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Kontroversiella frågor i religionsundervisningen: Sex högstadie- och gymnasielärares syn på kontroversiella ämnen i religionsundervisning
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
2022 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Controversial issues in religious education (English)
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate the methods that teachers in religious education at upper elementary and high school level can use to deal with students' feelings when teaching in controversial issues. How much space they give their students to express themselves and how they reason about the importance of freedom of expression contra the importance of not discriminate anyone in the classroom. To fulfill the purpose, six religion teachers have been chosen and using a semi-structured interview the purpose fulfilled trough a conversation with the teachers. There were three main questions I wanted answered for this thesis:  

· How would upper secondary and high school teachers want to work with controversial issues in an ideal situation?

· How does teacher’s reason about freedom of expression versus racism against ethnic groups and how do they set these boundaries in the classroom?

· How do high school and upper elementary school teachers view controversial topics in teaching? 

The answer to the question of how they would like to work with controversial issues is therefore it was quite fragmented, and no general conclusion could be drawn from one qualitive thesis. Possibly that the women in the thesis did not change their teaching methods while the men had more concrete teaching methods that they preferred. For example, one teacher said that before a lesson that he knows can be controversial for a student, he usually warns student before the class if he thinks he or she could be sensitive about the subject, as a preventive measure.   

There was more consensus among the teachers about the second question whether students should be allowed to say what they want if it fits within the law. For some it was important not to limit the students while others focused on not taking too much of the lesson time. To show what the limits are, the teachers agreed that it is possible to handle after someone crosses the line for what is allowed to be said in a classroom. One of the teachers that participated in this thesis mentions that students often have a good idea of ​​when they are crossing the line, but they do want to test it sometimes a teacher mentioned. 

The third question was what could be controversial. Most of the teachers mention that it depends whether the students were religious believers or not. Some students considered it sensitive when the teacher talked about their religion, it is a risk that they would not recognize themselves in what the teachers taught about their religion. When asked what the teachers thought where controversial, half of the teachers answered that they did not think there was anything controversial to talk about. The remaining half mentioned the burning of the Koran, same-sex marriage, and the Israel- Palestine conflict as controversial topics. The question of whether it gives better involvement in teaching controversial subjects, the male teachers mostly agreed that the lesson is often better when discussing controversial subjects. The female teachers in this study were more of the view that the subjects needed to be relevant for the students and that it did not have to be controversial topics like most of the men in the study answered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. , p. 29
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58440ISRN: JU-HLK-RKA-2-20220166OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-58440DiVA, id: diva2:1694178
Subject / course
HLK, Religious Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2022-09-08 Created: 2022-09-08 Last updated: 2022-09-08Bibliographically approved

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