Presentation on theme: "WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY ABOUT RE?. ABBHIRAMIBALASUBRAMANIAMABBHIRAMIBALASUBRAMANIAMABBHIRAMIBALASUBRAMANIAMABBHIRAMIBALASUBRAMANIAM Trainee Chartered Accountant."— Presentation transcript:
Religious education is vital in providing young people today with an insight of other people's way of life. It broadens our understanding of the many cultures that we are are surrounded by and helps us to build great relationships between them. We are much more tolerant, open minded and considerate individuals through our religious education.
Religious education is perhaps a misunderstood subject. It is not just about religion and who believes in what God or the different religious practices that exist today and throughout history. True, it gives us a context through which to view the history of the world and to see how it has shaped our lives and cultures today. But it is also an invaluable tool to aid in the teaching to our children of a profound lesson that we continue to learn for the rest of our lives: what it is to be human.
Intolerance continues to be one of the greatest dangers we face today. Without an understanding and acceptance of one another's journey through life, there can be no progress. No matter what we believe in or subscribe to, we each of us have a right to be understood and accepted for who we are. Religious education broadens our awareness of one another and encourages tolerance, understanding, inquisitiveness and consciousness.
We are all spiritual beings on a human journey, and religious education can be the catalyst for our understanding and acceptance of how each of us chooses to manifest and express this journey in our lives.
If we can teach children from an early age tolerance of one another's differences, from specific personal differences to religious and cultural differences on a global scale, there is great hope for a world with less conflict and pain and instead a world of open- mindedness, awareness and love; a world in which we can all be who we are without fear; a world in which "different" is celebrated.
GAIL BENMERIEMGAIL BENMERIEMGAIL BENMERIEMGAIL BENMERIEM Muslim mum and Teaching Assistant
I think that RE is an essential part of a child's full and complete education. A child is able to learn about their own religion in a more in depth way to what they already know. With lots of different religions covered, it gives children an insight into other faiths and helps them to understand more. This, in turn, leads to a more tolerant society where children and adults from a multitude of religions can live and work together in harmony.
ALAN BRINEALAN BRINEALAN BRINEALAN BRINE HMI, National Adviser for RE
Why celebrate RE …… …. because of what it means to so many children and young people. One of the privileges of being Ofsteds national adviser for RE is the chance it gives to talk to pupils about their experience of the subject. Why celebrate RE …… …. because of what it means to so many children and young people. One of the privileges of being Ofsteds national adviser for RE is the chance it gives to talk to pupils about their experience of the subject.
When RE is taught well pupils speak warmly of the opportunities it provides to understand the diversity of ideas abroad in the world; to make sense of issues they face personally and those that affect the society around them; and, to reflect at a serious level on their own beliefs and values.
JANE CHIPPERTONJANE CHIPPERTONJANE CHIPPERTONJANE CHIPPERTON Chair, Association of Religious Education Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants (AREIAC)
In a world in which diversity is increasingly obvious, with the possibilities of both unity and fragmentation, the significance of good religious education should not be underestimated. It offers children and young people vital and challenging opportunities not only to clarify their own beliefs, behaviours and values but also to understand those of others – even if they disagree with them. We are all now cultural explorers: what better context in which to make this exploratory journey than RE.
CHARLES CLARKE Former Secretary of State for Education
Faith is an immensely important element of the modern world. High quality religious education is intended to help appreciate what modern faith is, and also what it is not. A proper comprehension of faith is an important part of modern education and so I welcome the efforts of Celebrating RE month to build that understanding.
ANDREW COPSON Chief Executive, British Humanist Association
Good RE has the potential not only to be a rigorous introduction to the diverse philosophical heritage of humanity but also a subject where, introduced to and engaging with a range of religious and non-religious beliefs and values, young people can refine their own developing worldviews. It can be a hugely important subject which has the potential to greatly enrich young peoples lives.
DENISE CUSH Professor of Religion and Education, Bath Spa University, Chair of the Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education (AULRE)
Religious education is a vital component of any young persons education in a world where we are ever more aware of the need for human beings to live in peace together, sharing the resources of one planet, in spite of our diverse beliefs, values and customs. Religious education enables students to explore and understand a wide variety of ways of life, both religious and non-religious.
It also provides space for students to reflect on their own beliefs, values and lifestyle, appreciating and evaluating their traditions and heritage, and developing their own perspectives. In addition, religious education applies the insights of religious and non-religious philosophies to the major ethical issues facing the human race, and develops a wide range of useful skills from discussing controversial issues with fairness and respect to appreciating the artefacts of other cultures.
