Hyde, B. (2010). Agency and non-verbal communication in religious education: A case study from a Godly play classroom. Journal of Religious Education,58(1), 4-11. Australia: Australian Catholic University.
Contemporary thinking in relation to the social constructions of childhood places an emphasis on the concept of agency – the ability of children to understand their own world and to act upon it. Children are not merely individuals but also active participants in a wide range of meaningful social interactions. Agency may not always involve the child’s literal voice. It could entail non-verbal communication through play and through acting upon the world. This paper examines, through a case study from a Godly Play classroom, the way in which agency may be exercised through a child’s non-verbal communication in religious education. It argues that the concept of agency for children in religious education, although often neglected or assumed, is critical if children are to make meaning from the faith tradition, and if they are to be enabled to confront existential issues and concerns.
School of Education
Open Access Journal Article