Striving for the obtainable? Creative Religious Education and Catechesis

Creativity has a special place in the teaching of Religious Education and within the world of catechesis, but it needs critical evaluation to ensure its effectiveness. The creativity and individuality of both communicator-of and responder-to faith is vital, writes Patricia Kieran. The author teaches Religious Education at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.?

Creativity in education
In recent years in the United Kingdom there has been a renewed emphasis on creativity in teaching all curricular areas in schools and an impressive number of books, articles and websites have been produced to support creative planning, teaching and assessment. So much so, that in Britain ?creative teaching is beginning to be seen as the X factor that can turn a child off or on to learning?.1 Ken Robinson has been a prolific writer and speaker on the topic of creativity in education. Ironically, as an academic in the formal educational system, his thesis is that schools kill creativity by operating from a partial and incomplete understanding of the nature and function of human creativity, intelligence and education. He argues that formal educational systems are heavily influenced by Enlightenment thinking and tend to promote a restricted view of knowledge and intelligence that is dominated by deductive reasoning. Formal academic environments tend to drive a wedge between the sciences and the arts. While the sciences are viewed as leading to employment, the arts are devalued and are seen as being more relevant to what one does in one?s leisure time.2

Many parents of children who have participated in Ireland?s Junior (age 16 years) and Leaving Certificate (age 18 years) State examination might agree.

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