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pickledseal

cowboy
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
4,933
Location
Upminster
I'm ready for the banter, and have no problem with it at all, but think that this article is very interesting regarding the place of RE in our schools:

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6417096

It begins:

Religious education in English schools is being edged out, marginalised by exam and curriculum reforms. To some, this is a cause for celebration. In many countries, such as France and the US, it would be unthinkable to include religion in the syllabus other than incidentally. Religion, they say, is a matter of personal conscience, to be taught at the family altar if at all.

And it goes on...

One of the objections that disestablishmentarians have to RE is that it sanctions the state indoctrination of children. But many of the people who talk about this are looking back to their own dim pasts, at least in England: prior to 1988, RE in English state schools was explicitly instructional and assumed a Christian background. Contemporary RE has undergone several resurrections since then, however. It has become the study of religion, rather than a study in religion – something that still escapes many parents who fret that their child will come home brainwashed. Interestingly, as an RE teacher of 10 years’ standing, I have encountered just as many parents who are concerned that their child will come home an atheist. More worryingly, I encounter the occasional parent who openly admits that they do not want their child studying “those other religions and cultures”, their xenophobia not even masked.

Banishing the subject to purely home instruction guarantees that the child will be exposed to no other religion and culture than their own domestic catechisms. Teaching religion formally in school permits us to drag dogma into the harsh light of comparative study, where believers and non-believers alike are forced to confront the origins of their spiritual axioms. I have seen, I assure you, just as many faiths wane as wax in RE lessons. “Learning about” is not “learning to”.

I think a few on here need to really take stock of that.

It ends:

Throughout this article I’ve posed many questions. During our week in the Holy Land I asked myself a million more. To answer them, you need history, of course, but more than just history: crypto-history. And geography, but more than that: the geography of imagination and belief. Literature and art, too – as ways of understanding how values become embodied in aesthetic representation. Sociology also, that upstart arriviste. Perhaps even psychology. Theology and its secular sister, philosophy. All of these. And more than just these. That’s the space that RE occupies. The story, the history of the interior space of the human heart; meaning and value and all the things that make life important. Not just where and when, but why and at what cost.

You can believe in Hell, Zion or the great silence of nihilism if you want, but ignore belief in the human story and you’ve deliberately ignored one of its pillars. That’s fine, but don’t pretend that you’ve acted in the interest of objectivity or rationalism. Religion endures, whatever one thinks of it.

So there we have it, if taught well, the most important subject we teach. Make sure you read it all here: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6417096

Then tell me why I waste my time. :hilarious:
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,096
Location
Benfleet
I think Andy, that with religion being at the root of many of the most significant conflicts in the last God knows how many years, that it should always have a place on the curriculum. I thoroughly approve of the way it is taught at Primary level, with children getting instruction in most of the major religions. Informing their minds from a young age might help them to understand and be more tolerant than some of their elders are.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
4,534
Andy i would love to join in your banter on the stories that you preach as fact but i would not want to be tiresome and bore you,its your life so enjoy.
Its all been banned in French France since 1905 and thats ok with me,.
 

Another Surrey Shrimper

Life President
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
8,887
Location
Carshalton, Surrey
Considering the impact that religion has on the world it is important to teach it in schools but an atheistic approach should be included at each level. I know RE is nothing like the way it was taught in my day but my kids' non religious school still have visits from the local God squad on a regular basis and still have hymns and prayers. I think the approach is still largely 'this is our religion but we'll have a look at the others'.
I have just thought of an analogy that I'll share - religion is like a chain letter that threatens bad luck if you don't pass it on to 10 friends - many people know its bollocks but its not worth the risk not passing it on.
 

MK Shrimper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
52,348
R.E. is pretty pointless IMHO. Kids with a strong religious family will have already been indoctrinated from birth - I live near a mosque and I see girls as young as 5 or 6 dressed from head to toe in black coming back from (probably) Qu'ran study. They will no doubt see their religion as the "one" and dismiss any other out of hand no matter how much education is provided.
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
23,031
Location
NY Parks Dept
It's important to teach children about religion. Explain to them why Easter is important to Christians, why Muslims go to Mecca, why Jews observe the Sabbath, etc. It's about understanding the world we live in and, to a certain extent, trying to contextualise all the ****ing insane things (and the good things too) that are done on Earth in the name of religion.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
I am 100% atheist and always have been, never had any doubts at all, yet I not only did RE at school I took it as an option and got the O-Level (showing my age).

Whilst I don't believe any of it religion is interesting and as worth learning about as History.

That said I do generally leave it off my CV as don't want to be judged incorrectly as some may see that as an indication of my personal beliefs.

R.E. is pretty pointless IMHO. Kids with a strong religious family will have already been indoctrinated from birth - I live near a mosque and I see girls as young as 5 or 6 dressed from head to toe in black coming back from (probably) Qu'ran study. They will no doubt see their religion as the "one" and dismiss any other out of hand no matter how much education is provided.

RE isn't about teaching kids what to believe in.

My kids are being brought up with no education from our lifestyle so surely RE does play a big part in educating them about whats out there in the world.

Even those religious types who have made up their mind should at least have an understanding of other religions.
 

