Students’ representation of “other” religions


qualitative research

How to Cite

Addai-Mununkum, R. (2019). Students’ representation of “other” religions. Journal Of Curriculum Studies Research, 1(1), 1-16.


With the unfortunate abundance of religious conflicts in the world, it is important that attention is devoted to how students position themselves in relation to religions they do not associate with. On this score, a section of scholarship in social studies education has examined students making meaning of religio-historical and contemporary happenings. Yet, questions relating to students’ representation of “other” religions remain underexplored. From the Ghanaian context where this study is situated, official curriculum mandates teaching about religion, however, little to no evidence exist to support a claim that students’ attitudes change after learning this curriculum. To explore the disconnect, a qualitative study of six Ghanaian elementary schools were conducted for a three-month period. Through interviews, observations focus groups and document analysis, students’ representation of “other religions” were examined. Research outcome revealed that, students mediate their lessons on religion through the lens of their own experiences and metanarratives of their individual faiths. Consequently, they hold two forms of knowledge – authentic official knowledge used for examination purposes and secularized cultural knowledge used in practice. It is concluded that, the vestiges of colonialism and emergent imperialism are deeply implicated in students’ discourses around religion. Therefore, the missing link between content knowledge and attitudinal change may be explained by the failure of pedagogy to acknowledge the impact of contextual happenings on the realization of curriculum objectives. A solution to this conundrum will be for educators to connect academic knowledge to the out-of-school socio-cultural experiences of students

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