Towards a Methodology for Comparative Studies in Religious Education
In this book Oddrun M. H. Bråten set out to utilise and test her methodology for comparative religious education. This synthesises two sets of ideas. The first includes supranational, national and subnational processes. Formal supranational processes refer to international (educational) policymaking in international organisations. Informal supranational processes include secularisation, pluralisation and globalisation. Subnational processes refer to variations between regions within a country.
The second set of ideas concerns the societal, institutional, instructional and experiential levels of curriculum. They are affected by supranational, national and subnational processes. In discussing the societal level, attention needs to be given to the histories of religion, state and school in each country. Research at the institutional level involves analysis of relevant policy documents and legislation in each country, while research at the instructional level involves analysis of how teachers interpret, plan and teach the curriculum, while the experiential level researches how students interact with one-another and with teachers to develop their understanding.
A third set of ideas includes Bråten’s use of Schiffauer and collaborators’ concepts of social/national imaginary and civil enculturation. These concepts help in grasping the historical and sociological depth of national traditions.
This publication is a groundbreaking study in the methodology of comparative religious education and the author won the award for Outstanding Research Student of 2009-2010 in the field of education at the University of Warwick.