Areas of Science and RME overlap but they are taught separately and can be seen as being ‘in opposition’ – this can lead to a closed approach to learning. Research has shown that young people are motivated by meaningful, well managed discussion where complex issues can be explored taking into consideration different cultures, values and beliefs. The Searching For Meaning project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, primarily investigated two questions:
Can science and RME teachers work together on themes in a way which will enhance pupils’ understanding of science/religion issues?
What are the resource and CPD needs of both groups and can we establish an effective model for interdisciplinary working?
The project was subject to external evaluation and the report by Stuart Hall, Kevin Lowden & Stephen McKinney of the University of Glasgow can be accessed by clicking on the image on this page.
Two activities have been developed to support this approach to interdisciplinary learning:
1. How do different religions/cultures view the stewardship of the planet? In this activity the pupils are introduced to 4 children from different backgrounds each of whom is explaining their view on looking after the environment. The resources associated with this activity can be accessed from the links below. We strongly recommend that you read through the Teacher Guide before accessing the other files:
2. The RME and science departments at Cathkin High School worked together to produce an activity which explores different attitudes and opinions about stem cell research. The aim was to promote an informed discussion about stem cells and use an innovative technique to ensure that their pupils entered this discussion with a wide, global perspective of the topic. Although ‘stem cells’ was the final topic, chosen for discussion, the technique, which was developed, could be used for any other controversial topic. The resources can be accessed here.