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’

#61  Postby orpheus » Sep 16, 2013 3:45 am

Basically what you're saying is that math and science are simply more important than literature, history and the arts.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#62  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 16, 2013 3:52 am

orpheus wrote:Basically what you're saying is that math and science are simply more important than literature, history and the arts.


Did I say that? I said that there is no barrier other than lack of curiosity to prevent someone from discovering literature, history, or the arts at any point in life. What that sort of education outside the classroom is missing is someone to indoctrinate them on exactly what this or that Canon contains. It takes many, many hours of effort outside the classroom to master even basic mathematics. What is essential for pondering the human condition is lodged in various opinions, having to do with perserving someone's vision of Society. Guess where RE comes in?

The role of school systems in defending their respective societies is unquestioned!

It's a given that every pedagogue tries to indoctrinate the classroom in terms of the supreme importance of the matter at hand. All I pointed out is that anyone who develops an interest in some aspect of Western Sieve after school is out can find someone's Guide to the Great Books rather easily. To get them to learn algebra, you more or less have to stand over some of them with a whip.

Mastering literature to the level of cocktail-party conversation is not a deal-breaker for any one who wants to break in, there. But yes, if you want to learn the secret handshakes, you need Private Schools, which can keep the secret handshake in a safe.

Awwww, do I hafta? It's so haaarrrrrrrd!!!!!!!!

It's so hard, in fact, that it's hard to train teachers to teach it competently.

Freethought Blogs, for very much the most part, is a compendium of folks who obviously found maths a bit too, er, challenging, and went on to be cogent commentators on cultcha.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#63  Postby tolman » Sep 16, 2013 10:04 am

Cito di Pense wrote:I know some of that is facetious. The only persons who are really going to benefit from a unit on Greek history (or some other key piece of the Canon) are those who would become interested in it on their own whenever they ran across a reference that interested them. Unfortunately, people deprived of a working understanding of algebra & geometry when they are of an age to absorb it will have so much trouble with it as busy adults that they will never master it, and will end up cognitively disadvantaged as a result. The incapacity for abstract thinking I've seen in some devotees who've become too focused on literature is shocking. The claims they make for their own capacities of 'deepity' in this regard are often comical.

The classroom hours devoted to RE, if they push aside something like algebra/geometry, are actually doing harm.

I guess the history I was taught (up to the point where I could opt out of it) gave a very basic timeline I could attach stuff to later, but was taught so badly that I developed knowledge and dislike for it in roughly equal measure. All bloody dates and various names for different Greek or Roman columns or cathedral styles.
I could probably have learnt more, far more pleasurably, by reading a few good books.
As indeed I did when I was older.

As far as 'this is the general background to a handful of common religions for social awareness' RE teaching, that seems like something that a fairly short book or a few hours of video should be able to cover adequately.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#64  Postby Mick » Oct 31, 2013 5:13 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.



At the very least, it promotes cross-cultural understanding.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#65  Postby Mick » Oct 31, 2013 5:15 am

Shrunk wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.


What did that stand for?

Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I have no problem with being offered as an optional course, but I can't see what justifies making it mandatory.



Cultural literacy. Here in Canada our emphasis on multiculturalism would be a great basis to lay that rule. However, I have no faith in teachers to teach it well.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#66  Postby Mick » Oct 31, 2013 5:16 am

ED209 wrote:Well, employers and colleges are always saying that school leavers are excessively numerate and literate but are held back by an insufficient understanding of the tenets of hinduism :dunno:



There is more to education than vocational training.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#67  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 31, 2013 7:51 am

Mick wrote:
ED209 wrote:Well, employers and colleges are always saying that school leavers are excessively numerate and literate but are held back by an insufficient understanding of the tenets of hinduism :dunno:

There is more to education than vocational training.

Perhaps.

Name one thing that catholicism, and only catholicism, teaches that is of use on the job. Just one thing.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#68  Postby ED209 » Oct 31, 2013 9:12 am

Mick wrote:
ED209 wrote:Well, employers and colleges are always saying that school leavers are excessively numerate and literate but are held back by an insufficient understanding of the tenets of hinduism :dunno:



There is more to education than vocational training.