It is still often not fully appreciated that over the last 40 years in Britain we have developed a multi-faith, non-confessional religious education that meets the needs of all students whether religious or not, and is looked to as an example by other countries around the world.
The National Celebration of Religious Education organised by the Religious Education Council (including the wealth of activities planned by schools, faith communities and local authorities) provides a marvellous opportunity for the achievements of religious education to be brought to the attention of a wider audience.
NAOMI DALTON Religious Education Council Administrator
As a school student, I didnt feel particularly inspired by RE as a subject, particularly as most of the work we were given was written, and did not involve any learning outside the classroom. Since I have been involved in the preparations for Celebrating RE Month, however, I have had the opportunity to witness some wonderful examples of RE being taught well, notably through the entries we received for our competitions.
I now realise that good RE often incorporates art, music, history, group activities, school trips and allows pupils of all different religious and cultural backgrounds to explore, understand and celebrate their differences.
Having previously worked with asylum-seeking young people at the Refugee Council, who often told stories of feeling isolated at school and being treated with indifference and, at times, contempt because of their backgrounds, I now appreciate the integral role RE can have in bridging these social divides, and creating a society which doesnt just tolerate, but understands and is proud of its diversity.
LESLIE J FRANCIS Professor of Religions and Education Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit
The inclusion of the question on religious affiliation in the national census for the first time in 2001 demonstrated political commitment to recognising the importance of the social significance of religion in the public square. Good quality religious education is crucial for ensuring public awareness of the rights and responsibilities of living in a multicultural and multifaith society.
SATOKO FUJIWARA Professor, University of Tokyo and member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for the history of religions (IAHR)
Japanese researchers in religious education strongly appreciate their relationship with religious education specialists in England and Wales. As representatives of the East Asian Nations, we send good wishes for the month of Celebrating RE.
BRUCE GRELLE Professor, California State University, Chico and American Academy of Religion
In the United States of America it is difficult to include studies of religion in the curriculum of publicly funded schools. Experiments are happening, for example with the cooperation of Harvard University, California State University at Chico, and the American Academy of Religion. Researchers and curriculum developers in the United States warmly appreciate their relationship with colleagues from England and Wales. We send greetings and best wishes for the Celebrating RE month.
MUHAMMAD ABDEL HALEEM OBE, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of London
I wholeheartedly support and appreciate the role that multi faith RE plays in promoting understanding and respect between communities and individuals. Our children in this country now and in the future need to understand and respect each other's religious values. This is the key to the social cohesion and harmony, which we all hope for. I sincerely hope that this cause will receive the support it deserves from the authorities and the public.
JOANNA HANN Primary School Teacher and RE Coordinator
As a primary school teacher, I have a huge responsibility and privilege to influence the children I teach. This is not just through the teaching of curriculum subjects, such as RE, but also by contributing to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Children learn about faiths and beliefs through the sights, sounds, and smells they experience. This encourages the children to engage with religion, learn about other people and decide what religions and beliefs mean to them and to the lives that they lead.
MARY HAYWARD Associate Fellow, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick
Religious Studies, well taught, offers students experiences and insights pertinent to living in the 21 st century. Students learning offers engagement with those of differing faiths and cultures, and the development of capacities - both empathetic and critical - to understand them.
In this process students also develop their self understanding; they encounter the question of what it is to be human, and reflect on the human condition; they discover the visions of religions and other worldviews, and the power of commitment to shape the world for good - but also for strife and conflict. In our global society such insights are more relevant than ever – CELEBRATE a curriculum which affirms them!
HANS-GUNTER HEIMBROCK Professor, Goethe University, Frankfurt and Convenor of ENRECA
The European network for research in religious education (ENRECA) admires the work that is being done in England and Wales in the field of religious education. We wish you a very successful month of Celebrating RE.
JOHN HULL Honorary Professor of Practical Theology in The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education and Emeritus Professor of Religious Education in The University of Birmingham
Religion is not only often associated with conflicts; it is also the source of many of the values which promote peace. Young people growing up in a complex world full of conflicts need to know about religion. The search for the spiritual values which lead to peace is also important in the personal lives of students. For their individual lives as well as for their wider participation in society, knowledge and understanding of religions must continue to be a basic aspect of educational provision.
