Religion, Beliefs and Ethics 1 - Western Religions, Ethics and Philosophy RLE 101

Learning outcome

The student will have gained broad basic knowledge and be able to give an account of:

  • The religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam: diversity and different movements, religious content and beliefs, practices, ethics and aesthetic expression with particular emphasis on Christianity and Norwegian conditions.
  • The history of religions with a focus on earlier periods and especially on the history of Christianity up until and including the period of the Reformation.
  • The sacred texts: main content, historical background and some important narratives, with particular emphasis on the Koran, the Old Testament and the Tanakh.
  • The history of western philosophy with an emphasis on classical antiquity – especially the view of man, and ethics and humanism in a historical context – and as a philosophical perspective, focusing on ethical theories and their use in relation to some relevant issues, such as professional ethics for teachers.
  • The essential features of the history of the teaching of the subject religion in Norway. The subject, Religion, Belief and Ethics: justification, content and objectives, and the key teaching and learning methods of the subject at different levels.


The student will be able to:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate the teaching of the subject in an independent and thoroughly professional manner with an emphasis on an educational perspective and multicultural challenges.
  • Use the subject’s main teaching and learning methods with an emphasis on activities relating to religious festivals, storytelling and aesthetic expression.
  • Collaborate on the teaching of the subject with other teachers, pupils and pupils’ families.
  • Implement adaptive teaching in the subject, including in relation to students with backgrounds of different faiths and different beliefs.
  • Combine the requirement of objective, critical and pluralistic teaching in the subject with varied teaching and learning methods that engage the pupils, and use appropriate forms of assessment.
  • Facilitate the development of pupils’ basic skills.
  • Reflect critically on the content and value aims of the subject – the subject in the school – and on the relationship between the subject, teaching and personal development in professional practice.
  • Use the internet and IT-based teaching aids in a critical and pedagogically appropriate way in teaching.


The students will be able to:

  • Gain professional and ethical competence and be able to view this in the context of religious and belief-related traditions.
  • Facilitate collaboration between home, school and the local community and understand the role of mediating values in a multicultural society.

Course Description

The course is aimed at students’ period of teaching practice in primary schools. In this context, there will be a focus on working with the students’ experiences in relation to proficiency targets for home-school cooperation and creating a good learning and classroom culture.

Students will learn to work with a basic didactic approach, where questions about the subject (what) and method (how) will be actively practiced in relation to reflection concerning what is a legitimate subject and topics in society and in relation to the overarching goals of the school (why) . The two 15 ECTS credit units may be taken in any order, but in order to gain teaching competence students are required to take both.

Religion, Beliefs and Ethics, is also an educative subject in the sense that it focuses on strengthening the student’s assessment and ability to act. This will enable the student to collaborate with colleagues and pupils regarding the challenges in a multicultural society in relation to religious, belief-related, philosophical and ethical issues.

Learning Methods

The course can be offered to different groups of students in different years of study in the teacher education study programme; the organisation of the course can therefore vary.

The course includes lectures, mandatory group discussions and written assignments, individually and in groups. Parts of the course will be conducted using the data learning system NEFSIS. Students should be prepared for self-study for some parts of the course.

Compulsory parts of the instruction will be specified in the semester plan. This concerns the teaching in preparation for the period of teaching practice, practical demonstrations and discussions of key didactic methods and themes.

Assessment Methods

The student must have attended at least 80% of the compulsory parts of the course in order to be permitted to sit the final examination.

Students must submit 3-4 assignments of varying size and scope, and these assignments must be approved before the student can sit the final examination / test. Some of the assignments may be group projects.

The course includes a final 3-hour written exam, which will be assessed with a grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Hector Harkness <> - 28/06/2011