n South African Journal of Education - Playing games with religion in education

Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



The introduction of a programme for multireligion in religion education or the learning area Life Orientation in South African schools has been a controversial issue since 1997. Although it cannot be taken for granted that religious diversity is a problem in education, many educators and parents have negative perceptions about a programme on different religions and belief and value systems. They fear that learners, especially in the Foundation Phase, will be confused and unduly influenced by the content of different religions. Research in 1993 / 1994 indicated that multireligion content is not easily understood by younger learners and might hamper their religious views. The implementation of innovative didactic approaches in multireligion education, as well as research from 1995 onwards, has indicated that younger learners will not easily be confused if content is presented in a balanced, professional manner. The introduction of games in a specific, colour-coded paradigm, as a didactic approach in multireligion programmes, contributes to the success stories of young learners' knowledge of different belief and value systems. Feeling safe with their own religion while gaining knowledge about other religions in order to develop respect for the diversity in their school environment is the key factor in this approach. The aim of this article is not to discuss problems or perceptions on religious diversity in schools or classrooms but to report on playing games as a solution for understanding religious content.

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