Religious education is being ‘watered down’, argues Church of England

Aug 23, 2015 by

By Javier Espinoza, Telegraph: Reverend Nigel Genders, the chief education officer of the Church of England, has said that changes to the GCSE system are also watering down religious education. Changes to the GCSE system are creating a “moral vacuum” which is fuelling extremism, the chief education officer of the Church of England has said as he argues that religious education is being “watered down”. The Reverend Nigel Genders says that a lack of understanding of true theology is pushing teenagers into the hands of the radicals, but at the same time religion is being “squeezed out” of schools across the country. As of September, the EBacc system will become compulsory, meaning all pupils will have to study core subjects – English, maths, science, history or geography and a language – as part of a Government performance measure of schools. Because RE is not included teachers do not see it as important as other subjects, the Rev Genders says as he argues the lack of emphasis is also leading to a drop of standards. Read...

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Australian schools are replacing Religious Education with lessons on ‘respectful relationships’...

Aug 21, 2015 by

By Harry Farley, Chritian Today:

Religious instruction is to be scrapped from some Australian state schools and replaced with classes on ‘respectful relationships.’
The Government believes that it is better to remove religion from regular school hours to allow time for a new class teaching “global cultures, traditions, ethics and faiths.”

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Ban Christianity from classrooms for the sake of ‘community cohesion’, demands minister

Aug 5, 2015 by

By Liam Deacon, Breitbart: The Welsh Government is poised to oust religious education and ban Christianity from schools to “rise to the challenge of community cohesion” and “extremism.” Welsh Minister for Education and Skills Huw Lewis, told Senedd, The Welsh Parliament: “My contention would be that we rename the [religious education] curriculum and transform it into the religion, philosophy and ethics element of the curriculum – where there is an explicit commitment to allowing children to ponder ideas around ethics and citizenship and what it means to be a citizen of a free country.” He argued that the Welsh government must “rise to the challenge of community cohesion” through reforming religious education. At the end of June an “Independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales” by Professor Graham Donaldson, a former chief inspector of schools in the principality, urged that pupils in Welsh schools should be “ethical, informed citizens of the world.” Earlier in the month, a report was published examining the role of religion in the English curriculum. It recommended that daily act of “predominantly Christian” worship should be scrapped and all religious instruction should be made at home or in Sunday schools and madrasas. Former Education Secretary Charles Clarke and Professor Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University, a “religious education expert,” compiled it. However, Chairman of the Campaign For Real Education, Chris McGovern, a teacher of 35 years who advised Michael Gove on education reform, warned the move was counter productive and a grave mistake. Speaking to Breitbart London he said: Read here...

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The plot to eradicate faith schools

Jul 31, 2015 by

by Quentin de la Bedoyere, Catholic Herald: Abortion, same-sex marriage, assisted suicide – the secular society encroaches every day. But I keep my focus on faith schools because this battle is not yet lost. While politicians for the most part support the existing arrangements, the campaign to eradicate religious schools from the public education system in Britain is so well managed and so vocal that we may soon discover that it has become a vote-winning issue. The National Secular Society, the British Humanist Association and the Accord Coalition (distinguished by its figurehead being a rabbi) are extremely active. Announcements and news stories are frequently well publicised, and there is no shortage of newspapers only too pleased to cry scandal. The term “faith schools” is easily extended to include all denominational schools, and then judged by the most extreme examples. The arguments are powerful. The major claim is the insistence that there is no reason why religious schools should be funded by the taxpayer. If we want to have specialist schools we should be prepared to fund them ourselves. Next, they address the issue of selective entry. Why should a child be unable to attend their local school which happens to be Catholic, but be obliged to travel afar for education? Finally, they argue that the segregation of groups by religion damages the cohesion of society. This is aggravated by social selection since, by the measurement of free schools meals, Catholic schools attract more prosperous children. It is easy to understand why the unwary reader is likely to accept that the case is made. A trifle more wariness might suggest that Catholics pay for education through taxation like everyone else and, if Catholic parents are prosperous, they will, in fact, be paying higher taxes. Add to that the 10 per cent of capital costs charged to voluntary-aided schools and one might conclude that we subsidise public education rather than the other way around. Read here...

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“Defactualization” Is Causing American Schools to Become Bastions of Anti-Intellectualism

Jul 15, 2015 by

By William Jeynes, Public Discourse: Truth has been relegated to a secondary position in the nation’s public schools, universities, political forums, and public squares. Years ago, there was a television show called Dragnet. In this popular drama, which largely reenacted real life events, Sergeant Joe Friday would often say, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” In today’s public schools, it appears that teachers often ask for the opposite: “Just your opinion, child, just your opinion.” In a public school system that emphasizes the subjective over the objective and opinion over fact, it is no wonder that so many American students lack basic knowledge and yet have opinions galore. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation’s chief test of student achievement, American students score lower in history than any other subject, and their test scores have been declining. On the history test for fourth graders, only 9 percent of students could identify a picture of Abraham Lincoln and give two reasons why he was an important figure. Most twelfth grade students did not know the main ideas and purposes of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Meanwhile, recent data indicate that SAT verbal scores have reached an all-time low. Most high school students do not realize China’s role in the Cold War and most have little overall knowledge of the Cold War. This is especially disturbing because many historians are asserting that the Ukrainian crisis has led us into Cold War II. Moreover, former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachevdeclared to Time Magazine that the United States and Russia have already entered into a second Cold War over the past few months. Veritas and Virtue in Education Jesus famously declared, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The Ivy League universities were founded on this principle. The Puritans, who founded Harvard in 1636, believed that the quest for truth did not end in the spiritual realm. Rather, they believed that Christ’s assertion applied to all of life, demanding an attitude of both intellectual and academic vigor. This is why, from the 1600s through the 1800s, the nation’s most prominent universities placed such an emphasis on educating ministers. It was the common belief of the time that for the good of society, the most wise and virtuous people should also be the most learned. This conviction is reflected in the mottos of seven of the eight Ivy League universities and those of many other colleges and universities founded at the time. Harvard University’s motto is “truth,” and the crest bearing that declaration (“veritas”) even appears on its football uniforms. Yale University’s motto is “light and truth,” Columbia’s is “In Thy light shall we see light” and Penn’s is “Laws without morals are useless.” Read here...

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Comrade Morgan frets about biphobic bullying. Get those kids to a re-education camp

Jul 13, 2015 by

By Laura Perrins, The Conservative Woman: What can you say about Nicky Morgan, politician extraordinaire? I do believe she has a third arm – two to hold her brief as “I never talk about education” Education Secretary, and one permanently to hold aloft her hand on which is her finger to test what way the political wind is blowing. The Minister has taken time out of her diary of not improving Britain’s schools, to speak at Stonewall’s annual Education Conference, “which aims to draw attention to the bullying and discrimination that LGBT young people still face in Britain’s schools today”. Because that issue never gets any air-time, does it folks? Or money. No hang on, “Morgan pledged the Government would dedicate a further £2 million towards tackling the issue.” I wonder how many teachers that would hire? Morgan has also promised, to review PSHE education, to ensure it plays “a real role in tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools” and “that schools are teaching it well and are confident in what they should be teaching.” I cannot keep up – I don’t know what biphobic is and I refuse to look it up. Happily I am no longer in school so I will not be sent to one of Comrade Morgan’s re-education camps, but today’s teenagers will be less lucky. I think we should be tackling all bullying in schools but I guess that makes me old fashioned. Read here...

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