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So... is RE a Humanities subject?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by deva_1982, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. The white paper says that league tables will now be based on grades pupils achieve in five areas including Humanities.
    " Great, my job appears safe" I thought. As I feel Citizenship/ PSHE may be an area to get the boot.
    Closer inspection reveals that this is only includes geography & history.
    Does this mean that we will loose GCSE groups if the results "don't matter"? Our results are regularly 15% above school av. and better than both history & geography.
    Anyone had this discussion with management yet?

  2. The white paper says that league tables will now be based on grades pupils achieve in five areas including Humanities.
    " Great, my job appears safe" I thought. As I feel Citizenship/ PSHE may be an area to get the boot.
    Closer inspection reveals that this is only includes geography & history.
    Does this mean that we will loose GCSE groups if the results "don't matter"? Our results are regularly 15% above school av. and better than both history & geography.
    Anyone had this discussion with management yet?

  3. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    I'd assumed, like you, that as RE is a humanities subject it was included in the Humanities rule. Closer inspection and a lot of action required if the rule is just for Geog and History. We must not permit such a ruling to remain. I think my sense of uneasiness and real fears about the way the new government's meddling may impact on RE are proving well-founded.
  4. poppy2004

    poppy2004 New commenter

    doesn't look like it. this is from the Telegraph:

    The Education Secretary told BBC1&rsquo;s Andrew Marr Show that he was "very attracted" by the baccalaureate systems operated by many European and Asian countries which deliver a broader educational curriculum than the current system in England. He said: "I would like to explore setting up a sort of English Baccalaureate. What that would involve is saying to students, 'You should be thinking about studying GCSE English, maths, a science, a modern or ancient foreign language and <u>a humanity like history, geography, art or music'. </u>

    They are clowns!!
  5. I was wondering this too as we regularly feature in the top 3 subjects in the school and was wondering why we weren't in the Humanities list.
    However, I think that there was another thread on here somewhere asking about Gove's plans for RE and I think he wanted to keep it as it was (but could be wrong)
    Thinking about it, I don't know if I would rather be a complulsory subject (which in my school we are at Short Course with approx 1/2 year group opting to top up to a Full GCSE through lessons after school) or included in a Humanities list for pupils to choose from.
  6. My impression is that his use of the term 'Humanities' is very loose indeed and not defined at all (yet). Just having RE as part of a Humanities course may not fulfil the requirements of most Agreed Syllabuses anyway.
  7. Technically, no, there has always been a distinction between human and divine learning.
    In practice, yes, RE is a humanities subject, containing elements of history and literature, just as history and literature can't be studied in any depth without an element of RE.

  8. deut

    deut New commenter

    The BBC is describing Humanities as Geography, History and Music as well.
    It will mess up Humanities Departments. How many Humanities Departments include Music or Performing Arts Departments include History and Geography?
  9. ....taught by ex-troops?
  10. From the Andrew Marr show

    No, I don't believe that we should change our approach towards religious education. It's very decentralised. It's up to local authority committees, standing advisory committees on religious education how schools take an approach towards RE, and I think that's right. Now our society has changed and I think changed for the better.
    Sorry, what about the actual religious moment at the beginning of the school day - which is I think what a lot of the problem has been?
    Yes, I don't think there's any need to change the law at the moment. I think that there may be agitation from either side - from some people in the Richard Dawkins wing and some people in the Pope Benedict wing as it were. I think we've got a classic, if I may say so, English middle way, which I'm very, very happy to stick to.
  11. A distinction between human and divine learning?

    I'm afraid I don't really agree. I feel our subject is more closely alinged with Religious Studies (study of religion) rather than Theology (study of God). The former is very much a humanity, and sometimes even strays in the realm of the Social Science, particularly when we talk about the absolute or relativist nature of ethics, and philosophical questions in lessons.
    I'm saying this from a Scottish point of view, where we have switched to 'Religious, Moral and Philophical Studies' rather than plain old RE, but I have a strong vested interest in the English way of doing things, having been educated there myself. I think the structure of the GCSE and A-level courses are very much aligned with other Humanities subjects...
  12. patersoncaroline55

    patersoncaroline55 New commenter

    I totally agree that our best route for maintaining our strong status in English schools is to align ourselves clearly as the study of religion, philosophy and ethical issues.
    I have recently changed the name of the subject in our school in Hampshire to reflect this - so now we are 'RPE' - Religion, Philosophy and Ethics'. This keeps us relevant in today's world, and provides an important subject for study by students throughout school age. Our Year 7's have recently written clear justifications for study of these 3 areas as part of their school curriculum and I would love Michael Gove to see these as evidence of children understanding of the importance of tolerance and moral values whilst developing skills and knowledge to deal with the world as it is today, still full of those ultimate questions that have tested the world faiths since time began.
    We must fight for our right to be assigned a Humanities subject in the new bacculerate - does anyone know how we can go about doing this as part of the White Paper discussions?
  13. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    My own feeling on this is that it risks watering down RE.
    I am not keen on the way that many exam-boards give the name 'Religious Studies' either. I think that Religious Education is important because it is education about the whole field of religion. Religion is in itself such a vast subject that we can never cover it properly. But it is much more than a study of the different religions.
    Religion in it's wide sense is about the way that human beings make sense of life - and it includes all world-views, atheist, agnostic and theistic.
    But the 'religious response' is a response to the world which comes from the heart and soul rather than the mind. Philosophy is a mental and intellectual/rational approach to life. Religion is more experiential and intuitive. It does, by nature, include awareness of the spiritual aspect of life, the numnous, the question of soul and God, not just an interest in philosophy - the spiritual aspwct is not a '[parallel issue' alongside ethics and philosophy - but right at the very centre.
    Absolutely true. And I suggest that you ask your year 7's to write to Gove, perhaps in Citizenship - and enclose their justifications.
    I think we all should write - and get all our students to write. This is a hugely important issue - even if we disagree in the 'packaging.'
    Again I couldn't agree more. This 'space in time' could be a great opportunity for strengthening and clarifying the importance of RE in schools right throught the UK and as our RE leads the world, taking it forward globally.
    If we fail to take this opportunity and don't fight for our subject it could be marginalised and the whole nation (and world) become more narrow-minded, ignorant, intollerant and dangerous.
  14. We've just had an email forwarded to us by our LEA advisor from Rosemary Rivett at NATRE / RE Today etc asking us to contact our MP and Gove asking for RE to be included in the English Bac qualification. They are in the process of lobbying but want teachers to do the same.
    Contact them for more info.

