Read a great review of Louise Hutton and Dawn Cox's Making Every RE Lesson Count by Imran Morga, Senior Lecturer in religious education and professional studies, Birmingham City University.
Making Every RE Lesson Count is a valuable addition to the Making Every Lesson Count series. Each chapter begins with a classroom scenario to contextualise or provoke reflections and the significance of the principle being advocated. Significantly, each chapter also features a set of reflective questions to support the interrogation of the six key pedagogical principles – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning – from the viewpoint of praxis. Furthermore, there are diagrams, tables, illustrations and other helpful presentation techniques which make the text reader-friendly and appealing. An extensive bibliography adds further value to the text.
The authors, both experienced RE practitioners in secondary schools, recognise that religious education is in a period of transformation and set out some of the challenges that this important subject is currently facing. They emphasise two factors that might lead to strong student outcomes: pedagogical content knowledge and quality of instruction. Hutton and Cox are quick to point out that RE is a multidisciplinary subject and provide an excellent account of how three disciplines – theology, philosophy and the social sciences – can provide both teachers and students with specific lenses through which to study religions and worldviews.
Making Every RE Lesson Count is based on one of many conceptual frameworks which is concerned with responding to the changing educational landscape. Notwithstanding the fact that RE itself is experiencing crises and calls for reforms, overall, this wonderful and easy-to-read book is a positive contribution to the subject which takes account of research and contemporary concerns about raising the quality of RE.
Written for new and seasoned practitioners, the book is guaranteed to leave readers with thought-provoking and inspiring ideas about the subject. In other words, thinking about RE will be influenced and, simultaneously, practice will be affected. The book is interspersed with genuine practical examples of how to do good RE, based on the authors’ framework, which can be transferred directly to classroom teaching. Subject leaders will also find sufficient information to evaluate their departmental practices and offer workshops to their colleagues.
In essence, Making Every RE Lesson Count is an excellent guide that has the potential to refresh the soul of teaching RE, especially in secondary school contexts.
Find out more about the book here.