Numeracy and literacy aren't vocational training, they are fundamental life skills.

Perhaps you were thinking of hairdressing?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#69  Postby Aern Rakesh » Oct 31, 2013 1:05 pm

Some of you---certainly not all---might find the Review of RE in England published this month by the Religious Education Council of interest. http://resubjectreview.recouncil.org.uk ... Review.pdf

I would have thought this would be of interest (p14, under Aims of their proposed national framework curriculum for RE) (my bold

[The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:]

B. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;
express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues;
• appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion or a worldview.


From another survey of high school students (I heard this at a NASACRE AGM), the students said that they felt safer expressing their opinions about religion in RE classes than they did at home or amongst their peers.

I really don't understand why atheists wouldn't want children to have this exposure to other ways of thinking, especially if it allows a child to question what they had always been told before was 'true'?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#70  Postby HomerJay » Oct 31, 2013 1:11 pm

Mick wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.


What did that stand for?

Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I have no problem with being offered as an optional course, but I can't see what justifies making it mandatory.


Cultural literacy. Here in Canada our emphasis on multiculturalism would be a great basis to lay that rule. However, I have no faith in teachers to teach it well.

Brilliant, so it's Cultural rather than Religious Literacy? So why would it be Religious Education? Why teach the basic tenets of the texts of religion when we could just teach the Asian or Arabic culinary preferences?

And yet when we look at other forms of learning were rarely see cultural literacy as the defining moment that everything works around.

When we teach sex ed should we be teaching Abba songs and the shows of Lisa Minnelli? Or Kylie Minogue perhaps? Them's the gay icons in my street.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#71  Postby tolman » Oct 31, 2013 1:24 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:

[The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:]

B. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
• explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities;
express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues;
• appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion or a worldview.


From another survey of high school students (I heard this at a NASACRE AGM), the students said that they felt safer expressing their opinions about religion in RE classes than they did at home or amongst their peers.

I really don't understand why atheists wouldn't want children to have this exposure to other ways of thinking, especially if it allows a child to question what they had always been told before was 'true'?

Surely, ethics and morality have no need to be bundled up with religious education.
Comparing what people talk about in RE classes with conversations with peers or parents is a bogus comparison - the real question should surely be whether RE provides a meaningfully better place to talk about ethical/moral issues than secular lessons focussing on ethics and morality.

Claims of justification for moral/ethical positions which fundamentally reduce to 'god says so' or 'a claimed prophet claimed god said so' seem to have little merit when it comes to someone constructing a framework for moral reasoning, since the positions of any alleged deity on any particular issue could be quite arbitrary yet supposedly not open to question or in need of meaningful justification.

If ethical issues are to be meaningfully discussed on their merits, there seems no particular place for religion in terms of justifying positions.
To my mind, 'God wants X' is is not 'another way of thinking', it's no more than a way of not thinking.

At best, references to religion might involve pointing out what position (or range of possibly incompatible positions) some particular religion claims now on a particular issue, how claims have changed over time, and how seriously adherents of the religion take the claims in practice.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#72  Postby Aern Rakesh » Oct 31, 2013 1:30 pm

tolman wrote:
Surely, ethics and morality have no need to be bundled up with religious education.
You're right. But in my opinion it is best that they are bundled here, as because then that very question can arise: yes, you've got these ethical teachings in religion, but you've also got them outside of religious tradition. I.e. the question of right and wrong is not simply a religious question.

tolman wrote:
Claims of justification for moral/ethical positions which fundamentally reduce to 'god says so' or 'a claimed prophet claimed god said so' seem to have little merit when it comes to someone constructing a framework for moral reasoning, since the positions of any alleged deity on any particular issue could be quite arbitrary yet supposedly not open to question or in need of meaningful justification.


Well it wouldn't be RE in the modern understanding of the subject if students were taught that the only valid arbiter of moral decision making was on the basis of whether "god said so" or not! :roll:
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#73  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 31, 2013 1:37 pm

I wonder how Dutch kids survive then?

In state schools it does not exist so why have it?

A waste of time and money.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#74  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 31, 2013 1:38 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:yes, you've got these ethical teachings in religion, but you've also got them outside of religious tradition. I.e. the question of right and wrong is not simply a religious question.