  15. Hi I received this email and thought it worthwhile to forward:

    We&rsquo;re fighting &ndash; and we need to!

    Hundreds have sent a version of this since Friday. Please add yours!

    The DfE have a very short period of consultation about the humanities subjects on the list for their proposed new English bacc. Presently they have Hi, Ge and Ancient history &ndash; but not RS. I&rsquo;ve sent this in to the response site for the E Bacc, which you can send as well &ndash; your own version would obviously be good. Please also send it on to lists of RE teachers for wide united single-point lobbying action.

    We might win this one!


    Send to: mailbox.performancedatateam@education.gsi.gov.uk

    Dear Mr Gove
    Religious studies is a Humanities GCSE
    I am writing to make the point that it is imperative that religious studies GCSE be included in the EBacc list of humanities subjects. There is every good reason to include RS: a successful, academically rigorous, growing and vibrant subject of the curriculum.

    The number of students taking GCSE RS over the last 15 years has increased from 113 000 to about 460 000. This reflects the success of subject teaching, and is a key contribution to the development of good subject learning. In RE, pupils learn to respect themselves and understand their own identity and to respect others as well. The multi disciplinary nature of the subject, involving textual study, philosophical thinking, ethics, social understanding and the skills of analysis and reasoning make it a valued qualification.

    Please can this adjustment be made to future lists of subjects to be included in the proposed Baccalaureate. Please reply to let me know that this message has been received, and of any future plans to improve the place of RE in the curriculum.


    *****I sent one and think that any self respecting RE teacher should. I trained in RE 3 years ago but am now teaching Humanities - if we get rid of the status of RE (as little as it may be) - then society will simply become more secular and less tollerant.

    Hope this helps.[​IMG]
  16. pete14

    pete14 New commenter

    I am in full agreement about the fact we must respond to this short consultation period. It is probably best to email your own MP, as well as mailbox.performancedatateam@education.gsi.gov.uk and probably Mr Gove himself. If those in the performance data team report a lot of correspondence about RE, it may just help if he has had plenty as well.
    <u>However, I think it is important that people write their own email/letter</u>. If the ones posted here and on other threads just get copied and pasted, they will probably be disregarded as part of a campaign by people who maybe can't be bothered to do more than send an exemplar message. Use them for ideas by all means but personalise them if they are to have any effect. This is yet another battle we have to win!
  17. deut

    deut New commenter

    Dear Pete,
    You were so helpful and supportive when there was a proposal to introduce controlled assessments into RS a few years back.
    I hope this campaign is as successful. I have written. I hope others do the same.
  18. pete14

    pete14 New commenter

    Thanks Deut - contrary to what some may think I do try my best. There was a short article about this in yesterday's Telegraph because an RC group have publicly supported the inclusion. Hopefully it will inspire other faith groups to make a noise rather than leaving it to individual teachers.
  19. Would it encourage anyone to hear that Bucks CC emailed the HOD's last week to tell them that their understanding of a humanity is history, geography or RS?
    Do they know something we don't?

  20. Have just picked this up from another thread - best comment to date. Have used it when i emailed own MP and the other adddress given, just in case!





    /* Style Definitions */
    {mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
    mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;

    Religious Studies is a rigorous and demanding academic discipline in its own
    right. It engenders critical thinking and rigour in the search for truths in
    uncertain fields. It encourages philosophical thought, decision making skills,
    collaboration and independent working skills and the search for compromise and
    conflict resolutions that work. It creates opportunities for young people to
    develop their skills of dialogue, interpretation and analysis in a coherent
    context. All these are vital skills in a modern workforce where communication,
    collaboration and cooperation are core skills.

    Religious Studies has a multidisciplinary nature, involving textual study,
    philosophical thinking, ethics, social understanding and the skills of analysis
    and reasoning developing core skills of literacy.

    Religious Studies makes a key and unique contribution to understanding
    British heritage, plurality, values and futures. It provides an excellent
    opportunity for young people to engage with contemporary contentious issues,
    developing social, cultural, political, philosophical and historical awareness.

    In Religious Studies pupils learn to respect themselves and understand their
    own identity, to respect others, and to understand their own and others&rsquo; rights
    and responsibilities. At a time when communities are becoming more diverse
    there is an even greater need for a more religiously literate and tolerant
    society. Religious Studies plays a key role in creating social cohesion and
    generating genuine understanding between communities reducing friction,
    intolerance and social unrest.

    GCSE and A level growth in the last 10 years, fuelled by student interest,
    makes Religious Studies the most popular Humanities subject, and one of the
    most popular choices outside the core, in 16+ exams presently.


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