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  • 1.
    Dalevi, Sören
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013).
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    RE didactics in Sweden - defined by the national curriculum?: Discussing didactics of RE in a Swedish context2016In: Usuteaduslik Ajakiri, ISSN 1406-6564, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 62-78Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Dalevi, Sören
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Vad kännetecknar ämnestexter? (inriktning religion)2016Other (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Central themes in Indian study books on the topic of `moral values’2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The `National Curriculum Framework 2005' [NCF] sets out to describe a core, common to all education in India. This is interpreted by various state and national school boards, all of which can add additional content to the curriculum. This paper focuses on the subject of ethics and moral values. The study as a whole combines textual analysis with ethnographic research, and uses as empirical material the NCF and textbooks, interviews, and observations from two different school boards (CISCE and CBSE). The study shows that moral values are seen as central in education, not as a theoretical subject about ethics, but rather values which ought to be inculcated in students.

  • 4.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013). Stockholms universitet.
    Comparing Clementines and Satsumas: Looking at Religion in Indian Schools from a Nordic Perspective2015In: Religions of South Asia, ISSN 1751-2689, E-ISSN 1751-2697, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 332-355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is sometimes claimed that there is no religious education in the general Indian school system. there are reasons to suggest that matters are more complex than that. Combining the two fields of religious and comparative educational studies, this article shows that there are themes in Indian syllabuses and teaching materials that involve religious content. Empirical data include the Indian National Policy of education, the National Curriculum Framework and syllabuses, as well as syllabuses and textbooks from a particular school board (CISCe). 

  • 5.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Drawing a line between the religious and the secular: The cases of religious education in Sweden and India2018In: Journal of Beliefs and Values, ISSN 1361-7672, E-ISSN 1469-9362, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 182-194Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Religion as a school subject – Religious Education (RE) – is handled differently in various national contexts. This article discusses two different systems of managing (or avoiding) RE: those used in non-denominational Swedish and Indian schools. The article focuses particularly on what is allowed in the classroom with regards to religion. Both countries are secular, but where is the line drawn between the secular and the religious? Allowing the two contexts to meet reveals the particularities of each. The impact of Protestant Christianity, specifically Lutheranism, is evident in Swedish RE: religion is to be defined through beliefs and words, and religious actions should be excluded from classrooms. The Swedish context highlights ‘knowledge of’ religions, but avoids religious action. In India, there is no explicit RE, but Indian education does include learning from religion as well as ‘doing religion.’ The Indian approach is very inclusive, to the point of emphasising, as teachers put it, a common core of all religions. Both systems of RE offer particular opportunities and face certain difficulties in dealing with the contemporary globalised world. 

  • 6.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Ethics in Indian schools: behaving like a citizen2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper continues a discussion begun at isrev 2016, and attempts to de-westernize ethics by contrasting Indian ways of teaching the subject to similar Western applications, as exemplified by Sweden. The main focus of the paper is the subject of ethics and moral values in Indian education. There is a common core (ncf), interpreted by state and national school boards, and to which aforementioned parties can add additional content to the curriculum. The study’s empirical material from India is based on three such interpretations: Uttar Pradesh’ school board and two national school boards (cisce and cbse). Textual analysis is combined with ethnographic research, with material such as the ncf and textbooks, interviews, and observations. The study shows that moral values are seen as central in education, not as a theoretical subject discussing ethics, but rather as values inculcated in students and displayed by the latter through behaving as Indian citizens. In India, there is an emphasis on doing and behavior – living the proper life, if you will – whereas Sweden emphasizes theoretical reasoning about values and ethics.

