Anxious RE teacher

Lucia H Silvia-Clark's picture
I am passionate about RE which a good practice includes RE-ligion but also Reasoning i.e. Philosophy and include Sociological & Anthropological approach. My passion for the subject is not an irrational frugal passion but a sentiment, a belief based on deep grounds of reflection & experience. After 6 years of experience as RE Specialist Teacher, more than ever, I am worried about the future of RE. I am worried about the future of Education in Britain. We need changes but these changes should be done differently.
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Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 20/09/2012 - 15:12

Lucia - you are not alone in worrying about the marginalisation of RE and other subjects outside the EBacc "core". This marginalisation (and resultant downgrading) also applies to practical and creative subjects.

Mr_Chas's picture
Thu, 20/09/2012 - 18:39

Lucia - I doubt you will get much change out of this site on this topic. The general feel is that of secularism, the desire to close faith schools asap, and the removal of RE from schools to church teaching. Good luck.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 20/09/2012 - 18:54

Mr Chas - there is a difference between faith schools - ones that predominantly serve children of one faith - and religious education. Teaching religious education to all children is essential. Religious education is not indoctrination - Lucia has made that clear. But indoctrination is more likely to happen in faith schools than non-faith ones. At its worst, such indoctrination can lead to religious hatred - see Channel 4 Dispatches "Lessons in Hate and Violence":

There may be many on this site who would like to see all schools being non-faith schools to avoid segregation according to the beliefs of parents but I have never read anyone saying RE should be removed from schools. Teaching the central tenets and rituals of the main faith groups in the country is important for tolerance and understanding.

It is only in a secular society ie one where the government is separate from religion that all religions can feel safe. In a society dominated by one religion the other religions are subordinate or suppressed.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 20/09/2012 - 18:51

Chas -

You seem to have confused religious beliefs with the study of religions. Not the same thing at all. RE is taught in secular schools, quite rightly. Religions have played an important part in history, philsophy and culture. I think culture and philosophy are a threat to Michael Gove's need to silence any kind of questioning

Lucia H Silvia-Clark's picture
Thu, 11/10/2012 - 20:38

Hello, thank your comments. Chas I welcome your views but I agree with what Allan and Janet said. As a RE teacher I don't preach to students one faith but I introduce them to different beliefs includingthose religious and nonreligious. RE educates them to reflect on their own beliefs but also to learn about cultures and lifestyles where religion plays sometimes a great part. Modern RE is about the study of comparative religions and Philosophy as said previously. Even the traditional framework of 6 religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikh tradition) is changing. Some RE textbooks are including Zoroastrianism, Baha'i, Jainism and Taoism, for example. Unfortunately not many people are aware of these changes in RE something I deeply lament. I also lament what the current government is doing with RE especially because we are in very sensitive and difficult times with the growth of religious extremism followed by religious prejudice groups preaching hate, see Luton riots for example. It has had violent consequences. To know more about the devastating effects of excluding RE from English Baccalaureate please read here:
I hope someone can listen to us and save RE from neglect and extinction.

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