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AS & A2 Buddhism (OCR G576)

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by Miss.Sivvery, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Hi, I was just wondering if anybody else in the whole wide world teaches Buddhism for AS and A2 level and if so, could anyone give me any pointers? I have just started teaching it this term and am finding the course quite dry; there doesn't seem to be very much opportunity for debate and discussion. I often just end up reading through whole chunks of text with them to ensure they are learning the content but they (and I) are getting really bored. I desperately need some ideas as to how I can bring this course to life but I'm really stuck; there don't seem to be any resources online and I don't know anyone else that teaches this course. Please help!!!!!!
  2. That sounds amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It really sounds like you could help me out here! [​IMG]
  3. jerseyperson

    jerseyperson New commenter

    Hi there. I have chosen to teach Buddhism in terms of a Buddhist approach to Ethics at AS, and for the concepts of rebirth and anatta at A2. I really love teaching Buddhism as the girls love the fact it's so unfamiliar.

    At AS, I've taken an interactive approach and, as soon as they've learnt the noble 8fold path, I get them to live according to the guidelines of right speech or right action for a week, and make them keep a journal of their successes and failures. We have a discussion about how just doing this for a week helped with right awareness, right effort and right attitude. It's a great springboard.

    After that I give them a little reading on the 3 poisons and they make a poster on craving, aggression and ignorance. Then I give them a few days' worth of newspapers and ask them to link examples of suffering in the news (could be physical pain, dissatisfaction, psychological distress...all sorts of things) and identify how these could be caused by any one or more of the 3 poisons. Then we look at environmental ethics, specifically, and how consumerism could tie in with craving and perhaps environmental issues need to be addressed at their root causes i.e. our mental attitudes, not just in terms of what we can physically do to help the environment. Then I look at certain virtues that are valued in Buddhism, compassion, generosity and non-violence, and link these to everyday actions.

    At A2 we have done some reading from Buddhanet.net on rebirth and there are some amazing lecture notes on there that are easy to read. We look at the wheel of life, and there are two lessons of colouring in and labelling! It's amazing how many questions they ask while colouring in. In that two lessons we have some incredible (seemingly informal, but it's a bit fraudulent really as it's set up to be that way) discussions about whether the wheel of life might be real or a metaphor. I set them homework of watching any soap opera (or more than one) and making notes of a few characters in that soap. Looking at that person's attitudes, behaviour, living conditions, relationships etc, they try to locate them on the wheel of life to see if the metaphor works.

    This might not help and sorry it's so long...Keep going though. It's an awesome choice!
  4. Thank you so much for all of that- some fantastic ideas there! I love your 8 fold path journal; I will definitely use that! Do you do the OCR board or a different one? How do you go about teaching Karma? Many thanks once again!
  5. jerseyperson

    jerseyperson New commenter

    My pleasure. Definitely do the journal thing- it's great! I am teaching AQA AS Ethics and A2 Philosophy of Religion, but choose Buddhism to teach from rather than, or sometimes as well as, Christianity. I have to say I don't spend loads and loads of time on karma. I give them some reading (Damien Keown, I think) on how karma is caused by intentions, actions and consequences but nothing flashy. I could do with making that more interesting myself!
  6. I've just taught a lesson on Karma and made a powerpoint that may be of some use if you're interested?
  7. sharkey21

    sharkey21 New commenter

    Hello, fellow buddhologists

    Let me know if you want the questions for the G576 and G586 papers that were sat this week

  8. Hello,

    If you are looking for some resources on Buddhism might I suggest: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/religion/buddhist-centre/projects/bdr/students-educators/ . The Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol have created free resources that can be used by teachers who are teaching Buddhism at GCSE or A Level. There are lesson plans, interactive quizzes, films, powerpoints and audio clips.

    Thought it might help.

    Kind Regards,


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