Department of Education

Research projects

Argumentation in Science and Religious Education: An Interdisciplinary Study in British Schools

Teachers and pupils often face difficult judgments that demand understanding of various kinds of information, opinion, values and ethical principles, and understanding of different processes of argumentation, deliberation and debate.

For example, in the context of biology lessons pupils might question whether or not genes should be cloned or edited, appealing not only to scientific knowledge but also to religious and ethical values. Many complex everyday problems thus require interdisciplinary conversations in order for teachers and pupils to make judgements about a whole range of issues that have both scientific and religious undertones. Such interdisciplinary conversations often resort to exchanges of claims and reasons about particular issues such as genetic cloning and end of life phenomena. The justification of claims with reasons is typically defined as ‘argumentation’. The aim of this project is to understand how argumentation works in science and religion, both in terms of the nature and development of arguments, and also in terms of how the teaching and learning of argumentation can be supported in science and religious education.

Funder: Templeton World Charity Foundation
Start date: September 2018
End date: August 2021

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