LASAR have recently teamed up with the PGCE RE team at Canterbury Christ Church to help our RE Secondary PGCE pre-service teachers to become researchers, looking into Epistemic Insight and Big Questions in their placement classrooms.
The PICS assignment is a project–based assignment. Its full title is Professional Investigation Curriculum Studies, and it is designed for pre-service teachers to develop a unique area of study which relates to their placement. This year LASAR are setting and marking this assignment, as well as creating the brief for it. The provocative title is ‘What is the role of the RE teacher in relation to children’s developing ideas about the Big Questions?’. This was designed to be a flexible question that could be applied to a variety of different settings while also stimulating the imaginations of the pre-service teachers and their school students.
To that end, on the 20th February 2018 Professor Billingsley as well as Dr Mehdi Nassaji and Tom German presented and set the assignment with the PGCE students. The question caused vigorous debate and the topics were far ranging from Artificial Intelligence to the nature/nurture debate.
We are excited about what the students will produce and hope that not only will the students become ambassadors for Epistemic Insight in their careers but also that – through dissemination – that their work will enrich further research into these issues.
Please find below the ‘Introduction to Big Questions’ presentation, the ‘Assignment Presentation’ and also a list of big questions to get you started.