Spending time reflecting on #reconsult so far in preparation for meeting with the Department for Education on Thursday afternoon…
It occurred to me that the confusion over the purpose of RS, highlighted in recent posts, is the real problem here.
Which of the following claims about Religious Studies is true – and which of the true claims most important and least?
- Religious Studies is where we teach young people about their own religion, which includes reference to other religions and non-religious world views.
- Religious Studies supports young people in their quest for personal meaning.
- Religious Studies supports the school ethos, provides a “hub” for SMSC learning and a good opportunity to tackle many current issues of personal or social concern – from cyber-bullying to charity campaigning.
- Religious Studies is just another academic humanities subject, like History or Geography
- Religious Studies is what we call History of Ideas and/or Theory of Knowledge in the English education system, which otherwise lacks a philosophical core
- Religious Studies provides the best opportunity to teach higher level skills such as critical analysis, evaluation and argument, which all students need for university and which other subjects often fail to deliver
- Religious Studies courses prepare young people to take degrees in Theology and Religious Studies
- Religious Studies is just what we call certificated courses in statutory Religious Education; these courses measure how much young people know and understand about the 6 major world religions and aim to promote religious tolerance and community cohesion.
- Religious Studies is a sociological exploration of the phenomenon of Religion, comparing different traditions and showing them to be essentially similar responses to the human condition.
- Religious Studies is the main opportunity for young people to address ultimate questions and moral issues which affect people of all faiths and none.
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