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Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by BenS1, Aug 4, 2011.
Could it be worth starting an 'e-petition' for the inclusion of Religious Studies in the 'E-Bacc'?
I think this would be a good idea, although it seems like people have just given up on the issue.
I don't think anyone has given up, it's just the holiday.
Getting 100,000 signatures would be difficult (to say the least).
Someone has done it! Please sign it! Let's just see how many sign up.
I just did this. If you copy the address given above and paste it into the internet address bar it comes up with the petition. However it requires you to give full name, address and email. And since its being done by the government I am uneasy. I do not think they are an independent body. How are they going to use my personal information?
Anyone any views on this?
This is what comes up when you go to the petition site -
Search published e-petitions
RE and the English Baccalaureate
Responsible department: Department for Education
We call upon the Government to
: 1) Include Religious Education in the English Baccalaureate.
2) Acknowledge the publicly expressed views of church leaders, politicians, senior RE professionals, and thousands of individuals that the status and uptake of Religious Education will be harmed by its continued exclusion from the EBacc.
3) Set out a strategy for RE that takes into account the research findings of the National Association of Teachers of RE, which showed that, since its exclusion from the EBacc, RE had ceased to be a GCSE option in many schools, RE departments had been downgraded, and teachers redeployed.
I guessed I wasn't giving anyone any info that they couldn't get from anywhere else and I have no problem with being associated with the petition in question. I don't THINK I'm being naive. . .
Have let a lot of my non RE colleagues know about this petition today and already several of them have contacted me to say they've 'signed' it.
Does anyone know what NATRE think of it?
The Archbishop of York gave us a boost in his speech in the House of Lords about the riots. Good for him.
I've been following the online articles and forums related to the riots and adding some more to my resource - now getting on for 20. I'll look up the Archbishop's speech and get that up there too.
Here is the contribution to one of the article-forums (Guardian/Observer) that I just added -
I enjoyed your clever take-off
'From:- The Book of Tribulations. Chap. XXXVI'
but the closing line is most important
'And life went on but Lessons Had been Learned or so the Citizens were told for their comfort.'
What is vital is that lessons are learned. All the pontificating and ideas here are great and most include an element of reality. But we need an enquiry which explores the riots and gets to the bottom of what was going on. Clearly there were many different people involved from many walks of life, and greed and opportunism played their part.
From reading around many of the newspapers in the last few days it is clear that -
the shooting of a young man by the police was the spark which ignited the trouble and spun out of control.and was 'hijacked' by alienated youths who were already angry and disaffected
contributing factors included -
Growing secularisation, materialist goals set up as gods and a society which preaches that you are nobody unless you have the 'right gear, resulting in
Widespread spiritual and moral decline,
An extreme and growing economic divide and acute 'relative' as well as 'real' poverty,
Young people trapped in estates feeling alienated and hopeless, lacking any options in the mainstream legal world, so finding some kind of community in their own small gangs (with some of them responding to the lure of escape or money through drugs and dealing)
Such young people being targeted by police and searched so often that they have come to view police with distrust.
The impact of playing games based on violence, including burning cars and rioting,
The impact of a diet of horror movies and violence on TV and the big screen which make burning and looting seem exciting and fun rather than wrong
All this will no doubt have been compounded by the cuts which have reduced the services such as youth clubs and sports facilities which once came from youth schemes and charities,
A situation of high unemployment which means 200 applied recently for one job in Tooting - and which leaves anyone who has ever had a conviction being outside the scope of ever getting a job.
with family breakdown common and little sense of community many marginalised young people feel a sense of loyalty to 'gang rather than to society,
all these are factors which contributed to the riots and there will be many more.
I have read and appreciate that they all will have contribute to what happened, but until there is a real investigation of what happened, we can't learn the necessary lessons.
I think we can do two things straight away, while the investigation is at work.
