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Faith, Religion and Science Teaching and Learning

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Tonie Stolberg
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The appearance of Intelligent Design ideas in some school science texts has exercised the world’s scientific academies, and led to their issuing of a combined statement strenuously arguing for the rejection of such approaches and the promotion of the teaching of evolution. Also, recent high profile examples involving leading educationalists who appear to condone the ‘teaching’ of creationism have led the UK government to produce guidance for England’s Local Education Authorities and schools, which emphasises the inappropriateness of including creationism in the science curriculum.

Building on from previous research aiming to understand how individual teachers and students make sense of religious and scientific ideas, this project will explore how student engagement with such ideas changes during the teaching and learning process. The precise design and methods to be used are a decision to be taken as part of the project, but this study is likely to be qualitative in nature, focusing on a nuanced analysis of the various discourses taking place within and outside the classroom.

Education PhD
A PhD requires a minimum period of study as a registered student of normally three years full-time or six years part-time. The PhD is by thesis only, and is examined by a work of 80,000 words maximum and an oral examination. Postgraduate researchers are required to complete the research training programme, normally in the first two years of registration. One to one supervision is provided throughout the length of the formal registration. Postgraduate researchers who are involved in similar areas may also have some group supervision.
To find out more details and to apply online view the Education PhD webpage

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Funding Notes

There is no funding specifically linked to this project.

Where applicable, applicants will be supported to apply for ESRC, AHRC or University of Birmingham studentships or bursaries. Information about studentships in Education is available here:

You can search all sources of potential funding using our Postgraduate Funding Database:


Stolberg, T. L. and Teece, G. (2011) Teaching Religion and Science: Effective pedagogy and practical approaches for RE teachers. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-54820-5.

Stolberg, T. L. (2010) Teaching Darwinian Evolution: Learning from religious education. Science & Education, 19(6-8), 679-692.

Stolberg, T. L. (2009) Student Thinking When Studying Science-and-Religion. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 44(4), 849-860.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Education?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.70

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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