Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

21% say it was least beneficial subject they were taught

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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#21  Postby orpheus » Aug 17, 2013 1:03 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
orpheus wrote:He pointed out that learning about all the various claims to The Truth is a an excellent inoculation against indoctrination into any particular one.


Unsubstantiated claims and indoctrination are not limited to religion. There does come a point at which a government and its institutions will not encourage the questioning of just-so stories. Remember, your government is there for you. :evilgrin:


True enough. But the truth of your first sentence (especially) means we could say the same of many subjects: we shouldn't teach politics, for example, because unsubstantiated claims and indoctrination can occur there too. Your government is there for you…to teach that socialism is the best system. Or any of the various flavors of democracy. (Or economic systems, etc.)

There's always that old chestnut from Ben Franklin or Mark Twain or somebody like that, to the effect of pondering the absurdity of being a loyal citizen of a democracy whilst believing the universe is a monarchy. :dance:


I like that! :cheers: 
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#22  Postby Cito di Pense » Aug 17, 2013 1:38 pm

orpheus wrote: But the truth of your first sentence (especially) means we could say the same of many subjects: we shouldn't teach politics, for example, because unsubstantiated claims and indoctrination can occur there too.


I guess I don't worry too much about that, because I had an old-fashioned liberal education in HS, where (exclusive of specific foundational knowledge in science and mathematics) we seemed to be after the idea of simply learning how to think. Any of these subject areas can be used to teach that, but unless the student cares more about learning how to think than about how to get into the right college, it's an utter waste, and you might as well just train competent engineers (or musicians, etc.). Then there''s the school administration to deal with.

If you ponder how such gut-courses as RE are being used now, you get your marks practically for just breathing in and out. Being a teacher in that environment would be sheer hell for someone like me, but heaven for someone who digs indoctrinating young minds by, say, promoting a particular political/social agenda.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#23  Postby orpheus » Aug 17, 2013 3:19 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
orpheus wrote: But the truth of your first sentence (especially) means we could say the same of many subjects: we shouldn't teach politics, for example, because unsubstantiated claims and indoctrination can occur there too.


I guess I don't worry too much about that, because I had an old-fashioned liberal education in HS, where (exclusive of specific foundational knowledge in science and mathematics) we seemed to be after the idea of simply learning how to think. Any of these subject areas can be used to teach that, but unless the student cares more about learning how to think than about how to get into the right college, it's an utter waste, and you might as well just train competent engineers (or musicians, etc.). Then there''s the school administration to deal with.

If you ponder how such gut-courses as RE are being used now, you get your marks practically for just breathing in and out. Being a teacher in that environment would be sheer hell for someone like me, but heaven for someone who digs indoctrinating young minds by, say, promoting a particular political/social agenda.


Yeah, I do understand what you're saying. I also had an old-fashioned liberal education, and I guess I'm thinking of RE courses as they would (or should) be taught in that context. As far as I know, you're right that the way they're taught now is a joke - and a dangerous one. (One exception stands out for me: my wife teaches history at a private school in which RE is folded into the history curriculum; last year taught their History of Religions course. It was excellent. The furthest from a gut-course as you could imagine: really hardcore, an extensive syllabus, and the students really had to know their stuff. I'm sure there are other exceptional courses; I know of this one because it was my wife who taught it. But I'm also certain that courses like this are the exception rather than the rule.)
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#24  Postby aban57 » Aug 18, 2013 9:04 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.
Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I disagree with you. Make kids actually read the bible and quran, they'll see how shit they are. And less people will believe in them.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#25  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Aug 18, 2013 9:09 am

aban57 wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.
Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I disagree with you. Make kids actually read the bible and quran, they'll see how shit they are. And less people will believe in them.


I agree with this, teach kids about religion. Teach them about how they all try and claim the same shit as their own, show the kids that no matter how special their parents tell them their religion is that all the rest say that too. Watch as the kids start using the critical learning skills on religion. Enjoy the angry letters from parents unable to hide the truth from their kids.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#26  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 18, 2013 9:12 am

Waste of time and money. If you want them to learn critical skills discuss society in general not just the woo bit.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#27  Postby Bubalus » Aug 18, 2013 1:05 pm

At 14 when I took it as an 'O' level it was certainly useful to me.

Studying three of the gospels (not John) confirmed my growing disbelief, finding out that the earliest gospel was written at least 70 years after the supposed events came to their conclusion showed the level of fiction that would have been included.

By the end of the course I was happily Atheist rather than the Salvation Army background I had come from. :grin:

Finding alcohol also helped. :drunk:
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#28  Postby HomerJay » Aug 18, 2013 2:44 pm

DarthHelmet86 wrote:
aban57 wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.
Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I disagree with you. Make kids actually read the bible and quran, they'll see how shit they are. And less people will believe in them.


I agree with this, teach kids about religion. Teach them about how they all try and claim the same shit as their own, show the kids that no matter how special their parents tell them their religion is that all the rest say that too.

Yes and teach medicine by giving every doctor a thorough grounding in homeopathy and voodoo. :doh:
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#29  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 18, 2013 3:40 pm

HomerJay wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:
aban57 wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.
Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I disagree with you. Make kids actually read the bible and quran, they'll see how shit they are. And less people will believe in them.


I agree with this, teach kids about religion. Teach them about how they all try and claim the same shit as their own, show the kids that no matter how special their parents tell them their religion is that all the rest say that too.