Firstly contact your MP and Mr Gove to demand that Religious Education is included in the English Baccalaureate. (Ebacc)
This is a group of subjects that schools are now being judged on. Mr Gove includes a choice of Geography or History GCSE but does not include RE. This is foolish and short sighted because in RE we actually learn about, think about, discuss and reflect on moral issues and important current events, learning from the great religions which are our worlds storehouses of wisdom. We teach our students how to understand what they believe - and to see the world from different perspectives, It does make a difference - and in the moral vacuum that many of our young people are growing up in, it is one of the few forces that can help them to know right from wrong and think for themselves rather than follow the crowd.
Since the Ebacc came in, a quarter of schools have stopped offering GCSE Religious Education as it competes with ~Geography and History. Many no longer teach RE beyond the age of 14 and in some schools RE has been completely dropped from the timetable.
Mr Gove's argument for not including RE in the Ebacc is that it is a compulsory subject an he wants to encourage the study of History an Geography which were declining. But 'Being compulsory' has not stopped schools from cutting it,
Also, without GCSE schools often pay lip-service to the law and let anyone with a bit of space on their timetable teach RE - which can result in it being very poorly taught. We need our RE departments to be strong, vibrant, well resourced and taught by specialist teachers. If that happens, then it is the one corner of the school curriculum capable of making a difference to the culture an attitudes of our students. So do get writing.
The Daily Mail has had some very foolish articles recently, all blame and self righteousness, but one had a lot of truth in it - Have a look and if you agree with it, send it to your MP and Mr Gove, along with your request for a rethink on the EBacc.
Religious Education does not tell our young people what they should think - it explores the whole world of religion - but it does help them to think more deeply.
Secondly, urge the government to reinstate Community Cohesion as a facet of local government. It was having a positive effect up and down the country.
And thirdly, keep a sense of perspective and proportion. What went on in certain parts of a few cities was very bad - but most of our young people did not join in. And many of our towns and cities were not affected.
I think that the enquiry or investigation into what went wrong needs to talk to people in those cites as well as the ones which suffered - and find out what is going right there.
We do indeed have much to learn.
So do you think that the rioting and looting will possibly lead to the government and Gove changing their mind and including RS in the English Bacc.
Cameron made another speach about the riots talking about morality being absent in young people.
In other news a group supporting music teachers is asking for the EBac to include a 6th column for 'creative and cultural' subjects:
This could be a very intersting development. There are plenty of very bright pupils who would get the EBac with their eyes closed, but who don't have a 'creative' bone in their body. Don't play an instrument, can't draw, and think that drama is about pretending to be a tree.
Gove might go for this. History and geography would remain intact, and his EBac just became tougher.
But would this sixth element of the EBacc benefit RE or take us out of Humanities and put us in a larger group of options, making getting the numbers for a GCSE group harder etc. ?
I am encouraged however that there are still voices out there about the EBacc. Let's hope it continues into the autumn.
Well, you'd certainly know about this, being one of the small Azerbaijani Jewish community. How amazing that the EBacc is attracting global interest.
Back to reality. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a governmental push on stronger morality being taught in schools which may be to RE's advantage.
Firstly, I firmly believe RS is a humanity and should be in the 5th pillar.
Now, if there's a 6th pillar with 'creative and cultural' elements, and RS isn't in the 5th pillar, then we'd be better off with it in there than in none at all.
Let's look at where we are now. Most schools have 4 options, two of which are taken up with the EBac (language + humanity). This leaves RS up against music, art, drama, sociology, film studies, media studies, PE, textiles, res mat, food, graphics, ICT, business studies, and so on - pupils having two options from a list of maybe 10-15 subjects.
A 6th pillar would have maybe RS, music and art. Gove would probably rather join the Socialist Worker Party than put drama in his EBac.
We wouldn't be being taken out of the humanities - we aren't there now anyway!
Just my view.
What could potentially go in a 'creative and cultural' pillar?
The other humanites have gone into Piller 5. From the arts, only music, art and drama would qualify, and I'm betting Gove thinks that Mickey Mouse wears a 'drama' watch. Technology/ICT doesn't fit. Same with PE and ICT. Media studies, film studies and sociology woukd have as much chance as me getting 'up close and personal' with Sally Bercow while she's in the Big Brother house.
So that leaves music, art and RS.
Of course this is pure speculation. But I know that Gove was interested in including Englishg Literature, which might also fit...