RE is so important today because it enables young people to understand the world and why we are different. Our young people are the future and it is imperative that how they choose to live is informed by the history of the world and the wisdom of our elders. As a Jew and a Holocaust survivor I hope these young people will become our future witnesses. The lessons, from that darkest of times, must be known and not forgotten. RE is so important today because it enables young people to understand the world and why we are different. Our young people are the future and it is imperative that how they choose to live is informed by the history of the world and the wisdom of our elders. As a Jew and a Holocaust survivor I hope these young people will become our future witnesses. The lessons, from that darkest of times, must be known and not forgotten.
Over the past ten years, I have travelled down from London each year to speak to what must now be over 20,000 young people in Plymouth schools. Religious Education has created these possibilities. These opportunities have made it possible for me to touch their hearts and minds with something of my testimony so that when they grow up and go out into the world they will help build a better future for all people.
BOB JACKSON Director, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick and Professor: European Wergeland Centre, Oslo
Religious education in England and Wales does an enormous amount to promote understanding between people belonging to or associated with different religious traditions. School students in England and Wales, unlike those in many countries, have the opportunity through religious education not only to learn about their own religion and culture, but to understand and appreciate the religious ways of life of others. The Celebrating RE month is a wonderful acknowledgement of the importance and value of religious education in the 21st-century.
The importance of learning about the multitude of religious faiths, and the various belief systems that inform the world in which we live, should never be underestimated. Bigotry and intolerance are the bedfellows of ignorance, and the more that young people in particular know about each others beliefs, the more optimistic we can be about our shared futures.
We know well in London the enormous benefits of bringing people together and learning from, and about, each other for the common good. I am delighted to take this opportunity to join the chorus celebrating Religious Education in March 2011.
The national celebration of religious education recognises the important contribution that religious education makes to the lives of young people today. Religious education provides opportunities to explore personal beliefs and values and to gain understanding of the issues that face religions and beliefs today.
By raising and responding to challenging religious and human questions, it is hoped that young people will be better prepared to challenge intolerance and prejudice and to create a more positive future for all based on justice, equality and mutual respect. I wish the Religious Education Council of England and Wales every success in its celebration of religious education. By raising and responding to challenging religious and human questions, it is hoped that young people will be better prepared to challenge intolerance and prejudice and to create a more positive future for all based on justice, equality and mutual respect. I wish the Religious Education Council of England and Wales every success in its celebration of religious education.
JOHN KEAST OBE, Former National Adviser on RE to the Department for Education
When taught well, RE works well – for children, young people and adults. March 2011 is a celebration of that and should be enjoyed by all!
I think it is essential that children are exposed to and learn about religions other than their own. We live in a multi-cultural society and now, more than ever before, we need young people to grow up with the understanding and tolerance of the many different faiths. I think it is essential that children are exposed to and learn about religions other than their own. We live in a multi-cultural society and now, more than ever before, we need young people to grow up with the understanding and tolerance of the many different faiths.
CLIVE A LAWTON Chair SHAP Working Party on Education in World Religions
RE is now perhaps the most relevant subject on the curriculum for the 21st century that faces us. Hardly a day goes by without evidence in the media that a more informed understanding of religions and the motivations and passions they arouse would be a boon to all of us. RE at its best today is vibrant, thought-provoking, relevant and constructive. It is wide-ranging and challenging and spans the macrocosm of human civilisation and the microcosm of the innermost corners of the human heart like no other subject.
TERENCE LOVAT Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Australian researchers follow the religious education scene in England and Wales closely. We very much admire the work that is going on there to promote understanding of different religions in schools. We send you our very best wishes for a successful month of Celebrating RE.
JONATHAN MARSHALL MBE, Director Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity
The study of religious education has always provided exacting academic rigour, the same as other core subjects. In addition, through the exploration of the world of belief, faith and culture, young people learn how to approach and handle the most sensitive and controversial issues that human beings can face, with respect, openness and compassion. In short, they learn what it means to be human.
Where else but in school can we hope that our young people have opportunities to understand what matters most in life and what is really worth doing? RE can potentially touch the hearts and minds of young people, inspiring them to live differently and more wisely. Where else but in school can we hope that our young people have opportunities to understand what matters most in life and what is really worth doing? RE can potentially touch the hearts and minds of young people, inspiring them to live differently and more wisely.
ELIZABETH A MATEAR Moderator of the Free Churches
Religious education in our schools can best serve our children and our communities when it facilitates understanding and respect for faith and spirituality. It should promote discussion and when taught well, will be relevant, strengthen positive attitudes to life and deepen appreciation of our diverse society. As part of the school curriculum for all students it will enable evaluation and tolerance. To ensure the best quality and outcome it will require expertise in the subject.
