Conference Workshops Rome 2023

EFTRE 15th Conference in Rome 2023

Workshop Topics

  1. XR in RE – Paul Hopkins (England)
  2. The Docutube-method – Stefanie Sinclair and John Maiden (England)
  3. Performative RE – Sonja Danner (Austria)
  4. Classroom Strategies for Controversial Issues in Religious Education
    – Britta Kornholt & Eva Lindhardt (both Denmark) & Norman Richardson (Northern Ireland)
  5. Religious Education and Competences for Democratic Culture – Marios Koukounaras Liagkis (Greece)
  6. European Microcosm in Orthodox Religious Education – Dr. Marina Kiroudi (Germany)
  7. Exploring the lived experience of individuals, families and communities through the lens of a five year old – Gill Vaisey (Wales)
  8. More to be confirmed.

There are still some open spaces for workshops. If you would like to offer a workshop at the conference, please contact EFTRE secretary Elisabeth Faber via .

Details about the Workshops

Workshop No.1
XR in RE

Paul Hopkins (England)

Extended reality is the idea that you can explore reality in virtual or blended space. You might have used an app to do this as a tourist or a teacher. XR offers the ability to overlay information onto video or image. This practical workshop will explore some of these ideas and give you a quick change to make your own 360 image and play with some of the technology. 

Paul has been working in and around education and religious education for over 25 years. He has published widely both nationally and internationally in the field of technology enhanced education and has worked across Europe and the world in this field. In recent times he has become more excited by the possibilities of eXtended reality.

Workshop No.2
The Docutube-method: Using the creative process of filmmaking to facilitate reflection on religious diversity in the past and present

Dr Stefanie Sinclair and Dr John Maiden (England)

This workshop demonstrates how young people can explore sensitive and potentially controversial topics relating to religion through the creative process of making short documentary-style films (so-called ‘docutubes’). It will show how this approach can actively engage young people (aged 13-18) in learning about religious diversity in the past and present, in light of the changing ways young people use technology to learn and communicate. It will share examples and resources developed by the EU-funded international RETOPEA (‘Religious Toleration and Peace’) project and include an interactive taster session of the docutube-method.  The workshop will explain how teachers and youth workers can access and work with the freely available RETOPEA resources to use the methodology themselves. The project website ( provides an extensive collection of downloadable images and extracts from documents (known as ‘clippings’) that are intended to serve as starting points for discussion and reflection on living in a diverse and complex multi-religious and multi-secular world. An online course provides practical guidance to those seeking to run docutube workshops, using the process of filmmaking.  Participants will be shown examples of docutubes made by young people across Europe and offered a hands-on taster session of the docutube-method, working with cameras provided by the project team.

Stefanie is a Senior Lecturere in Religious Studies and the Academic Lead for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the Open University, UK. John is Head of Department for Religious Studies at the Open University, UK. Both John and Stefanie have been members of the Horizon 2020 project Religious Toleration and Peace (RETOPEA).

Photo of Sonja.

Workshop No.3
Performative RE / Educazione religiosa performativa

Sonja Danner (Austria)

Children are growing up more and more in families where religious education plays little or no role. Attending church on Sundays or prayer is given little importance in daily life. Religious celebrations such as Christmas and Easter etc. are celebrated, but often without recalling the religious significance of these. Thus, religious education must fill this vacuum and also offer students the opportunity to have religious experiences there to some degree.

This workshop offers the opportunity to try out and reflect on different performative methods that are available for this purpose in religious education classes.

The workshop can be held in English or Italian.

I bambini crescono sempre di più in famiglie in cui l’educazione religiosa ha un ruolo scarso o nullo. La partecipazione alla chiesa la domenica o la preghiera hanno poca importanza nella vita quotidiana. Si celebrano feste religiose come il Natale, la Pasqua, ecc. ma spesso senza ricordarne il significato religioso. Pertanto, l’educazione religiosa deve riempire questo vuoto e offrire agli studenti l’opportunità di fare esperienze religiose in qualche misura.

Questo workshop offre l’opportunità di sperimentare e riflettere su vari metodi performativi disponibili a questo scopo nelle classi di educazione religiosa.

Il workshop può essere tenuto in inglese o in italiano.

Sonja has been a teacher of Religious Education since 1991. From 2000, she has been responsible for the in-service training of RE teachers of Secondary Schools in Austria and is based in Vienna at the Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule Wien / Krems.

