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Chapter 9 Religious Literacy as a 21st Century Skill for All Teachers
Author: Martin Ubani

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to conceptualize religious literacy as a 21st century skill for all teachers. The chapter begins by describing the background and content of religious literacy in modern scholarly discussions. Then, a proposition for domains of religious literacy within the professional competence of all teachers is presented. I advocate that religious literacy is not only a content or curricular objective, but that critical teachers should have knowledge of religious literacy as a quality criterion for good practice in public education and as a legitimacy tool in meeting the demand for recognizing religion in public education and in society. Finally, recommendations for teacher education in the 21st century are presented. The discussion is contextualized mainly within Finnish public education.

In: Good Teachers for Tomorrow's Schools

The Finnish solution for RE in public education is a unique model if we compare it to the solutions used in other European countries. In Finland RE is given according to the pupils’ own religions. The Finnish model of RE implies the idea of democratic, civil society, where different faiths, beliefs and worldviews can coexist. The curriculum of RE in Finland emphasises religious literacy and religious competence. Furthermore, elements of cultural heritage and identity are also present in the curriculum. The pupils need skills for inter-religious dialogue and also skills for living in a multi-religious society. The Finnish approach to RE emphasises tolerance towards others. The subject teachers of RE have very good education; they have a master’s degree from a university and they are also qualified to teach some other school subject, usually psychology. Although RE is not a PISA-subject it has a role in comprehensive education in supporting the formulation of pupils’ attitudes and worldviews in Finnish schools.

In: Miracle of Education

The Finnish solution for RE in public education is a unique model if we compare it to the solutions used in other European countries. In Finland RE is given according to the pupils’ own religions. The Finnish model of RE implies the idea of democratic, civil society, where different faiths, beliefs and worldviews can coexist. The curriculum of RE in Finland emphasises religious literacy and religious competence. Furthermore, elements of cultural heritage and identity are also present in the curriculum. The pupils need skills for inter-religious dialogue and also skills for living in a multi-religious society. The Finnish approach to RE emphasises tolerance towards others. The subject teachers of RE have very good education; they have a master’s degree from a university and they are also qualified to teach some other school subject, usually psychology. Although RE is not a PISA-subject it has a role in comprehensive education in supporting the formulation of pupils’ attitudes and worldviews in Finnish schools.

In: Miracle of Education
Part 2 Supporting Talent Development with a Growth Mindset
In: Good Teachers for Tomorrow's Schools
In: Good Teachers for Tomorrow's Schools
Part 1 Ethical and Purposeful Teachers and Teaching
In: Good Teachers for Tomorrow's Schools
Teachers in schools nowadays are challenged to create inclusive learning environments and safe spaces for encountering diversity in values, cultures and religions, as well as in (dis)ability and talent. Classrooms are micro-cosmoses in which local and global issues are confronted and addressed.

This volume discusses the characteristics of good teachers and the teaching that is needed in today’s and tomorrow’s schools. The focus is on research-based perspectives, with contributions from several internationally renowned scholars on what constitutes good and quality in teaching-studying-learning processes. The chapters focus on good teaching and good teachers from perspectives concerning the fundamental and transversal features of what constitutes a good teacher. More specifically, it is argued that good teachers in tomorrow’s schools will need capabilities that reflect the purpose of education, values in education, and talent in education.

As an outcome, the book provides insights into how, in attending not only to the cognitive but also to the affective, behavioral, moral and spiritual domains, teachers are able to support holistic growth and learning among their students in schools of the 21st century. This volume discusses good teaching for schools in the future from the perspectives of school pedagogy, educational psychology, and neuropsychology.