Issues in the integration of religious education and worldviews education in an intercultural context
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The Council of Europe’s 2008 ‘Recommendation’ advocates the study of ‘non-religious convictions’ in schools in addition to religions. In 2018, there is evidence of growing academic interest in the inclusion of non-religious worldviews in the school curriculum, but few European countries include such a study within religious education. The guidance document, Signposts, recognises that the integration of religions and non-religious worldviews is problematic for policy makers, teacher trainers and schools and that there is a need for further research. Norway and England are at significant but different stages in the process of integration. This article presents a comparative study which draws on the findings of research in both countries which has investigated the process at classroom and policy levels, and issues raised by this. Four issues are explored: practical challenges; differing understandings of the concept of worldviews; the inclusion of non-religious worldviews as a political issue and influences on the selection of worldviews. The article concludes with a discussion of issues and findings within a supranational context and makes recommendations which highlight the value of integration and the need for both contextual studies and further comparative research.