  • 7.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Religion – where to draw the line in school: The cases of Sweden and India2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Religion as a school subject – Religious Education or RE – is handled differently in various, national contexts (see Davis and Mirosh- nikova, 2013). This paper is a dialogue between two different sys- tems of RE: those found in Swedish and Indian schools. Letting the two paradigms meet reveals particularities of each, both regarding ways of understanding religion in general and religion in school in particular (cf. Niemi, 2016). Both countries are secular, and only denominational schools have been studied. The paper focuses par- ticularly on what is allowed to do in the classroom with regards to religion. Where is the line drawn and why. Empirical data in- clude classroom observations and teacher interviews from India. The results show that secularism is interpreted differently in the two countries. The impact of Protestant Christianity, specifically Lutheranism, is evident in Swedish RE (cf. Buchardt, 2015; Kittel- mann Flensner, 2015; Dalevi, 2015, 4). On the face of it, India doesn’t have religious education (cf. Mahmood, 2013) at all. Looking closer, it can be found, but perhaps focusing on doings rather than ‘knowledge of’. The approach to religions is very inclusive, to the point where a common core of all religions is emphasized. The Swedish context highlights ‘knowledge of’, but avoids doings. The other con- text emphasizes doings, but avoids other areas. Both systems of RE offer particular opportunities and suffer difficulties in dealing with today’s globalized world (cf. Kittelmann Flensner, 2015; Kumar and Oesterheld, 2007); both lead to different ways of having dialogue in the RE classroom.

  • 8.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Relocating Religion in a Changing Classroom2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Religion as a subject is handled very differently in different, national contexts (see Davis & Miroshnikova, 2013). In this paper, we will discuss questions which surface in the meeting of two very different systems of RE: Sweden and India. The two paradigms interfere with each other (cf. Haraway, 1988). It reveals different ways of understanding religion in general and RE in particular. One focus will be on what sort of religious expression(s) pupils are allowed to meet in the two contexts. In this paper we will take both a theoretical and empirical approach on what sort of religious expression children in primary school are allowed to meet in RE. We show that the different histories of the two societies has shaped two particular understandings of religion, which in turn has resulted in two different ways of arranging RE. The Swedish, secular school-system tends to be Lutheran, although in an unconscious manner (cf. Buchardt, 2015). Whereas the Indian school-system on the face of it doesn't have religious education (cf. Mahmood, 2013). Looking closer, it can be found, but perhaps focusing on doings rather than knowledge of. One context highlights knowledge of, but avoids doings. The other context emphasizes do- ings, but avoids knowledge of and definitions. Both systems of RE offer particular opportunities and suffer difficulties in dealing with today's globalized world (cf. Kittelmann Flensner, 2015; K. Kumar, 2007).

  • 9.
    Niemi, Kristian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
    Threshold Concepts in Religious Studies at Swedish Higher Education2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To master an academic discipline is a challenge, and different scientific disciplines have their own, specific challenges for novices. Threshold concepts, as developed by Jan H. F. Meyer and Ray Land, have proven to be pedagogically fruitful concepts, related to the gradual mastery, by the novice, of a subject specific perspective. In this paper, the theory is introduced, followed by an overview of uses within Religious Education (RE). Earlier research has primarily focused confessional RE. Through empirical material (interview and survey) from students in science of religion, the general discussion is moved a specific set- ting, in Swedish university teaching of Religious Studies, where it is argued that lived religion, world religion paradigm, emic / etic, and orthodoxy / orthopraxy, could be considered to be threshold concepts in Sweden. These concepts could be viewed as keys into the discipline Science of Religion, and through using the threshold concepts in planning courses, teaching may be improved.

  • 10.
    Niemi, Kristian
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.
    Dalevi, Sören
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.
    Discussing didactics of religious education in a Swedish context2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, the didactics of religious education is perceived as a rel- atively new field of research. In this study we show that, in fact, the field has very old roots and that there were the beginnings of an aca- demic field of research in the 1970:s. The latter has in large parts been neglected or forgotten. We suggest that there currently is a lack of debate concerning the fundamental views of what the subject should be, as well overarching goals -- the lack of a “big picture”, if you will -- and that active teachers might lack a professional vocabulary. One might even question if there indeed is a field of didactics of religious education in Sweden. In this essay, we seek to look at that question. The main material is an overview of titles used in RE-teacher’s edu- cation, which illustrate the debate among scholars of religious educa- tion, as well as academic reviews of the subject. This is supplemented by interviews with three teachers. The study shows a fragmented field. No serious attempt is made at defining what the didactics of religious education is in a Swedish context. Few insights are imple- mented from the international field, such as Germany and England, nor even from the neighbouring countries Norway and Finland. This has repercussions for the teacher’s reflection on their practice. 

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