Pubey

Guest
Of course teaching about religion should be on the curriculum. However it could probably be packaged with philosophy, cultural/social studies. All important things to learn about which are related but not purely 'religious'.
 

maninasuitcase

President
Joined
May 7, 2008
Messages
3,474
Location
Currently exiled in Yorkshire
I am 100% atheist and always have been, never had any doubts at all, yet I not only did RE at school I took it as an option and got the O-Level (showing my age).

Whilst I don't believe any of it religion is interesting and as worth learning about as History.

That said I do generally leave it off my CV as don't want to be judged incorrectly as some may see that as an indication of my personal beliefs.

I am an atheist as well, but there is no doubt religion has been behind great works of art, litereture and architecture, along with terrible wars and deaths fought in the name of one god or another. I would prefer to see the history of religion and the differences between faiths being taught in schools.
 

londonblue

Topgun Pilot
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
16,267
R.E. is pretty pointless IMHO. Kids with a strong religious family will have already been indoctrinated from birth - I live near a mosque and I see girls as young as 5 or 6 dressed from head to toe in black coming back from (probably) Qu'ran study. They will no doubt see their religion as the "one" and dismiss any other out of hand no matter how much education is provided.

That's exactly why it isn't pointless. Where else will those children learn about other religions? Understanding of other religions will lead to less xenophobia. It's not about trying to convert children to other religions, it's about giving them a better understanding/appreciation of all religions.

I'm not going to mention names, but many years ago an ex Southend footballer (and, yes he was playing for Southend at the time) was taken by his agent (who happened to be Jewish) to a restaurant whilst they discussed a few things. At the end of the meal the player asked for a coffee, which arrived black. He asked for some milk to be told by the waitress that they didn't serve milk.

The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Player: "What kind of ****ing restaurant doesn't serve milk?"
Agent: "A kosher one."
Player: "Are you Jewish?"
Agent: "Yes."
Player: "So where are your horns?"

I kid you not.

My view is that religious education should lead to a better understanding of other religions, and will lead to less of these types of issues.
 

Firestorm

Pedant
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
15,217
Location
Immersed in the accounts
As long as all religions are covered and the conflicts arising out of religion ( crusades , inquistion etc) are covered and there is no attempts to indoctrinate then it should be covered but probably as a module in Social History rather than a stand alone subject.

As for calls for atheism to be covered as well , it would certainly be worth including Agnostics in the mix as well
 

Mad Cyril

Proud sponsor of Mark Molesley's white trainers⭐
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
18,426
Location
Flavour country
The world would be a better place if there was less R.E and more R.E.O Speedwagon.
 

davewebbsbrain

Webby⭐
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
22,260
Location
Eastwood
I think Andy, that with religion being at the root of many of the most significant conflicts in the last God knows how many years, that it should always have a place on the curriculum. I thoroughly approve of the way it is taught at Primary level, with children getting instruction in most of the major religions. Informing their minds from a young age might help them to understand and be more tolerant than some of their elders are.

There's an irony in there somewhere
 

Massimo Giovanni

Old Timer⭐
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
8,559
Location
Siena
The world would be a better place if all religions used their wealth for good.
For example the Roman Church is the largest holder of gold in the world! For what?
 

DTS

The Business
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
16,173
Location
In a world of my own.
As a matter of interest do you discuss the possibility that there could in fact be no god at all in RE?

My experiences from school we were had two highly religious teachers (one Christian one Muslim) for whom the idea of there being no god would be unthinkable.

For me keep religion to a religious buildings for people that want to believe and keep education to schools. Would much rather my kids spent an extra hour a week on maths than learning about religion. I don't even think there should be faith schools.
 

Smudger

Manager
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
1,905
Location
Manama, Bahrain
As a matter of interest do you discuss the possibility that there could in fact be no god at all in RE?

My experiences from school we were had two highly religious teachers (one Christian one Muslim) for whom the idea of there being no god would be unthinkable.

For me keep religion to a religious buildings for people that want to believe and keep education to schools. Would much rather my kids spent an extra hour a week on maths than learning about religion. I don't even think there should be faith schools.

100% agree.

Pickledseal - do you look at the work of Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins and discuss their assessments of the religious texts? Do you encourage them to listen to the debates which the above have had with key religious figures?

Whilst I understand that it's necessary for kids to have a broad world view, anything which encourages kids to believe in fairy stories after the age of 7 or 8 is just plain indoctrination. It's completely and utterly wrong.
 

pickledseal

cowboy
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
4,933
Location
Upminster
100% agree.

Pickledseal - do you look at the work of Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins and discuss their assessments of the religious texts? Do you encourage them to listen to the debates which the above have had with key religious figures?

Whilst I understand that it's necessary for kids to have a broad world view, anything which encourages kids to believe in fairy stories after the age of 7 or 8 is just plain indoctrination. It's completely and utterly wrong.

Yes also Freud/Durkheim/Jung/Marx criticism and others such as Ayer/Flew as well as the new atheists/anti-theists.

I teach analytical, critical RE.

I'd suggest many of you wouldn't recognise the RE of 2014. It's very very different to what you had at school...
 

pickledseal

cowboy
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
4,933
Location
Upminster
I don't even think there should be faith schools.

Ah yes the people who first recognised the need for free education for all... The people that bought the land and built the schools from their own pockets...

Agree they need to be carefully monitored to eradicate extremism, but surely you remove religious freedom by contemplating closure?

Especially interesting given now a free school can open with any kind of agenda it likes... We may see faith schools as some of the more positive!
 
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