Yes and teach medicine by giving every doctor a thorough grounding in homeopathy and voodoo. :doh:


Yes Homer it makes as much sense. :thumbup:

If it is not taught it will just curl up and die.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#30  Postby surreptitious57 » Aug 18, 2013 3:58 pm

Religious Education can mean two completely different things. It can be referenced in a historical context or a moral one. The first I have no problem with. Children should be taught about the major belief systems. Eighty per cent of the global population follow one of the big five so understanding them is absolutely essential. It will teach then to realise that there is more than one interpretation and therefore no monopoly on wisdom. I also think they should be taught that there are alternatives to belief such as Humanism for example. All this should be taught as objectively as possible

But using religion to teach morality is something I am totally against. Because it would be very subjective and focusing only on one particular belief. In a country like England with a long Christian tradition the line between the teaching of it as a simple historical narrative and as a moral life guide can be become very blurred. It is the job of schools to teach pupils how to think not what to think. Any school that does not do that is failing in its moral and legal obligation to do so. I am specifically referencing state schools here rather than faith ones or academies. Though in principle this should apply to all educational establishments teaching children sixteen or under. Unfortunately faith schools and academies have more freedom under the law. Christian academies for example are allowed to teach Intelligent Design alongside Evolution. This would be laughable if it was not so serious. Schools are for education not propaganda.Though I understand Michael Gove draws the line at Creationism. Which is very nice of him. But pseudo science is not science and should not be taught so I D should go too. I just wonder how many of the next generation that are going to be educated in these academies will graduate believing this nonsense. It should be resisted completely and absolutely. There should be a very clear distinction between what can and cannot be taught

Creationist zoos also should not be filling childrens heads with even more nonsense. I understand one needs a licence for one. Well none should be given. Spreading lies should not be sanctioned by law. And these establishments promote themselves as educational. But I think the word they are looking for is mythological. Same number of syllables but totally different meaning. Something that those running them seem oblivious to unfortunately
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#31  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 18, 2013 3:59 pm

Waste of time and money. Why bother. Nobody bothers here. Except for the nutters.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#32  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 19, 2013 12:18 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:Waste of time and money. Why bother. Nobody bothers here. Except for the nutters.


Simple. By showing that there are a multiplicity of myths, all containing grandiose assertions about fantasy magic entities, you immediately lead children to ask why any of them should be regarded as true. :)
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#33  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 19, 2013 9:14 am

Calilasseia wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Waste of time and money. Why bother. Nobody bothers here. Except for the nutters.


Simple. By showing that there are a multiplicity of myths, all containing grandiose assertions about fantasy magic entities, you immediately lead children to ask why any of them should be regarded as true. :)


You are just awakening interest. We dont worry about them. History deals with them in a historical sense. Making them something special is wrong. Different subjects can handle different aspects in different ways. Why make it a seperate subject because they are not. They are just part of the socail fabric.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#34  Postby HomerJay » Aug 19, 2013 9:49 am

Calilasseia wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Waste of time and money. Why bother. Nobody bothers here. Except for the nutters.


Simple. By showing that there are a multiplicity of myths, all containing grandiose assertions about fantasy magic entities, you immediately lead children to ask why any of them should be regarded as true. :)

It sounds possible but not plausible.

Muslims are taught about a multiplicity of myths, judaism and christianity, and they are taught to hate polytheists with a vengence.

Some of these have been subject to the english RE system, over the decades.

But they seem to react with more fundamentalism than their parents, so there is evidence that your assertion is wrong but is there any evidence that it is right?

Essentially it looks like you've just made a convenient excuse for the status quo, without really considering whether it has any basis.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#35  Postby minininja » Aug 19, 2013 10:30 am

I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#36  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 19, 2013 10:33 am

minininja wrote:I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.


Replacing woo with another load of woo nice one.

Just forget about religion. It is not a subject on its own and should never be treated a such.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#37  Postby minininja » Aug 19, 2013 11:53 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:
minininja wrote:I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.


Replacing woo with another load of woo nice one.

Just forget about religion. It is not a subject on its own and should never be treated a such.

Philosophy is woo now? :scratch:
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#38  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 19, 2013 12:02 pm

minininja wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
minininja wrote:I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.


Replacing woo with another load of woo nice one.

Just forget about religion. It is not a subject on its own and should never be treated a such.

Philosophy is woo now? :scratch:


The same as theology. What else? Where is the Nobel prize of philosophy? The Swedes are not stupid.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#39  Postby Precambrian Rabbi » Aug 19, 2013 12:12 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:
minininja wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
minininja wrote:I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.


Replacing woo with another load of woo nice one.

Just forget about religion. It is not a subject on its own and should never be treated a such.

Philosophy is woo now? :scratch:


The same as theology. What else? Where is the Nobel prize of philosophy? The Swedes are not stupid.

Out of interest, Scot, do you have any opinion on how societies should be organised - how people should be governed, what laws and regulations should be in place, what restrictions there should be on thought, speech, actions etc. - and, if so, what method did you use to arrive at any such opinion?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#40  Postby tolman » Sep 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Jumbo wrote:You could tell how important it was to our school when they literally forgot to timetable it for us one year.

MY school didn't 'forget', the head at my state secondary school just didn't have RE in the timetable beyond age 13 or 14 (except presumably for people wanting to take it to exam level who took it as an option).

That was despite it (as far as I'm aware) being a legal requirement for it to be taught, but at least while I was there, either no-one complained, or people did, but to no effect.

As it was, when we did do it, it was actually OK - I think we did it for my first 2 (post-11) years, and I guess there may have been some Bible/Christianity-focussed stuff the first year, but for at least the last year the teacher was a laid-back hippy chick who chatted about religions in general but was more interested in getting us to do things like experiments in telepathy.

I do remember my mother (a further education lecturer) had hassle with an RE teacher in a different school, after telling someone who was hoping to do a secretarial course that she should concentrate on her English and not really worry about RE.
The RE teacher (who was an obnoxious character) complained to my mother's boss, who backed her up, with emphasis.
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