RE-searchers as methods of teaching in Religions, Worldviews and Social studies in school

RE-searchers as methods of teaching in Religions, Worldviews and Social studies in school

Four young adults doing different activities. Painting. PNG
RE-Searchers: Debate-it-all-Derek (“Drøfte-alt-Didrik»), See-the-story-Suzie (“Se-sammenhengen-Sara»), Have-a-og-Hugo («Prøve-sjøl-Petter»), Ask-it-all-Ava (Tør-å-spørre-Trine)

Teachers at Charlottenlund University School (NTNU) have developed it further for use in Social Studies and Religion and Worldviews Education in Norwegian schools. Central to this methodology is 4 characters with 4 different sets of methods and associated values, which become tools for interdisciplinary in-depth learning. This methodology facilitates exploration of subject content where the students become the main actors in their own learning, like how researchers work. The goal is a deeper understanding of how (own and others') knowledge forms. On this webpage you find information about how to work with RE-searchers in schools and teacher training, in Social Studies and Religion and Worldviews Education. You can also find information on how we work with this in projects, like MOVe and InDeep. Feel free to get in touch to share your experiences with the methodology. See also the KRLE podcast's theme page about RE-searchers (link).

Tema tab re-searchers

RE-searchers Approach - RE:ONLINE (

Freathy R., Freathy, G. Doney, J. Walshe, K. and Teece, G. (2015). The Re-Searchers: A New Approach to Religious Education in Primary Schools. Exeter: University of Exeter.

Freathy, G. and Freathy, R. (2016). The RE-searchers Approach: A quick start guide with exemplar units of work and activities. Exeter: University of Exeter.

Freathy, R., Reed, E.D., Davis, A., John, H. and Schmidt, A. (2018). Who is Jesus? University of Exeter.

Larkin, F. Freathy, R., Doney, J. & Freathy, G. (2019) Metacognition, Worldviews and Religious Education | A Practical Guide ( Routledge.

Rob Freathy: lecture on RE-searchers: RE searchers Approach - YouTube.

Rob Freathy, Jonathan Doney, Giles Freathy, Karen Walshe & Geoff Teece (2017) Pedagogical Bricoleurs and Bricolage Researchers: The case of Religious Education, British Journal of Educational Studies, 65:4, 425-443.

Rob Freathy & Helen C. John (2019) Religious Education, Big Ideas and the study of religion(s) and worldview(s), British Journal of Religious Education, 41:1, 27-40.

Rob Freathy & Helen C. John  (2019) Worldviews and Big Ideas: A Way Forward for Religious Education? 2019:4, Nordidactica, Vol 9: 2019:4.


Menneske og Verden («Humans and the World» is a teacher-initiated projects in NTNUs University School Partnership.

More about MOVe

In the MOVe project, Bjarte Mongstad and Gunvor Wendel drew on their own experiences as teachers at Charlottenlund Lower Secondary school and Meld. St. 28 / the renewal of the “Knowledge Lift” and took an initiative to work interdisciplinary with social studies and KRLE with the aim of achieving in-depth learning. Through the university school collaboration, they were joined by Yngve Skjæveland, social studies, and Oddrun M. H. Bråten, KRLE.

After the co-organization of the two subjects in MOVe, the next "action" we wanted to take was to explore the English methodology RE-searchers, developed in collaboration between schoolteachers and researchers: Rob and Giles Freathy, Jonathan Doney, and others at the University of Exeter. The methodology is inquiry based and puts the student at the center of their own learning.

We worked from a theory that students can create their own knowledge, like how researchers work. This requires a level-adapted methodological awareness, which the methodology represents through 4 different characters with 4 methods and associated values and tools for learning. The originality of the MOVe project is that we use this interdisciplinary, and both in KRLE and social studies, and explore the methodology's suitability in relation to goals in the new Norwegian curricula.

Activities such as a study trip to England, testing in our own school, sharing experiences with colleagues in our own school and with teachers from the university school Lunde School in Stavanger, and in parallel in KRLE teaching in the teacher training program, laid the foundation for a new and larger project: "Innovation in Deep learning with Social, Religion and Worldviews Studies (InDeep)".

InDeep plan B

Innovation in Deep Learning with Social, Religion and Worldviews Studies (InDeep).

The InDeep project "Innovation in Deep Learning with Social, Religion and Worldviews Studies" was based on MOVe, but was developed through three research applications. 

InDeep Plan B is this research project carried out without funding from NRF. It has a duration of four years, starting in the fall of 2022.

The project has working groups that work with the concept of deep learning in social studies and KRLE, interdisciplinarity between KRLE and social studies in schools and in teacher education and even look at contextual factors that help or hinder deep learning in these two subjects. In this project we explore the usefulness of the RE-searchers methodology for such ends, I schools and in teacher education.

InDeep ULF

InDeep ULF is a continuation of MOVe and is now both a sub-project in InDeep Plan B and a sub-project in the University School's new initiative on Exploratory Learning Forms (ULF).



Oddrun Marie Hovde Bråten, Professor, NTNU (use in school)

Camilla Stabel Jørgensen, Professor, NTNU (use in teacher education)

Knut Aukland, Associate Professor, OsloMet (KRLEpodden)

Marianne Hafnor Bøe, Professor, University of Stavanger