Meike Sprecher

  • Position: Student Teacher
  • Location: Tübingen, Germany

My name is Meike Sprecher, and I am training to be a teacher in English and RE. I am interested in the READY-project for several reasons.

First of all, I am looking forward to the opportunity to combine my two subjects via our contacts in Aberdeen. I have never been to Scotland, and I am excited about learning about Scottish culture.

Secondly, I have been interested in different religions for quite a while. I am myself a product of different strains of Christianity: growing up I was both influenced by a pious Catholic grandmother as well as a Pietist one. As an Au Pair in the US I then lived with families of different faiths; and when I studied as an exchange student at an American college, I was a regular guest at the meetings of the Muslim Student association as well as the Jewish organization while being an active member of the Episcopalian church. I am just interested in different traditions and the different ways people make meaning of their lives.

This has probably let me to the question what religion is to me. What I understand religion to be is in my opinion central to how I define myself as a teacher of religion. I could imagine that these definitions vary quite a lot among my peers. It would be interesting to me, however, if they varied even more in a different cultural context which possibly has a different idea about what religious education is and what it should achieve – not that there is a clear-cut answer to that in my own context. Through the contacts and also the lesson plans in the READY-project I hope to get insights into such different ideas in order to shape my own concepts.

The classes I teach throughout the school year are grades 7 and 10 in English and grade 10 in RE. Since in grade 10, we have very little time in English, I would prefer to do something with either the 7ers or the RE class. In the grade 7 book there is a unit on Scotland, so I could well imagine to implement a short project about religion(s) and diversity in Scotland in that unit. Most flexible, however, I am in my RE class.

I have already roughly sketched out a unit on Sacred Texts I am going to teach in my RE class. I understand sacred texts as dynamic rather than preexistent and static. What a sacred text is, is thus to be understood as an open question. I plan on discussing the concept of sacredness and why certain texts have come to be sacred. One common denominator of sacred texts could be their ability to provide ultimate answers. We will thus compare different myths of the origin of the world but also of the origin of these texts. A different approach could be to compile a questionnaire with the students for their friends and relatives in order to find out what their sacred texts are, where they keep them, how they use them etc.

Another project I might find interesting is a video project on where and how our students perceive diversity. I was inspired to this by the following website: http://www.runnymedetrust.org/uploads/projects/vap/VideoARTPostcards-TeachersGuide-2008.pdf

They provide different lesson plans already, but I could imagine to only pick out certain aspects and or videos and develop something new from it.

I am looking forward to working together! Be it on one of the projects I’ve listed.