in support of Religious Education in schools

(38 Posts)
rabbitlady Tue 09-Jul-13 13:27:30

am i allowed to post this link?
i know that many people don't support RE, but for those who do, here is an opportunity to show it.
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52408

rabbitlady Tue 09-Jul-13 16:41:26

oh go on, offer some support. you know you want to.

I'm head of RE in a secondary school! I support it! smile

Dededum Tue 09-Jul-13 16:48:56

Yeuch indoctrination

janeyjampot Tue 09-Jul-13 16:53:03

How is this indoctrination?

From the petition: "RE promotes the development of a wide range of skills and attitudes, including spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, tolerance, positive citizenship, community cohesion, communication, self-confidence and independent thought."

I think it's very worthwhile - a real opportunity to think and to consider other perspectives.

I prefer teaching pupils to evaluate different points of view about complex moral issues to enable them to decide where they stand on the spectrum of opinion rather than indoctrination ded ...

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Jul-13 16:58:47

I'm very much in favour of Religious Education in schools. Children need to be taught about religions - which is a very different thing from indoctrination (or should be). I've heard the likes of Dan Dennett bemoaning the lack of religious education in American schools - kids there tend to only be exposed to whatever their family espouses.

But not in favour of this petition.

'He has expressed a desire to 'work with faith groups to improve RE teaching'

RE should absolutely not be the preserve of faith groups! Its vastly better than in my day when it was Christianity and not much else, but it still does not sufficiently include other world views, philosophy and ethics. By including that sentence, the petition skews towards maintaining the privileges of faith groups.

Succubi Tue 09-Jul-13 17:00:14

Waste of time. I did it at secondary school and although it was easy to do well in I would rather have had extra maths or English lessons in its place. A waste of a valuable teaching slot if you ask me.

creamteas Tue 09-Jul-13 17:03:51

Whilst I think children need to know about religions, I think RE is an anachronism.

If we want children to understand the world that they live in and different moral viewpoints, then philosophy and sociology would be a much better way to go.

merrymouse Tue 09-Jul-13 17:13:06

I can remember telling my RE teacher that I didn't think RE should be taught in schools. (This was at secondary school, and I dropped R.E. before O-level so I think it was some kind of general studies lesson. ).

However, now I am older and wiser I have completely changed my mind. People need to know about the history of belief and the differences between catholics and protestants and muslims and jews, now more than ever.

Also, the difference between Abrahamic religions and traditional chinese belief systems.

You could do all of this in history/geography/sociology, but its such a big topic that why wouldn't you have a whole subject called R.E?

God forbid that it should ever be taught as science...

Ipp3 Tue 09-Jul-13 17:13:36

Deed it is so not indoctrination. Like it or not religion has been and still is major part of human psychology, bahaviour, society, ethics, art, architecture and so on. Saying that teaching about this is indoctrination is as silly as saying teaching about nazis is indoctrination into racism.
People may not be religious themselves but that doesn't change the fact that in the world most people are. If you want children to learn about different moral viewpoints as they apply in the world today religion is a superb place to start, cream tea.

merrymouse Tue 09-Jul-13 17:15:30

And obviously also traditional beliefs from Australasia, both American continents and Africa...

OddSockMonster Tue 09-Jul-13 17:36:02

I'm not quite sure what this petition is actually for, is there more info on another page? RE's already taught in secondary schools isn't it (at least up to choosing GCSEs)?

Happy for someone to clarify, mine aren't at secondary yet.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Jul-13 18:06:04

Quite so, sock - that's what bothers me about this petition. I can't see how RE has ' 'suffered' due to recent government innovations' - other than perhaps the introduction of Free Schools, which I think can ignore the national curriculum and the SACREs and so are less likely to provide a balanced education about religions. But somehow I doubt that is what Gove is worried about.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Jul-13 18:07:51

oh, and yes RE is compulsory in KS3, and even in KS4 they have to do a bit even if they're not doing the GCSE.

merrymouse Tue 09-Jul-13 18:12:03

It's not quite clear is it.