I like RE because it allows people to understand different cultures and societies and how they approach everyday things such as what you can eat or drink and what is acceptable in different societies because of religion. It also gives you a chance to be able to learn more about your own beliefs and/or religion and be able to talk with confidence and reassurance that other people know about your religion too.
I do not properly believe in any sort of religion, but I still enjoy discussing religious topics and how different subjects like music and history are linked to religion. I think religious education is a very important part of the curriculum and of life. We need RE because religion and culture are all around us and we cannot help but ask questions about them.
BILL MOORE Chair, National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (NASACRE)
Why is religious education important? People have a tendency to want to make sense of life, to find meaning and purpose. RE enables pupils to explore these issues, learning about themselves and their place in the world from their study of religion. In doing so, they learn about religions and beliefs which have influenced the lives of millions of people and heavily influenced the development of different human cultures. Why is religious education important? People have a tendency to want to make sense of life, to find meaning and purpose. RE enables pupils to explore these issues, learning about themselves and their place in the world from their study of religion. In doing so, they learn about religions and beliefs which have influenced the lives of millions of people and heavily influenced the development of different human cultures.
It is both rigorously academic and deeply personal – it reaches the parts of the person that other subjects fail to reach. In our rapidly changing world, we need people who can value human dignity, challenge injustice and shape a hopeful vision for all humanity. This is the stuff of good RE and I cannot see why any school would not want to give it a very high priority!
Nobody should be in any doubt of the importance of religious education in Britain today. Our history, culture and identities are incomprehensible without a firm grasp of the importance or religious faith and teachings and way of life that emerge from such faith. Ignorance of religion is ignorance of humanity. A people marked by such ignorance will not appreciate their own humanity.
The purpose of religious education is, for those who live by faith, that they understand their own faith in its integrity and other peoples faiths in their diversity. For those who are searching, religious education is a chance to explore the great riches of the human spirit in its pondering on the mystery of life and of God. Religious education is essentially about the quest for truth. It is a great service to our society.
Priest, author and television presenter PETER OWEN-JONES
Evolution can not provide any kind of moral compass. What we see in R.E. is a reflection of the human journey expressed from a place of wonder where the worst and the best of our humanity has left us with the all important question of what it is to be human.
The dilemmas, the dances, the vulnerabilities of the human story as seen from the garden of the divine. It is our imagination played out in the image of God and whether you believe in God or not it is still the most riveting story in town.
We live in an increasingly diverse society, where the need to understand each other has never been greater. Understanding takes effort, requiring us not just to tolerate each other, but to actively engage with those with whom we may not always feel totally comfortable, because they may seem different.
Celebrating RE is a fantastic opportunity to show off the valuable contribution religious education can make in helping young people to push through the barriers of distrust and open up to the possibility of a society where faith, colour and culture are no bar.
Director, European Wergeland Centre, Oslo ANA PERONA-FIELDSTADT
From the perspective of the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and many other observer states, the European Wergeland Centre warmly appreciates the contribution to interreligious and intercultural understanding promoted by religious education in England and Wales.
The European Wergeland Centre aims to promote education for human rights, democratic citizenship and intercultural education, including the dimension of religion. The staff of the European Wergeland Centre send their best wishes for the month of Celebrating RE in England and Wales.
I taught RE for 15 years and it is the most demanding of all curriculum subjects, but also the most exciting because youre using pupils' own views and opinions for learning about what really matters in life. Of course RE lessons – the same as all religions - are about the power of story. Storytelling goes across the religions. The importance of narrative in all religions is vital. The very point of education is growth, says Plato - its to make good men and good women act nobly. I taught RE for 15 years and it is the most demanding of all curriculum subjects, but also the most exciting because youre using pupils' own views and opinions for learning about what really matters in life. Of course RE lessons – the same as all religions - are about the power of story. Storytelling goes across the religions. The importance of narrative in all religions is vital. The very point of education is growth, says Plato - its to make good men and good women act nobly.
Teachers carry a massive responsibility shared with rabbis, imams and religious teachers from all faiths because you can change a childs life, heal or hurt, inspire or disparage. You all want for your own children, if you have them, the best teachers. In RE lessons, the power of story to move you to compassion and care sits alongside powerful arguments about euthanasia, abortion or life after death.
The point is that RE is a subject where relationships are a bit different because youre not just imparting knowledge but talking about the nature of God.
