RE lessons 'never been needed more'

Religious education classes 'needed' in schools

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RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#1  Postby DougC » Feb 01, 2015 1:08 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30989933
B.B.C. Article
Developing young people's "religious literacy" would help to make them less vulnerable to radicalisation, a conference will hear later.
"Good religious education has never been more needed," Ed Pawson, chairman of the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education, will say.
But pupils will miss out unless the government addresses a shortage of RE teachers, he will warn.
The government said training bursaries would help to recruit more RE staff.

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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#2  Postby trogs » Feb 01, 2015 2:19 am

Yeah, stopping flooding your country with third-world muslims from the most radical, violent areas would also help.

Figure out how to integrate the ones already there first.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#3  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Feb 01, 2015 2:38 am

OK, fighting fire with fire can sometimes help. I realise the value of back-burning. But "innoculating" people with "mild" religion is not going to stop radical religion. One can innoculate them against religion generally. :grin:
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#4  Postby chairman bill » Feb 01, 2015 9:50 am

1) Religion is bollocks. Leave it alone, if you can't,
2) And ever feel the need to kill someone because of your religion, start with killing yourself.
3) Here endeth the lesson.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#5  Postby Nicko » Feb 01, 2015 12:05 pm

Darwinsbulldog wrote:OK, fighting fire with fire can sometimes help. I realise the value of back-burning. But "innoculating" people with "mild" religion is not going to stop radical religion. One can innoculate them against religion generally. :grin:


It depends upon what you mean by "religious education".

If it's an academically robust course that simply aims to teach kids what various faiths are normally about - the differences between Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christianity or the differences between Sunni, Shia and Sufi Islam - then I think it could be quite valuable.

If it's an attempt at indoctrination, then it has no place in a school.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#6  Postby surreptitious57 » Feb 01, 2015 5:57 pm

Religion has dominated human culture for so long that it is a complete
no brainer not to have it taught in schools. However just like history it
should be done from as neutral and objective a perspective as possible
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#7  Postby Calilasseia » Feb 01, 2015 6:07 pm

The simple answer. Teach the subject as Comparative Mythology.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#8  Postby quisquose » Feb 01, 2015 6:11 pm

"We need more religious education" says organisation for promoting religious education.

:roll:
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#9  Postby laklak » Feb 01, 2015 7:20 pm

And that concludes our lesson on Christian bollocks. Read Chapter 22 tonight, we'll discuss Islamic bollocks in class tomorrow.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#10  Postby DougC » Feb 01, 2015 8:11 pm

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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#11  Postby Scarlett » Feb 01, 2015 9:06 pm

It should be taught as "Cultural Studies" or something like that. It should include cultural beliefs and practices from a wide range of places in the world with no special emphasis on any particular place or culture.

I accept religion plays a major part in the world and our kids should be informed, but it's relevance needs to be questioned and challenged. And this notion we have in the west of Christianity being the 'right' religion absolutely has to stop, even with the added caveats of 'tolerance' of other religions (mainly Muslim) that some believe will make the next generation all touchy-feely and we'll all live together in a rainbow nation hugging. It's bullshit, as long as each generation is taught that the historic religion of their country is superior, in any way, it's asking for bigotry.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#12  Postby Shrunk » Feb 01, 2015 9:39 pm

Developing young people's "religious literacy" would help to make them less vulnerable to radicalisation,


Read the whole article looking for the argument that justifies this claim. Never found it. :dunno:

Also:

On top of this, from 2016, proposed changes to GCSE subject specifications for RE, requiring the study of two religions, will pose even greater challenges to teachers, he will argue.


In what direction is that a change? Did they used to teach more than two religions, or only one? What kind of useless course on religion completely omits all but two of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism....?
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#13  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Feb 01, 2015 10:02 pm

If it's so important that children are taught about irrational bullshit that people in society believe, does that mean they'll be getting lessons on things like global warming "skepticism" and vaccine hysteria?
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#14  Postby Scarlett » Feb 01, 2015 10:12 pm

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:If it's so important that children are taught about irrational bullshit that people in society believe, does that mean they'll be getting lessons on things like global warming "skepticism" and vaccine hysteria?


See, I'm absolutely with you on that. I wish it could be ignored but I don't think it can.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#15  Postby Shrunk » Feb 01, 2015 10:13 pm

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:If it's so important that children are taught about irrational bullshit that people in society believe, does that mean they'll be getting lessons on things like global warming "skepticism" and vaccine hysteria?


I somehow don't get the impression that RE classes devote much time to the viewpoint that it's irrational bullshit. Brits, correct me if I'm wrong.

My kids had a religions education course in high school. It covered many different faiths, including Hare Krishna, and involved going to places of worship and talking with adherents there. For the Christianity section they received a talk from some pastor who mostly went on about how gays are all sinful and will go to Hell. I'm not sure if the instructor was trying to make some sort of point there.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#16  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Feb 01, 2015 11:28 pm

Nicko wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:OK, fighting fire with fire can sometimes help. I realise the value of back-burning. But "innoculating" people with "mild" religion is not going to stop radical religion. One can innoculate them against religion generally. :grin:


It depends upon what you mean by "religious education".

If it's an academically robust course that simply aims to teach kids what various faiths are normally about - the differences between Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christianity or the differences between Sunni, Shia and Sufi Islam - then I think it could be quite valuable.

If it's an attempt at indoctrination, then it has no place in a school.

But RE rarely is religious education, it is usually biased apologetics for a particular faith. Sure, a critical, comparative, neutral course that gives fair treatment of atheism, agnosticism, secularism as well as the religions would be education.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#17  Postby Thommo » Feb 01, 2015 11:51 pm

Shrunk wrote:
Horwood Beer-Master wrote:If it's so important that children are taught about irrational bullshit that people in society believe, does that mean they'll be getting lessons on things like global warming "skepticism" and vaccine hysteria?


I somehow don't get the impression that RE classes devote much time to the viewpoint that it's irrational bullshit. Brits, correct me if I'm wrong.


A couple of decades ago where I was it most assuredly didn't spend any time at all on the view that it's irrational bullshit. RE at primary level was half an hour of preaching every week from the vicar's wife. Secondary school was in principle more balanced but largely ruined by the terrible teacher who generally used the time to talk about her family - she was more than slightly obsessed with her young son for the three years we had to do RE. I doubt we were ever even told the name of the major holy text for any religion other than Christianity.

I've been told it wasn't as pointless and dull everywhere. That said I do have quite happy memories of being 8 or 9 and atheist and asking the vicar's wife questions she clearly couldn't answer.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#18  Postby ED209 » Feb 02, 2015 3:08 pm

The 'more' in the thread title is redundant :coffee:
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#19  Postby smudge » Feb 02, 2015 3:23 pm

Calilasseia wrote:The simple answer. Teach the subject as Comparative Mythology.



This. :thumbup:

I'd suggest combining it with philosophy and critical thinking. A lesson about ideas and how to evaluate them well. Compulsory.
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Re: RE lessons 'never been needed more'

#20  Postby Nicko » Feb 02, 2015 4:07 pm

Oooh.

See, this is the thing. You'll never get it taught if you sell it as a "debunking religion" course.

As I've argued elsewhere, critical thinking should be formally taught in secondary schools. Probably separately from RE. Do it in the same course and the faith-heads might catch on.
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