Campaign for Secular Education
Resources - menu
Teachers Notes) on:
Looking for children's books that don't pass on stereotypes and sexist, racist, homophobic,
religious & class - prejudice and discrimination? LINK
and many more including Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris
Why Atheism? -Team Video Resource Available from the NSS
mp3 audios to listen to or download on:
The Role of Secularism in the Peace Movement
1) RE or RI - Education or Instruction? - The Educational Argument
Children have a right to be given information on all philosophical life stances including those of non-belief - atheism, secularism and secular humanism, objectively and with equal respect and liability to criticism.
It is an abuse of young minds if their teachers do not respect their integrity and take advantage of their immaturity to present one sided views as fact when they know that there are opposing opinions.
There are many 'facts' about religion, but they are not 'truths' if they depend upon opinion or belief.
There can be no place in Education for the teaching of opinion as fact.
For RE to be taught honestly, the many evil results of religion must be included- conflict and divisiveness, prejudice and discrimination, cruelty, abuse and killings throughout history and throughout the world today.
5) Societal Problems
|TEACHERS AND HEADS VOTE FOR SECULAR
TEACHERS AND HEADS VOTE FOR SECULAR EDUCATION
Teachers in this country regularly call for a ban on new faith schools, and have voted for a move towards a totally secular state education system.
Government plans to allow, and even
encourage more 'faith' schools has come under heavy fire with the
rise of racial violence, public fear of immigrants and a rise in the
religious aspects of 'faith' on attitudes and Islamist pressure in
international politics. The National Union of Teachers and the National
Association of School-masters and Union of Women Teachers
consistently vote in favour of ending this long-standing
tradition in England and Wales of denominational schools. In 2002
the NASUWT voted by 66,461 votes to 51,300 (majority 15,161) in
favour of a secular state school system, as exists in the US.
Latest Research show minimal differences between church and non-church schools, and it is possible that even these differences are not due to the influence of religion
THE IMPACT OF FAITH SCHOOLS ON PUPIL PERFORMANCE
value-added datasets covering key stages 3 and 4 have been linked to
information about schools' religious affiliation. Analysis of pupil
progress across key stages controlling for a range of factors has given
information about the apparent impact of these types of school. Jewish
schools, though very few in number, seem to be linked to good pupil
progress in most outcomes. Church schools (both Roman Catholic and
Church of England) tended to have above-average results for English,
lower for science, but for other outcomes their performance was not
consistently distinguishable from that of non-religious schools. The
figures may well be due to the selection procedures of church schools.
Free School Meals (FSM) as a contextual variable
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Statement on NSS attitude to Religious Education in schools & SACREs
AtheismUK is a relatively new organisation that asserts positive atheism and IS against all worship in schools as an infringement of children's rights, the censorship of atheist views and perspectives on religion in schools, its false claims and the promotion of opinion and mythology as fact as 'education', the suppression of children's critical thinking - of which this is a prime example and the biased teaching of religion as 'good', despite the evidence of history and current events. LINK
There is however one serious problem with their policy. In their 2005 election manifesto they say "religious worship should be permitted in community schools as an ’opt in’ extra " This opens the door to religious instruction - the only step forward on this issue in the last 50 years!
Two documents on this:-
Incorporating worship into school life, is a way of confirming belief, worship and prayer and condoning religion, superstition. It should have no place in education, which is a place in which to learn.
Pre-school, Primary, (Infants and Junior)
Overall view on the approach to personal development. Answering questions from children of this age group in a sensitive, honest and unbiased way
There are of course thousands of teachers doing just that in every school in all parts of the country. But in some schools and for some parents, honest, unbiased answers are not what they want.
It is difficult for some people, brought up in some of the religions and with some ideologies to accept the idea that there are opinions other than their own which might just be true.
Many parents too see their children as their property, and while one can see why if you think your child will go to hell if he/she becomes a non-believer, and that morality is dependent upon religious belief. But children are individual people, and have rights of their own, one of which is respect from the adults who care for them and educate them.
One of the most important issues is how our children see the world and their place in it and how children are manipulated, often, ironically, by the very people who are the targets of prejudice:-
The indoctrination of children
How Toys, Games, Puzzles and fiction are used to inculcate stereotypes,
attitudes and beliefs and violence
How to deal with religious celebrations from a secular stance - this is not too difficult since most were around long before Christianity and their roots are in the insecurity of the first peoples and their precarious existence.
There is now plenty of information on the origins of festivals and holidays on the Internet
(You are invited to submit a few useful sentences on these issues and others you may think of.)
Christmas:* Easter: Other Religions:
Easter was the celebration of women and fertility, the name from the various pagan goddesses of pre-Christian times - before it was taken over to be about a man undergoing sacrificial crucifiction There is lots of information on the origins of Easter on the Internet.e.g. http://www.religioustolerance.org/easter1.htm
Celebrating Xmas without 'The Nativity' CLICK HERE - can be done with a lot more creativity if it is done as its original meaning of the festival of the 'New SUN' - the end of winter at the winter solstice, and the looking forward to spring. Many religions used it to promote the idea of a new born SON as their Messiah. See 'Our Pagan Christmas' by R.J Condon (available from the National Secular Society) and its updated version Did Christians Steal Christmas? by R.J Stovold. The preface to the former is by writer and broadcaster Barbara Smoker
BHA handout on suitable books.
Answering awkward questions? 'Parenting Without God' by Jane Wynne-Wilson
Is it a Sin to Lie ?
As with most topics, children start asking the question when they are ready for the answers primary school teachers are adept at side-stepping some of these questions if they are unsure of the views and sensibilities of parents, and discuss these issues with colleagues and parents in order to satisfy the needs of children in honest and appropriate answers to their questions. *
How do teachers protect themselves if their integrity as educators is challenged? Discuss.
' 'How The Universe Began' KS1
Proposal for Humanism in the current RE Curriculum
Teaching About Religion This is a clear exposition of the issues and ethics of teaching accurate information from a teaching POV
More suggestions Book List
and their more able pupils..."
And what of the Universities? How much money is still being spent on theology departments, now masquerading under such titles as Religion and Ethics - how much time to they spend on the rationalist, atheist, secularist and humanist points of view on religion? And how much of their old influence do they still have, cloistered in the halls of education.
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Call for Secular Education from the Iranian Secular Society
Other Education Sources
Suggestions for Correspondence:
National Curriculum Council
Look for Religion and Statement of Values
Teachers Organisations - Unions etc.
Local sources -
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