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MaSER Seminar: Yeah now that I've thought about it I'll probably think about it more

Summary

Presentation by Associate Professor Sharon Fraser

Start Date

30th May 2017 1:30pm

End Date

30th May 2017 3:00pm

Venue

Education Video Conference Rooms:

  • Launceston: NH.A221c.Video
  • Hobart: SB.Hytten325.Video
  • Cradle Coast: CC.A119.Video

Research conducted collaboratively by researchers from the University of Reading, UK and the University of Tasmania, Australia in the Being Human project (Being Human: Discovering and Advancing School Students' Perceptions of the Relationship between Science and Religion) has revealed ways in which primary (year 6) and secondary (years 10 and 11) school students perceive science and religion.  To find out how children think about science and religion, the project has carried out surveys and interviews with over 500 primary school aged children in England and Australia.

The perspectives of Australian students from year 6, gained through 20 initial interviews and supported by 64 surveys, will be the focus of this presentation, with data being presented in relation to three emerging themes:

  1. Science is proof and religion is belief
  2. Science and religion are compartmentalised
  3. The perspectives of both science and religion

During the interviews, a number of children contradicted themselves as they responded to the different questions, indicating how emergent their ideas are about science and religion.  These initial data suggest that there is value in providing opportunities for children to articulate their ideas about science and religion (beliefs and/or world views) both separately and together.  They also highlight the challenges this presents to both religious and science education in Australian state and non-denominational schools.