Pushing the Conceptual Boundaries in Researching Religion in Education in Diversity: A Critical Appraisal of Cornelia Roux’s Work
This article emanates from a global analysis of the many articles, book chapters and research reports written by Cornelia Roux from 1988 to 2013. The article is a critical appraisal of Roux’s contribution to the fields of religion and human rights in education in South Africa as ‘scholar-activist’. An analysis of Roux’s published work indicates that she was conscious of changes in political and social paradigms especially where religion in education is concerned, and consequently the need for ‘paradigm shifts’ before effective learning and teaching religion in diverse religious and cultural educational contexts could occur. Given the influences of her Reformed Christian upbringing, growing up and being educated in apartheid South Africa, oux was ever conscious of the need to challenge patriarchy, bigotry, religious intolerance and cultural particularism. Consequently, key themes are evident in her work that would contribute significantly to the debates on religion in education in South Africa and abroad. The article covers the following themes in Roux’s work: the significance of values in education and in collaborative research, the need for paradigm shifts for effective learning and teaching religion and values; the teacher as facilitator/ mediator of learning; creative and appropriate pedagogies for diversity and learning to understand ‘the other’; classroom praxis and research as praxis; religion and belief as a human right in a diverse society; and finally a critical discussion of Roux’s research projects as collaborative and consciousnessraising endeavours.
Keywords: collaborative research; feminist research paradigms; religion in education; human rights education; research as activism; scholar-activism