In this short article Sophia explains why she believes RE is so important in schools and how a ‘taste’ of teaching the subject as part of her degree course has confirmed her desire to become a teacher after she graduates.

 

I have always had a passion for learning about different religions, and so it was only natural for me to study Religious Studies as my degree subject. I believe that it is beneficial to understand the diverse world in which we live, so that we can all respect one another’s cultures: correct education within society is something I consider to be vitally important. As a result, I knew that teaching was the career I wanted to go in to.

In my final year at the University of Kent, I was selected for a Religious Studies in the Classroom module. Whilst, like every module at University, the topics demand a lot of attention, I would describe it as one of the most rewarding areas of study whilst at University. One of the advantages with this module is that it allows you to go into a school, of your choosing, and observe a qualified teacher. Over a 10-week period, individuals will be able to grasp an understanding of what is involved in teaching and potentially may even be given some teaching time for themselves. For me personally, this influenced my decision to take the module: wanting to be a teacher for so long, I had researched the career, but the time I spent volunteering in the school as part of this module, gave me access to lesson plans, resources and marking.

As I mentioned earlier, the nature of the module is quite demanding; consisting of two hour lecture where individuals learn the theory behind teaching and it is then expected that students will spend half a day a week in their placement, essentially putting the theory into practice. In doing so, I have been able to witness Bloom’s Taxonomy of thinking, Skinner’s theory of positive reinforcement and the importance of classroom management techniques. In many ways, doing this module has opened my eyes to aspects of the classroom setting that I rarely took notice of when volunteering before.

Honestly, I can say that this module confirmed my wanting to teach and also gave me the chance to consolidate what I knew about RE from my prior two years at University, taking this one stage further by linking to areas of teaching.

Sophia Collett
3rd Year Undergraduate
University of Kent