Workshop No.4
Classroom Strategies for Controversial Issues in Religious Education

Britta Kornholt & Eva Lindhardt (both Denmark)
& Norman Richardson (Northern Ireland)

Based on the work of a current Erasmus Plus project (with participants from Cyprus, Denmark, Lebanon, Norway and Northern Ireland), this workshop will explore some of the pedagogical approaches that RE teachers can employ to deal with the controversial issues that may be encountered in classrooms in different countries.  The workshop will be practical and interactive and will offer examples from the findings of the international project.

Britta is Associate Professor at Department of Teacher Education, University College Copenhagen KP. She teaches the subject Religion, Ethics/Philosophy and citizenship.
Eva is Associate Professor in citizenship and religious education, University College Copenhagen, KP, Denmark.
Norman is an Honorary Fellow at Stranmillis University College, Belfast, where, post-retirement, he continues to teach Religious Studies and intercultural education.

Photo of Marios

Workshop No.5
Religious Education and Competences for Democratic Culture: how teachers can facilitate students to take their place within this complex world.

Marios Koukounaras Liagkis (Greece)

Based on the Council of Europe’s Reference of Competences for Democratic Culture, this workshop will discuss the challenges and benefits of training teachers to develop competences for democratic culture in Religious Education. It will present the results of the Erasmus+ KA2 project, STEP UP-DC ( which provides free access to training materials and certification processes for teachers who want to learn how to develop these competences. The workshop will explain how teachers and future teachers can use the project’s open-access training platform ( to self-educate. Participants will share their experiences attempting to answer how RE can formulate competent citizens and RE teachers can be competent themselves to develop the relevant competences for democratic culture.

Marios Koukounaras Liagkis is an Associate Professor of Pedagogy and Religious Education at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Workshop No.6
European Microcosm in Orthodox Religious Education

Dr. Marina Kiroudi (Germany)

Orthodox Religious Education in Germany can be characterized as an European microcosm. Most of the orthodox pupils have a background or experience of migration from Eastern or South-Eastern Europe. The reference to the faith is more at home in the language and the tradition of the country of their background. However, the diverse shaping of the religious life at different places and the unity of faith worldwide belong together. Orthodox religious education aims to build a bridge between local religious traditions and the unity of faith as well as its meaning in the current context in Germany. The workshop will give an insight in didactic approaches of identity formation, language and dialogue skills. At the same time, the question is how interconfessional bridges can be built.

Marina is Research Associate at the Department of Religious Education, Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Bonn.

Workshop No.7
Exploring the lived experience of individuals, families and communities through the lens of a five-year-old

Gill Vaisey (Wales)

Provision of Religious Education for our younger pupils needs to be meaningful, relevant and age appropriate – engaging, stimulating and interactive. This can be seen as a challenge, and even a barrier by some practitioners. Suitable tools and pedagogical approaches are needed to instil practitioners with confidence and an enthusiasm to approach RE with younger pupils.

In this session, Gill will share the pedagogical thinking behind her work, illustrate how this is embedded within her resources and consider the potential impact of this approach on the religion and worldviews education for young learners.

We will explore Gill’s experience of working with eight families, each of a different worldview and the influential curriculum resources that have been produced as a result of this innovative project: ‘Belonging and Believing’. Several of these resources are free to access and can be widely shared with advisers and practitioners to use in training and in the classroom.

The session will include time for reflection, questions and discussion about the project and the provision of religion and worldviews education for Early Years pupils and young learners.

Gill Vaisey is a Religion and Worldviews Adviser and writer of high quality RE curriculum materials for practitioners and pupils. As an experienced primary school teacher and RE Subject Leader, Gill became an independent education consultant and has specialised in Early Years and Primary RE for over twenty years, providing support to teachers, LAs, Dioceses and SACREs across the UK.
Gill has a wealth of experience in providing professional support to SACREs and Agreed Syllabus Conferences, leading and managing teacher working groups, writing Agreed Syllabuses and producing exemplar curriculum planning and support materials.
To meet the needs of practitioners and pupils, Gill began writing and producing books and resource materials for the classroom. Her series of Puddles books were the first to be awarded accreditation for the Understanding Christianity project. Her Muslim story resources received an Early Years Excellence award.
Her recent ‘Belonging and Believing’ project, working with eight families over three years, shares their lived experience through the lens of a five-year old from within each family. These resources bring an exciting fresh approach to exploring different religions and worldviews with young children. The series has been recognised as a finalist in the Teach Primary Awards.
Gill’s high-quality advice, training and curriculum materials facilitate more enjoyable, accessible and meaningful RE for practitioners and pupils.

Gill’s work can be seen at
Twitter: @BooksAtPress