Event on religious tolerance and peace
Religious Toleration and Peace (RETOPEA) Education Policy event, 25 January 2024
Young people and religion: creative learning with history
How does an interdisciplinary approach which uses history and filmmaking help develop critical thinking about religious diversity, toleration and peace in the past and present? Policy makers, academics, teachers, and NGOs are invited to attend the Open University: Religious Toleration and Peace (RETOPEA) Education Policy Event in London on 25 January 2024.
Please contact [email protected] if you would like to attend or require further information about the event.
During the last five years the Religious Studies team at the Open University has been developing an exciting new methodology for engaging young people between the ages of 13 and 18 with issues of religious diversity, toleration and peace through making short films (‘docutubes’) drawing both on historical exemplars and on their own experience. The docutube method aims to help young people think with history about religious diversity in the present day. The docutube workshops provide a ‘safe’ and creative space where young people can discuss and work together to engage with complex and sometimes controversial topics, such as migration, prejudice, toleration and peace.
The project has been funded by the European Commission through their H2020 programme, which has enabled us to run pilot workshops in eight different countries, including in schools in London. The feedback from participating young people and from other stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive. This web page and short film introduces the project.
The RETOPEA team have developed an online collection of over four hundred accessible historical and contemporary sources. Young people are asked to engage with these critically through the process of making their short documentary-style films. The Docutube workshop usually take place over 14 hours (for example, over three days as part of a project week or over more extended periods integrated into regular classroom teaching). The material is appropriate for RE, History, Philosophy/Ethics or for civic education.
The OU team have also produced a free online Badged Open Course that supports teachers, youth workers to use the Docutube method in their own teaching
More recently, funding from the Culham St Gabriel’s Trust has enabled us further to evaluate and promote the methodology in the UK and to that end there has been further pilot workshops with schools in London and Belfast, and also with the Rose Castle Foundation Emerging Peacemakers programme. Workshops have generally taken place over three days as part of activity weeks or over more extended periods integrated into regular classroom teaching. The material is cross-curricular in nature and appropriate for RE, History, Philosophy/Ethics or for civic education. Funding from the Open University’s “Open Societal Challenges” fund has also enabled us to further evaluate and promote the methodology, particularly in Muslim majority contexts.
The RETOPEA Westminster Religious Toleration and Peace event on 25 January 2024, will bring together policy makers, MPs, academics, teachers and students who have participated in the workshops, community leaders and other professionals in NGOs and charities, to discuss the project. The objective for the afternoon is to identify strategies to promote the wider adoption of the methodology in schools and youth work, with a view to promoting enhanced appreciation of religious diversity and advancing peace and reconciliation.
Open University RETOPEA Team: