Daughter made to write 'I believe in god' in school

(174 Posts)
chickensaladagain Mon 16-Sep-13 19:02:45

Dd was in an ethics, philosophy & religion

She had to write a number of statements then say whether they were fact opinion or belief

One of the sentences was 'I believe in god'

She objected as it wasn't true but was told to stop making a fuss

We are a family of atheists -I don't pull my dcs out of any assemblies etc because I think it's important culturally for them to understand religion but surely having to write 'I believe in god' isn't appropriate?

This is not a church school btw

Isildur Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:42

Well the statement 'some people believe in God' would be a fact, 'I believe in God' needs the response 'belief'.

A totally different thing.

SantanaLopez Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:51

Complete overreaction.

Kewcumber Mon 16-Sep-13 19:36:59

I am a devout practising atheist and I wouldn't have problem with this. confused she/you don't understand the exercise... Statement followed by analysis of whether it's fact etc etc.

I'm with her teacher on this one.

massofmess Mon 16-Sep-13 19:39:07

What a lot of fuss she's made over nothing, feel sorry for her teacher! If she's doing ethics/philosophy/religion she should be more than mature enough to understand that statement is an example to illustrate an exercise, not a personal declaration she'll be spiritually held to! Hasn't she ever had to do a 'If I won a million pounds...' type exercise in English - does she believe she'll be held to that if she wins the Lottery? Or had to act a part in drama - surely she doesn't think she became that character for a time and 100% agreed with everything they said? If she can't tell the difference between writing an honest statement and a fictional exercise or can but chooses to cause a scene in class you've got bigger problems than whether she should have been asked to write 'I believe in God'!

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 19:40:43

surely the exercise was to discuss if the statement 'I believe in God' is a fact, an opinion or a belief. No different to discussing if the statement 'Football is crap' is a fact, an opinion or a belief. The exercise is to understand what the difference between facts, opinions and beliefs are.

I'm not sure what the problem is?

worldcitizen Mon 16-Sep-13 19:41:03

chicken but you yourself do not seem to understand what this exercise is about shock

worldcitizen Mon 16-Sep-13 19:42:31

Totally with the teacher!!!!

SirRaymondClench France Mon 16-Sep-13 19:42:55

Sounds like you're impacting your atheist beliefs onto your DC.
YABU.

How old is she?

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:56

and in fact an interesting task for an atheist to do - after all, the statement 'I don't believe in God' is a belief, same as 'I do believe in God'. Not fact or opinion. And, as you said yourself, the class is called Ethics, Philosophy and Religion, so hardly out of order for there to be a question regarding religion.

Fallenangle Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:56

Has she now developed a belief in God, no? No harm done then.

worldcitizen Mon 16-Sep-13 19:48:11

I am leaving this thread, as I cannot stop being in disbelief over so much lack of logic and understanding from the parents what this simple exercise is about.

This is one example how parents' level of education and intelligence has an impact on their children's chances of success in school confused

worldcitizen Mon 16-Sep-13 19:51:49

And, as you said yourself, the class is called Ethics, Philosophy and Religion, so hardly out of order for there to be a question regarding religion

^^^^^^Exactly THIS^^^^^

Even learning what does fact, opinion and belief mean and how to define all these etc. is all part of this.

I'm off grin

morethanpotatoprints Mon 16-Sep-13 19:55:22

Tbh OP, I think both of you missed the point of the exercise.
My ds2 is Atheist and when given the same style question wrote an epic on people believing or not in God and the fact it wasn't fact but belief/opinion.
Since when do you have to agree with something to have an opinion.

SirRaymondClench France Mon 16-Sep-13 19:56:36

Has she now developed a belief in God, no? No harm done then

Even if she had developed a belief in God what harm would it have done?

chickensaladagain Mon 16-Sep-13 20:00:01

Worldcitizen

Did you mean that to sound so rude?

I fully understand the point of the task -they are identifying the difference between facts, opinions and beliefs

Dd understands the point of the task

What she objects about is the wording, especially when the other statements were along the lines of 'flowers are pretty' 'chewing gum helps you concentrate' 'the uk has a prime minister'

Dd raised it with the teacher, was told to get on with it and did

I don't see that insults about her behaviour or the level of my education are warranted

HavantGuard Mon 16-Sep-13 20:03:51

I think you should write to Michael Gove about this.

NiceTabard Mon 16-Sep-13 20:04:28

It would have been a better exercise if the class had been able to discuss what they had given their answers as, maybe.

I agree with everyone else though. Write it down, put belief next to it and bobs your uncle.

worldcitizen Mon 16-Sep-13 20:12:10

What she objects about is the wording, especially when the other statements were along the lines of 'flowers are pretty' 'chewing gum helps you concentrate' 'the uk has a prime minister'

^^ Exactly strated out very simple, almost pre-school level (Flowers are preatty) and then the bar got raised....just slightly...and already the point was missed.

Not even that much of an issue, seeing that even YOU don't get it. Still don't get it.

And sorry about being rude. I am very aware that I am coming across that way, as I truly have rarely felt so much disbelief about parents' lack of understanding which seems to lead to child not understanding simple logic tasks.

Now I am the one not getting it, sorry. Even I fail to understand things grin

massofmess Mon 16-Sep-13 20:12:59

You said She objected as it wasn't true but was told to stop making a fuss, which led me to the opinion (not fact or belief) that she'd been making a fuss and hadn't simply raised the issue and then got on with it, otherwise I assumed you'd have said that. I may think that flowers are horrifically ugly but I'd be able to write 'flowers are pretty' in a school exercise, as I'd recognise it was just an exercise.

What statement of belief would you have been happy for her to write out then?

'flowers are pretty" = opinion
"chewing gum helps you concentrate" = probably opinion unless someone has donre research that I haven't heard of
"the uk has a prime minister" = fact

So the teacher needed to include something that was going to then be spotted as the "belief" out of the selection. Teacher picked a pretty obvious one by going for "I believe in God". I suppose he/she could also have put "I believe Manchester United are the best ever football team" ut you could argue that is actually opinion rather than belief.

How would you like to suggest a statement of belief tat the teacher could have picked for this exercise instead, which nobody would have felt insutled to have to copy out?

worldcitizen Mon 16-Sep-13 20:15:05

Sorry about typos

And sorry about being so harsh, as I am now seeing that this is not posted on Chat or Am I being unreasonable!!!!

chickensaladagain Mon 16-Sep-13 20:19:47

Worldcitizen

Had it been a discussion -no issue
Had they been given a choice if what to answer -no issue

I'm maybe not explaining myself as I feel that my daughter and I have been attacked on this thread

I like my children to think -discussions about whether the universe actually exists etc are not uncommon

It's the wording of this one sentence in the task and the fact that she had to blindly copy it down

She gets the difference between opinions, facts and beliefs and has done for many years

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 20:21:10

but OP, if one of the statements is about belief then the statement will be worded as a belief! Would she have objected if the statement had been 'I believe in extra-terrestrial life forms'?

I'm afraid it does sound as though she is unable to differentiate between her own personal beliefs, and a hypothetical situation in class. And the fact that you seem to be objecting as well suggest that you don't either. Would you have preferred that every child was given a 'belief' statement that concurred with their own personal beliefs?

If you DD is to continue with this class (and tbh, I think she should) then you are both going to have to get used to the fact that a hell of a lot of people do believe in God, and that will come up for discussion.

Sirzy Mon 16-Sep-13 20:22:01

Well the statement 'some people believe in God' would be a fact, 'I believe in God' needs the response 'belief'.

Exactly.

Sounds like your daughter just wanted to make a fuss about nothing, much like you are doing now.

chickensaladagain Mon 16-Sep-13 20:22:53

I actually would have preferred I believe in fairies/father Christmas/the Easter bunny etc

Slightly less emotive

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