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Thinking skills

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON CHRISTIANITY. By Janet King with Brian Stanley, Trevor and Margaret Cooling. Book and CD-Rom pound;24.95. RMEP, tel: 01603 612914.

Global Perspectives on Christianity is a photocopiable resource of case studies intended to promote the latest sexy aspect of RE - thinking skills. The targeted skills are creativity, information processing, reasoning, enquiry and evaluation.

Each of the six themes is divided into key questions, specified RE skills, attitudesdispositions - intended to address spiritual, social, moral and cultural development and citizenship implications - and syllabus links. Student tasks are related to the QCA levels in RE. The two key questions on each theme address learning about and learning from religion.

The material has been derived as a spin-off from the Currents in World Christianity research project based at Cambridge University. Material covered includes the decline in UK church attendance (refreshing not to see this ignored, as if RE has something to hide), the Anglican Lambeth Conferences of 1867 and 1998, the impact of cultures on Christianity, "missionary Christianity" a century ago and now, "women, men and God" in the context of African culture and issues such as polygamy.

The CD-Rom provides a useful and navigable supplement. Many of the pupil tasks are challenging and more thought-provoking than can be the case in RE. No one who travels through this resource can continue to think of Christianity as a merely European faith. But the content - derived from the original project, the focus of which was not on school education - has to be carefully adapted to the specific agreed syllabus by the teacher.

The sections on missiology will seem irrelevant to many RE classrooms. But then the pack is exactly what it claims to be - a resource rather than a course, a collection of case studies rather than a coherent linear syllabus.

Terence Copley

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