The (ir)religious beliefs of Religious Education (RE) teachers and the sanitisation of religions in schools

SERA Theory and Philosophy Network: The (ir)religious beliefs of Religious Education (RE) teachers and the sanitisation of religions in schools

Host: SERA Theory and Philosophy of Education Network

Date: Thursday 31st March 2022,

Time: 4pm-5.30pm

The seminar

This seminar will discuss empirical data exploring the background of UK RE teachers in terms of qualifications, personal (a)theistic belief, and religion. This will include a consideration of the degree backgrounds of RE teachers, what religion they belong to (if any), and the range of theistic, agnostic, and atheistic teachers currently within the RE profession. This data is then related to qualitative research into how RE teachers present world views in their classroom which reveals there is a tendency to sanitise and essentialise religions. Reasons for this will be discussed.


Professor Graeme Nixon works within the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen. Formerly a secondary teacher of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS), much of Graeme’s research and work relates to initial teacher education for RMPS (often referred to as RE) and the nature and status of the subject. He has written on the emergence of philosophy and philosophical approaches to RE, pedagogies of RE, social change and RE and curricular and management models for RE. For the last eleven years he has been the programme director of the University’s MSc Studies in Mindfulness programme. He practices, publishes on and supervises research projects on mindfulness. In this field he is particularly interested in debates about the possibility of secular mindfulness, Buddhist origins and criticisms of mindfulness. As a teacher educator he is particularly interested in the development of thinking skills in schools and he has written on this as well as delivered training for professionals on how to weave a suite of thinking skills approaches (including mindfulness) into their life and work.

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Contact SERA

SERA can be contacted as follows:

Charlaine Simpson – SERA Academic Secretary

For general SERA queries make contact via this link.

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