The Basis of Correctness in the Religious Studies Classroom

Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4):669-688 (2016)

Emily Caddick Bourne
University of Hertfordshire
What is it that makes a student's answer correct or incorrect in Religious Studies? In practice, the standards of correctness in the Religious Studies classroom are generally applied with relative ease by teachers and students. Nevertheless, they are problematic. We shall argue that correctness does not come from either the students or the teacher believing that what has been said is true. This raises the question: what is correctness, if it does not come down to truth? We propose, and examine, three rival solutions, each of which, to an extent, rationalises a fairly natural response to the problem. The first, the elliptical approach, says that correct contributions have some tacit content: they are elliptical for true sentences about beliefs. The second, the imaginative approach, seeks to replace appeals to truth and belief with an appeal to imagination, treating Religious Studies as a ‘game of make-believe’ in which teachers and students imaginatively engage with certain worldviews. The third, the institutional approach, locates the root of correctness in the practices of the Religious Studies institution, which include making endorsements of some judgements and not others. We show that the first of our proposed approaches encounters a number of significant objections. We find the second of our proposed approaches to be better, but the third is the most attractive, providing a direct, intuitive and comprehensive route through the problem of correctness.
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9752.12166
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References found in this work BETA

Mathematics and Reality.Mary Leng - 2011 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 17 (2):267-268.
Mimesis as Make-Believe.Kendall L. Walton - 1996 - Synthese 109 (3):413-434.
Mathematics and Reality.Mary Leng (ed.) - 2010 - Oxford University Press.

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Assessment, Truth and Religious Studies.John Tillson - 2019 - Studies in Philosophy and Education (2):195-210.

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