What happens to children's faith in the zone of proximal development, and what can religious educators do about it?

Court, D.
This article mingles stories and concepts of young Jewish Israeli children about God, with reflections on the roles of faith, memory, imagination, and cognitive development in children's Religious Education. The stories are meant to illustrate, among other things, the purity and innocence of young children's faith, which is largely untroubled by fact. Then, using Vygotsky's notions of children's spontaneous concepts and the development of more mature and accurate conceptions in the "zone of proximal development," a central dilemma in Religious Education will be explored. How can religious educators help young people acquire accurate historical information, textual skills, and theological methods of inquiry, while at the same time nurturing the precious flame of faith? Can we do better at combining systematic learning with pure faith? Toward this purpose, three complementary goals of Religious Education will be suggested: cognitive, practical/moral, and spiritual.

Last Updated Date : 28/08/2013