An investigation of grade 7 pupils' understanding of non christian religions in religious education in 2 selected Serenje district primary schools
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The study investigated grade 7 pupils’ understanding of non-Christian religions in selected primary schools in Serenje District. The study began by highlighting how the current pluralistic Zambian Religious Education has come about in order to implement and achieve objectives in the Education policy documents and also in the Constitution of Zambia. The study was conducted in Serenje District at two primary schools. One school was situated in the District Administrative centre, hereby stated as Abesu school while the other school was situated in the outskirt of the District, hereby stated as Balulu School. The study used the qualitative approach and case study research design in order to effectively achieve the research objectives and provide descriptive findings. In data collection, individual interviews, focus group discussions, short one-word answer exercise and lesson observation were used. The instruments for data collection were semi structured interview guides, focus group discussion guides and filling in the gaps questions. The target population was all the grade 7 pupils in Serenje District primary schools. Simple random sampling was used where all pupils of a grade seven class in a selected school were drawn as respondents. The study was backed with Goldman’s theory of religious thinking and Jean Piaget’s theory on child’s cognitive development. Grade 7 pupils being of ages between eleven and thirteen years were in their concrete stage of development and as such learners were only capable to make sense of concrete information. Similarly, the social environment surrounding primary schools created either a positive or a negative re-enforcement to the knowledge learners obtained in their classroom. The findings of the study were that pupils at grade 7 in primary schools in Serenje District of Zambia, had limited, distorted and weird understanding of non-Christian religions. Findings proved that the general outcomes for Religious Education were not being achieved. It was therefore recommended that production of appropriate teaching and learning aids in form of charts, videos, models, film slides, pictures and posters to support learning needs have be maximised. Additionally, Religious Education books should adequately be supplied in rural primary schools and they should contain as much information about religions in picture form.
The University of Zambia
- Education