Maybe he means he would really like faith groups who run religious schools to teach their pupils to be more open to other beliefs?

Or maybe not.

The public discourse on religion along with the increasing trend towards tolerance and democracy makes RE increasingly redundant in the school setting. I would be happier without it and to spend the time on History and Anthropology. History alone could cover all that is needed to give students the perspective and context required.

merrymouse Tue 09-Jul-13 18:16:16

The public discourse on religion along with the increasing trend towards tolerance and democracy

Welcome to Earth.

Are you just visiting?

rabbitlady Tue 09-Jul-13 22:13:11

i'm not sure what michael gove means. I think he said he wanted to consult with faith groups on improving RE. well, that's fine, faith groups should be consulted. but they have an agenda - to promote their faith. r e teachers aren't doing that and shouldn't have to. is that what pupils want? r e teaching should be learning about faith and non-faith positions, learning about and from, not about promoting a particular view. there are so many different views and most groups are sure they are 'right'. keep r e, keep it open and tolerant, give it some status and back it up with funding for research and training. that should make an improvement.

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 23:10:13

RE is NOT compulsory in KS 4 : you can opt out of it - DD has

and speaking as a baptised and confirmed atheist, married to an unbaptised atheist with two atheist children

I cannot support the petition : because it seems to want to move RE away from explanation towards belief

however RE as explanation of how different societies have evolved and see the world is an essential part of the curriculum
and is the best way of turning people into atheists worldwide!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Jul-13 23:29:59

Talkin - according to gov.uk national curriculum info:

They (schools) must also provide religious education (RE) and sex education at Key Stage 4. Pupils don’t have to take exams in religious studies but schools must provide at least 1 course where pupils can get a recognised RE qualification at Key Stage 4 and above.

and:
Schools have to teach RE but parents can withdraw their children for all or part of the lessons. Pupils can choose to withdraw themselves once they’re 18.

so according to that, its compulsory at ks4 unless you've opted your DD out. I don't quite understand what it means about the 1 course where pupils can get a recognised qualification - afaik although they do a little bit of re in my dds school (mixed in with the pshe/citizenship/other miscellaneous non-exam stuff) I wasn't aware of any sort of qualification associated with it. (they can of course opt to do GCSE RE - my avowedly atheist DD had that down as her reserve option as she quite enjoyed it in yr9 as it was debate and ethics and not just learning myths)

rabbit: 'r e teaching should be learning about faith and non-faith positions, learning about and from, not about promoting a particular view. there are so many different views and most groups are sure they are 'right'. keep r e, keep it open and tolerant, give it some status and back it up with funding for research and training.'

That seems to be pretty much what happens already. I don't get what this petition is asking for that isn't already there in schools which follow the national curriculum/SACRE.

vess Wed 10-Jul-13 07:39:00

I don't mind RE generally - in fact, it's great. However, I really struggle to understand why it is compulsory for KS4 when history and geography aren't. Doesn't make sence.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 10-Jul-13 08:00:34

>I really struggle to understand why it is compulsory for KS4 when history and geography aren't. Doesn't make sence

probably for the same anachronistic reasons as the ridiculous 'collective act of worship' thing still being a legal requirement (though most secondary schools sensibly don't really comply with that)

MerryMouse. I suggest you take a course in Modern History - you seem to have picked up the Daily Mail and believed everything you read.

merrymouse Wed 10-Jul-13 11:15:38

No. It is because of views expressed in the Daily Mail that I think people need to be educated about belief. UKIP is doing quite well in the polls and the National Front et al don't seem to be going anywhere fast. Meanwhile, people of the Abrahamic religions seem to be ridiculously misinformed about each other's views, and there is a massive great country on the other side of the Atlantic where a large number of people think the Bible offers a scientific alternative to evolution.

Of course religion is a part of history, and there are overlaps between many subjects. However, an R.E. lesson offers a chance to discuss these things in a way that is not part of the syllabus of other subjects.

I don't know enough about the current R.E syllabus in state schools to know whether change is necessary. However, I certainly don't think that our society has reached a level of tolerance where R.E is no longer necessary.

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