Rethinking the Course Content and Pedagogies used in Learning about ‘Asian Religions’

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Maria Frahm-Arp


Pedagogy, Eastern religion, Asian religion, technology, teaching


This essay examines the concerns expressed by students when studying a second-year module on Asian religions and how they thought the facilitation of their learning could be most effective. Following research done with three cohorts of second-year students studying Asian religions from 2015 to 2017, this essay argues that both changes in pedagogy and course content are needed to create spaces where learning about these religions can address the concerns raised by students. Students were particularly concerned about how studying Asian religions would prepare them for the world of work and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The research for this essay is located in a social constructivist pedagogy that forefronts social justice and is grounded in an engaged learning practice. The essay examines why in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, studying Asian religions is important and valuable to students studying for a degree in preparation for entry into the workplace. The essay shows that engagement with different technologies in teaching and learning enables a pedagogy of co-knowledge production and co-sharing of know-ledge where students learn technological skills, critical thinking skills, and a deepening awareness of their worldviews and those of other people. In so doing, this module addressed student concerns about their studies and the skills they considered valuable in preparing them for future careers.

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