My Super Sons

This week I had to take a day to look after my older son as my younger was rushed to hospital for observation with an infection (we feared all sorts of terrible things – turns out he is better after a big dose of antibiotics). Anyway, this day of childcare afforded me an opportunity to continue my enjoyment of exercising my parental right to indoctrinate or condition my three year old boy into whatever beliefs and behaviours I deem necessary. We agreed it would be a fun game for Rudy to adopt a flying pose whenever he heard the Superman film theme tune. I could see immense social benefits in this skill. All was going well, but we were playing together in the living room, and Rudy was be-caped and generally in a Superman mood. I wondered about the extent to which this behaviour would be transferable to other contexts and unexpected situations. So I told Rudy that we would try out our game in the supermarket. I directed him to the kitchen and asked him to go and choose the fruit juice he wanted to buy – orange, apple or whatever. Off he flew. I then blasted the Superman theme from my iPhone and went into the kitchen. He was pushing round his pretend trolley. I turned up the phone: “Rudy, what can you hear?”
“I can’t play right now, Daddy. I need to get wholemeal bread, eggs and green milk…”
Looks like the work of conditioning is already well under way elsewhere…

Superman model by Rudy.

(On the subject of My Super Sons, here is an old Facebook status I dug up from last year)

Rudy: Daddy, is Sunny a person?
Daddy: hmm…that’s a tricky question Rudy. Where to start? Okay, do you think Sunny can give reasons or make plans?
Rudy: I think Sunny’s planning to do another poo on the carpet…


(My Super Sunny)

Religion, Education and Critical Realism

Conference Website


Religion, Education and Critical Realism

Inter-disciplinary dialogue about reality, knowledge and the pursuit of truth

7–8 September 2012, Oxford Brookes University

Convened jointly by Oxford Brookes University, King’s College London and Canterbury Christ Church University

The inaugural conference for the International Association for Religion, Education and Critical Realism brings together academics, researchers and classroom practitioners to engage in dialogue at the interface of Theology and Religion, Education and Learning, Religious Education and Critical Realism. It is hoped to foster an exchange of ideas and approaches, leading to the development of theory, research and practice. Selected papers will also be published in an edited volume to further inspire and support the ongoing dialogue.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Roy Bhaskar (Critical Realism), Institute of Education, University of London

Professor Ference Marton (Education and Learning), University of Göteborg, Sweden

Revd Prof Alister McGrath (Theology and Religion), King’s College London

Professor Andrew Wright (Religious Education), King’s College London

Call for papers

You are invited to propose a paper, panel or practical workshop reflecting on any of the following questions:

What is reality really like?

How do we experience reality?

How do we judge whether such experience is authentic?

How can we decide what should be learned about reality?

How can we teach and learn about reality?

How can we teach and learn about God and religion?

Abstract proposals (approx 200 words) to by 2 March 2012

Paper presentations will be 30 minutes, including discussion.

The conference flyer is here: