Correcting stereotypes about atheists and agnostics in schools

Impact: Societial Impact

Description of impact

As part of the work around Understanding Unbelief (2017-2020) and Explaining Atheism (2022-2024), we aim to use our data to improve the accuracy of information provided to school children about non-religious worldviews and the beliefs of atheists and agnostics. We have been fortunate to have our research and writing featured in a number of classroom publications by RE Today Services, one of the largest providers of Religious Education materials for primary and secondary classrooms across the UK.

In these writings, we provide both data and interpretation to correct stereotypes of atheists as overly rationalistic, or lacking in morality.

In Volume 2 of the series "Challenging Knowledge in RE", editor Stephen Pett outlines to students and teachers the findings of the Understanding Unbelief programme and also uses our survey questions as prompts for in class activities (see document below).

Further, in a story for RE today magazine in Summer 2019, I outline some different ways people can be 'unbelievers', challenging old stereotypes, and provide previews of the data from our Understanding Unbelief programme. I worked with Stephen Pett (editor) on designing RE lessons for the classroom based on this work.

This demonstrates the adoption of our (Understanding Unbelief) data and interpretations by Religious Education professionals across the UK.

Who is affected

Religious Education teachers and students across the United Kingdom.
Impact statusOngoing
Impact date20192023
Category of impactSocietial Impact
Impact levelAdoption