According to recent research 1 more than 70% of UK young people aged 15-plus have no formal religious affiliation, with most embracing a secular humanist worldview 2. They also have many valid questions which deserve exploration, debate and answers that hit the spot.
Windows on Worldviews is an innovative video resource designed to support 15-21year olds to explore secular humanism. It is suitable for informal use in schools, youth and undergraduate student work or for GCSE and A-Level Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies students working in the classroom.
This free resource comprises six accessible short videos, based on true stories, that look at popular aspects of non-religious beliefs. To go with the stories, six short ‘boffin slots’ open up and critique the philosophical roots of the commonly-held beliefs under exploration.
To help busy leaders there are also two accompanying written Guides – one for teachers and one for schools, youth and student workers. The Guides include suggested discussion starters for class or group use and useful links to further resources. The discussion starters can be adjusted as preferred. The Guide for teachers usefully links back to examination board specifications. The Guide for schools, youth and student work has slightly more explicit links to traditional biblical teaching.
All videos are hosted on YouTube and open in a new tab.
The short films
The ‘boffin slot’ explanatory videos
- The Boffin: Million Dollar Virgin
- The Boffin: The Beast
- The Boffin: The Woo-Woo Crew
- The Boffin: That Spell is Pants
- The Boffin: What Goes Around Comes Around?
- The Boffin: Mars Will Save Us
More about the resource
Windows on Worldviews from RealityBites complements curriculum materials that young people might already be using in school or college but will also fascinate anyone interested in aspects of humanism such as secularism, materialism, consumerism, scientism, atheism, ‘new-age’ ideas and religious syncretism. In no way dry or boring, the five-minute films are firmly rooted in popular culture, using narratives from football, celebrity news, love and relationships, technology and pop festivals. With diverse storylines relevant to young people aged 15-21 they can be used in any order, individually or as a series. The accompanying five-minute ‘boffin slots’ undergird the learning points in the stories and will help young people discuss and compare aspects of non-religious beliefs with traditional Christian beliefs.
Producer, Patricia Gray said: “With these short films RealityBites aims to address some of the fundamental worldview questions in a way that speaks to young people at a time when their beliefs are a major influence on their identity. The stories are non-preachy, appealing and up-to-the minute. Humour and, occasionally, a gently ironic approach will stimulate thinking and discussion.”
Writer Mark Roques said “I wrote this accessible resource, with its stand-alone and complementary parts to liven things up! To engage and challenge critical thinking – something young people badly need to develop in our complex social media-driven world. However, Windows on Worldviews can be used at many different learning or meeting levels and will complement philosophy, ethics and religious studies as well as more informal studies. Young people have many questions that deserve discussion, debate and, ultimately, good answers, this series of films will help with that. “
A selection of behind the scenes photographs
RealityBites is the schools and youth-focused activity strand of the Thinking Faith Network charity, and has been producing educational resources for over twenty years including books, courses, events and videos exploring non-traditional, non-religious ideas and beliefs. RealityBites is led by Mark Roques (‘The Boffin’), a former RE teacher who is the author of four books, including Curriculum Unmasked and The Spy, The Rat and the Bed of Nails.
The Windows on Worldview project is led by Patricia Gray, an education, training and development professional with 25 years+ experience of developing and delivering learning materials, courses, conferences and workshops.
1) See https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2018/04/06/generation-noreligion-what-the-data-really-shows-about-youth-religiosity and https://humanists.uk/2018/03/21/7-in-10-young-people-in-the-uk-are-non-religious-new-research-finds/
2) While recognising that the concept of worldview is used in different ways by different authors, we use the definition of worldviews offered in the Report of the Commission on RE (2018) which, in brief, defines worldview as: “A person’s way of understanding, experiencing and responding to the world. https://www.commissiononre.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Final-Report-of-the-Commission-on-RE.pdf
That Report also distinguishes between an individual’s worldview and ‘organised worldviews’ where a set of beliefs is accepted by either an informal or formal group or community. In this resource we aim to help young people explore how both personal belief and the influence of groups (including social media and popular cultural communities) help to form and reinforce an individual’s understanding of their place in the world and the ways in which their values and beliefs might be lived out in everyday experience.