Simply? It's not a religious question at all. Religion is so fake-y about the questions it asks. These questions have been appropriated by religion for awhile, but that doesn't mean they are religious questions. See what I did there?

Nobody wants to advertise RE as 'the science of unanswerable questions', or the set of questions to which the response to the answers is 'bullshit'.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#75  Postby HomerJay » Oct 31, 2013 1:52 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:I really don't understand why atheists wouldn't want children to have this exposure to other ways of thinking

Orgone Accumulator on the blink again, huh?

Very few people value RE, religious or not. If you're religious then you DIY to make sure the correct message gets across, if you're not religious then there isn't much to say and remembering every week to tell the kids how great muslims are is just weird.

It wastes time that most parents would prefer their kids spent on other subjects.

The reason that schools aren't obliged to offer an alternative is that children and parents would simply select the alternative, otherwise let's try that and see what happens.

Why would atheists see the point of telling kids they could have ridden dinosaurs if only they'd be born 6,000 years ago?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#76  Postby Aern Rakesh » Oct 31, 2013 1:54 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:yes, you've got these ethical teachings in religion, but you've also got them outside of religious tradition. I.e. the question of right and wrong is not simply a religious question.


Simply? It's not a religious question at all. Religion is so fake-y about the questions it asks. These questions have been appropriated by religion for awhile, but that doesn't mean they are religious questions.


Yeah, well I agree with you. In fact I had this conversation with my mother on Tuesday! :lol: But unfortunately many people still assume moral questions are the province of 'religions'. I say get these kids in a class and tell them "no, they aren't!"

Look, even Ofsted in their recent report on religious education said that non-religious views had to have equal time. In other words, if you have a unit on "the nature of God", then you need to have a discussion about the fact that many people don't believe there is any evidence for a god.

Assuming that RE as a subject is going to continue in the UK for the forseeable future, wouldn't you rather kids be exposed to the fact that many people aren't religious, yet still have meaningful lives? That they aren't going around with an aching hole in their life that needs to be filled up with religion?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#77  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 31, 2013 1:56 pm

Just scrap it.

A waste of time AND money.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#78  Postby Mick » Oct 31, 2013 2:12 pm

The_Metatron wrote:
Mick wrote:
ED209 wrote:Well, employers and colleges are always saying that school leavers are excessively numerate and literate but are held back by an insufficient understanding of the tenets of hinduism :dunno:

There is more to education than vocational training.

Perhaps.

Name one thing that catholicism, and only catholicism, teaches that is of use on the job. Just one thing.



Unless you're going to work for the Vatican, or something like that? Nothing that I can think of, though I don't know why we should measure its worth based upon its vocational utility.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#79  Postby Mick » Oct 31, 2013 2:14 pm

ED209 wrote:
Mick wrote:
ED209 wrote:Well, employers and colleges are always saying that school leavers are excessively numerate and literate but are held back by an insufficient understanding of the tenets of hinduism :dunno:



There is more to education than vocational training.


Numeracy and literacy aren't vocational training, they are fundamental life skills.

Perhaps you were thinking of hairdressing?



For sure. But I was pointing to the sarcastic idea that someone would be 'held back' in a job, since they didn't have a thorough religious education. It puts undue importance on vocation.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#80  Postby Mick » Oct 31, 2013 2:18 pm

HomerJay wrote:
Mick wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.


What did that stand for?

Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I have no problem with being offered as an optional course, but I can't see what justifies making it mandatory.


Cultural literacy. Here in Canada our emphasis on multiculturalism would be a great basis to lay that rule. However, I have no faith in teachers to teach it well.

Brilliant, so it's Cultural rather than Religious Literacy? So why would it be Religious Education? Why teach the basic tenets of the texts of religion when we could just teach the Asian or Arabic culinary preferences?

And yet when we look at other forms of learning were rarely see cultural literacy as the defining moment that everything works around.

When we teach sex ed should we be teaching Abba songs and the shows of Lisa Minnelli? Or Kylie Minogue perhaps? Them's the gay icons in my street.


Culinary preference is not comparable, since it does not form a worldview. Consider the impact of Islam on Muslims-it affects their whole way of living.
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