From Religious Education to Worldview Education and Beyond: The Strength of a Transformative Pedagogical Paradigm

  • S Miedema
Keywords: Cornelia Roux’ views, religious education, worldview education, transformative pedagogy, paradigm shifts, citizenship education, human rights education, interreligious curricula


A core concept in Cornelia Roux’s writings is the term ‘paradigm shift’. We can for example notice pleas for paradigm shifts in teaching religion, in dealing with the multicultural situation, in concretizing citizenship education, and finally her plea for a paradigm shift towards human rights education. In this essay I will first elaborate on some of Roux’s paradigm shifts with a special focus on the role and place of religious education. Then, I will follow up with a plea for strengthening the transformative paradigm in pedagogy. A plea fully combinable with Roux’s views, but especially necessary today as a critical pedagogical counter-voice against dominant neoliberal rhetoric in respect to pedagogy, politics and practices. In a transformative paradigm the aim of education is formulated as personhood formation. It implies that schools assist students in the double process of socialization and individuation, of becoming competent members of communities of practice. Presentation and representation of information, norms and values are interpreted from the perspective of how students are able to transform this into elements of their own participation, in the process of their own personhood formation. A transformative paradigm is inclusive by definition, thus addresses all students. One of the consequences of this inclusivity is that instead of using the term ‘religious education’ I prefer to use the notion of ‘worldview education’, and going beyond this I conceptually relate the latter notion in the final section to the concept of ‘citizenship education’ too. Inspired by the work of Cornelia Roux my plea is even broadened in that section to an intertwinement of worldview education, citizenship education and human rights education, thus reconciling the sacred, the civic and the just within a transformative pedagogical paradigm.

Keywords: Cornelia Roux’ views, religious education, worldview education, transformative pedagogy, paradigm shifts, citizenship education, human rights education, interreligious curricula


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eISSN: 1011-7601