To help you feel prepared for your BA (Hons) Education and Religion studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Read on to find out more:
You’ll be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.
In the meantime, you might like to begin your reading before starting your degree. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive. But if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online, we recommend the three books below. These are core textbooks and it would be beneficial for you to have your own copies of them and to have read the opening chapters of each:
- Introduction to Education Studies – 5th Edition, by Steve Bartlett & Diana Burton. London, Sage
- Sociology of Education, by Tomas Boronski and Nasima Hassan. London, Sage
- The Study of Religion: an Introduction to Key Ideas and Methods, by George Chryssides and Ron Greaves. 2014. London, Bloomsbury
Additionally, the following books would be useful for education:
- An Introduction to the Study of Education, by David Matheson. 2015. London, Routledge
- Understanding and using challenging education theories, by Karl Aubrey and Alison Riley. London, Sage
And the following for Religion:
- Introduction to Religious Studies, by Paul Myhre. 2009. St Mary’s Press
- Get set for religious studies, by Dominic Corrywright and Peggy Morgan. Edinburgh University Press.
To prepare for this course, you should keep up to date with education news in the mainstream media. The most popular and frequently updated sources are:
- A Level mathematics topics can be found on YouTube channel. Please subscribe to @learningcalculus4929.
- The BBC
- The Guardian
- The Times Higher
- Times Education Supplement
Your preparation tasks
We’ve created a selection of tasks which will help you to prepare for your course. We recommend that you keep your responses and notes together in a portfolio of pre-course work as they may well come in useful in the future.
Write a short reflection of approximately 500 words on your own educational experiences to date, focusing on the subject of religion and outlining the positive and negative elements you have observed. Try to analyse these and consider which aspects you believe to be the most important parts of your own teaching and learning experiences. What practices have prompted you to continue with this subject in Higher Education? What do you think might deter other pupils from studying religion?
If possible, chat with a couple of friends or members of your family about their experiences – do you have common memories of inspirational teachers or lessons? Were there any contradictions between what you felt was effective?
Now watch this TED talk video, in which Joe Ruhl outlines his vision for inspirational education. You might find it useful to note down some of his key points. After watching, return to your personal reflection and make notes on the following:
- To what extent do Ruhl’s ideas correspond with your experiences? Are there any similarities or points of difference?
- Can you identify instances of the five C’s in your own reflections? If not, why not? Did these not form part of your own education?
- How much do you agree with Ruhl’s key arguments?
- How realistic is his vision? Are there any potential barriers to achieving this?
Education is in the news extensively at the moment and we would encourage you to engage with these debates. Issues such as strikes, exams and testing, or pupil wellbeing. When you watch politicians and journalists discussing education ask yourself the following questions:
- What is their main argument?
- What evidence are they basing this on?
- What motivates them to make these particular recommendations or position statements?
- Are you convinced by what they say, and if not, why not?
These questions will encourage you to become a critical thinker, a key skills of students of Education and Religion.
At Edge Hill, we encourage you to develop a commitment to social justice education, where all pupils can have access to and opportunities within education. Ainscough (2006) defines this inclusive practice as:
- An ongoing process in order to find better ways to respond to the needs of diverse communities
- Being concerned with the identification and removal of barriers to participation
- Ensuring the presence and participation of all students from all backgrounds
- A particular emphasis on individuals and groups who may be at risk of marginalisation, exclusion or under-achievement
As part of the course, we explore various dimensions which may impact on achievement, such as race, religion, class, gender, ethnicity, learning difficulties, or physical disability. Choose two of these groups and write a short piece explaining what barriers they may experience to education and how these barriers might be overcome.