you will also find a detailed description of Catch-1-Partner and the many variations on this CLIP. Being a bit of a visual learner myself, I’ve conjured up a mindmap that shows the variations graphically. All as PDF. For more on the method, search for the key words “NHSG” and all posts filed under “workshop.” During the IoE course, I focused a great deal on using Cooperative Learning as a tool to provide a safe environment for enquiry. Mostly in relation to the students, but as teachers, we potentially put our jobs on the line by approaching poisinous topics; it only takes one pupil’s comment out of context to his parents and the school head gets a call about bigotry or liberal indoctrination, as the case may be. Therefore, the afternoon module included a section on using Cooperative Learning as shield between the teacher and controversial content being discussed. You will find a great deal of reflections on this in posts mentioned below. Also, the concept is discussed, albeit in the context of ESL, in the newletter eCL#2: The Teacher is a Ghost.
“There are many CLIPs I intend to incorporate into my teaching … a fully engaging approach.”
Hannah Hunter, RE teacher, Queensmead School, London
“Islam in RE,” IoE, 22 July 2014
That brings me to our plenum discussion on our own fears of being manipulators rather than guides; the concern of one participant that we may not in fact be facilitating independent thinking and personal integrity, but rather using a staged free thinking process to arrive at specific goals, as outlined by government. The dangers of top-down identity management has been thoroughly discussed in several posts, notablyDeradicalisation; it’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are and Deradicalisation#2; “Salvation in this life” based on Mohammad Elshimi’s brilliant presentation at Edinburgh University. Also see Christian-centred, atheism-centred… or just Student-Centred? Making RE relevant at allas well as a host of other topics. But also, I think any teacher sees sheer treason inherent in giving the children a false impression of what free thinking is – aside from the dishonesty, the uncertain high-speed future needs real critical thinking, not a tick-box mock-up. I pointed out some of this at the recent IEC conference seminar – more on this later, as I find time.