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Dr James Holt

Dr James Holt, Associate Professor of Religious Education in the University’s School of Education has published his latest book, Understanding Sikhism: A Guide for Teachers (Bloomsbury) and has written two chapters for Mentoring Religious Education Teachers in the Secondary School: A Practical Guide (Routledge) edited by Helen Sheehan. 

Sikhism is often the religion that teachers have the least confidence in teaching, despite being the fifth largest religion in the world and being commonly regarded as one of the six main religions taught in schools. James’s book aims to fill that gap in knowledge and expertise by exploring the beliefs and practices of Sikhism as a lived religion in the modern world. It engages with Sikh beliefs and practices and provides students and teachers with the confidence to address misconceptions and recognise the importance of beliefs in the lives of believers, in a way that will enable readers to go forward with confidence to teach pupils in their classrooms. 
James explores aspects of Sikhism including the concepts that form the central beliefs of Sikhism and the expression of these beliefs in worship and daily life as well as the ethics of Sikhs in the modern day. Each chapter includes authentic voices of believers today and provides opportunities for the reader to consider the concepts and how they can be respected and taught in the classroom. 

James has written a chapter for the book Mentoring Religious Education Teachers in the Secondary School: A Practical Guide that looks at developing beginning teachers’ understanding of knowledge and skills in the Religious Education curriculum. The book aims to help mentors working with beginning teachers of Religious Education to develop their own mentoring skills and provides the essential guidance their mentee needs as they experience the challenges of their first years of teaching in the classroom. It aims to be a vital source of support and inspiration for those involved with developing the next generation of Religious Education teachers. 

James is an expert in the areas of Religious Education, inter-faith relationships, Christian Education, minority religions and Mormon theology. 

He said: “It is a real pleasure to share what I have learned during my career with teachers just starting out on their journeys in the classroom. I hope that my work can inspire others to be the best teachers of Religious Education that they can be.” 

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