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Design your perfect GCSE Syllabus

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by WillowFae, May 25, 2011.

  1. WillowFae

    WillowFae New commenter

    I REALLY like the look of that - especially units 1 and 2. Unfortunately I don't think it would be suitable for our school as we do it in Year 9, with 1 hour a week, and I think that it may well be harder to squeeze that syllabus into the time available than we our current one (AQA B Unit 2).
     
  2. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter

    I must admit - I would absolutely love to try this!!! I love thought of teaching NRM's and some great new ideas that are current. However, I worry about the lack of resources. If resources were not a problem, I would jump in a heartbeat. I think kids today would be fascinated by such a radical approach! xx
     
  3. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    All world views, all beliefs, all ways of making sense of life, are valid. They all contribute to the fullness of truth. But the reason why we focus on the six major religions is because they have the greatest numbers of adherents and they have s structure which has been shaped and patterned by time. Even Sikhism, the most recent of these religions is 500 years old.

    Age is not everything but if a religion endures over the centuries, it must be giving its members the spiritual nourishment, support and direction that they need. Otherwise it would disappear.

    Humanism is certainly worthy of study as it is an approach to life explored and claimed by many people in our society. But it has no structure, no community life, no patterns and beliefs which guide a community as the other religions have.


    Neo Paganism and Shamanism (Native American and Mongolian traditions in particular) have a greater claim to our attention, in my view as there are community events around the solstices, Bah'ai has a history and a community, a pattern of teachings and beliefs which give members direction etc. So has Rastafarianism. I would include a study of these in RE if I had the time. Then there is Zoroastrianism, perhaps the most ancient Monotheistic religion and Australian Aboriginal religion with its Dream Time mythology, Taoism and Confucianism include rich stores of wisdom, Shintuism supported many of the victims of the Japanese Earthquake and gave them a framework in which to comprehend and come to terms with that terrible event.


    Clearly, even without the cuts and reductions in time which RE is facing at the moment, there is not enough time to look at every different perspective in depth. But since Atheism, Agnosticism and Humanism are philosophical perspectives found in our society and we are likely to have young people from families which hold this kind of view, I think that there should be some books about them in our RE library, some quotations from them on our walls, and we should make time available for research at some time, perhaps during year 8 or 9, when our students can choose a topic of their own choice to explore and report back on. This would include options to study these contemporary World Views. I think it is important to recognise and affirm all the different 'ways of understanding the world' which are found within our classrooms. But that does not mean we can afford them all the time and space which is given to the major religions. We can learn a little about them, but I feel (from the Atheists and Humanists I have met) that they tend to be a negative reaction to aspects of the way people practise the great religions, rather than having a rich storehouse of wisdom which we can learn from, as well as learn about.


    I am sure you will disagree, Bgy1.But if you had any idea of how hard it is to fit in even four of the six great world religions into Key Stage 3, with a meaningful overview of their history, teachings and impact on our society and the world today, you would appreciate that Humanism which is more of an intellectual viewpoint than a religious community, can not be given much time.
     
  4. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    I appreciate that this discussion is about a new syllabus - which I have not studied. So when I do look at it I will see how it includes other perspectives and comment on that. But the above comment is just about Humanism in general.
     

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