As a parent I am particularly struck by the general interest in RE amongst young people in this country. This interest extends beyond an emotional connection to RE to a serious academic interest and understanding of religion and of the great diversity of religious faith around the world. Thus far all my children have studied, or are on their way to study Theology or Religious Studies at University; and these appear to be very popular subjects amongst their friends from school.
Moreover as degree subjects they are highly valued by employers, in the sure knowledge that graduates in these subjects have the ability to discuss in depth and breadth a variety of different responses to some of the greatest fundamental thoughts and practices of the world. This resonates and is in tune with the global multicultural world in which we all now have to live and maybe surprisingly in fact puts young people in touch with reality.
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth JONATHAN SACKS
Religious education received at school is a formative part of the Jewish experience. It imbues our children with a strong Jewish identity, connects them with Judaism's values and traditions and encourages them to be good citizens. And studying RE is of vital importance to schoolchildren of all backgrounds. It enables them to understand and respect those of other faiths that form the fabric of our society. I am delighted to send my blessings in this month of Celebrating RE.
As the Church of Englands National Society celebrates 200 years of Church Schools, it is good to hear that The Religious Education Council will be joining us in celebrating the importance of RE lessons at this time. I wish the Religious Education Council every success with its activities to highlight REs distinctive contribution to young peoples spiritual and moral development, national integration and social justice, as well as its aim to engage nationally with faith and community leaders.
Former Secretary of State for International Development CLARE SHORT
We are living at a time of growing division in the world, based on a false understanding of each other's religions and beliefs. It is now more important than ever that all children, and as many adults as possible, learn about the world's great religions. We need to understand and respect each other's beliefs. And we can gain a deeper understanding of our own religious tradition by studying other traditions.
But even more important, at this time, we need to be reminded of how often religious difference has been misused throughout history to whip up hatred and of the terrible consequences humanity has endured, over and over again, in war, suffering and injustice.
Professor, Stockholm University, Sweden and Stavanger University, Norway GEIR SKEIE
Researchers in the Nordic countries have a strong interest in religious education and follow the debates and research in the UK with particular interest. There are both similarities and differences between our countries in this respect, and the exchange is enriching. We were pleased to hear about Celebrating RE, and send our best wishes for a month of exciting activities. Researchers in the Nordic countries have a strong interest in religious education and follow the debates and research in the UK with particular interest. There are both similarities and differences between our countries in this respect, and the exchange is enriching. We were pleased to hear about Celebrating RE, and send our best wishes for a month of exciting activities.
Department of Religious Studies, University of Wolverhampton OPINDERJIT KAUR TAKHAR
RE is a vital subject for our schools if we are to produce a tolerant and caring society. It is significantly through their RE lessons in schools that children become aware of the diverse nature of multi faith Britain. Without RE, far too many negative stereotypes and unthinking prejudices would exist as a result of ignorance.
RE enables children to understand why communities and individuals may dress, practise and believe differently to themselves. Without RE being taught in schools, social harmony and community cohesion would be virtually unachievable.
Unlike many other countries, Britain upholds an educational duty to include Buddhism (and other major religions) in the curricula schoolchildren throughout the country must study from a very early age. For Buddhists, this year's national RE celebration, is about discovering how religion is studied in school and finding helpful ways to participate in making sure the precious few hours children learn about Buddhism, are as enlightening as possible.
DBE, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire DAME JANET TROTTER
As a young person I became increasingly excited by the power of religious education to establish patterns of meaning and value for individuals and communities. This was reinforced when I became a teacher and lecturer of religious education and as I learned more about the rich traditions and patterns of faith in our society.
It has been argued that religion divides communities but, in my experience, effective religious education has the capacity to help increase understanding of the world in which we live, appreciate difference and similarity and enhance community cohesion. These skills and capacities are vital for individuals making their way in the twenty first century in a diverse and multi faith society.
PGCE student, Bishop Grosseteste University CHE WEBSTER
At a time when it seems religious tension is entering a new and heightened state, with ignorance and intolerance threatening to undermine the values of our nation, RE stands as a key opportunity to help our children to engage with the diversity of our world. Religion touches every human life, all of human history, and is the great inheritance of the newest generation.
Good RE helps our young people to understand and appreciate the Christian faith which is central to the lives of so many people in this country, and which has shaped its culture and history. It also helps them to understand the other major historic world faiths that are increasingly part of our national life in a globalised word.
In 2011 the Church of Englands National Society will be celebrating 200 years of Church Schools. I am delighted that the Religious Education Council will be joining us in celebrating RE at this time.
Dean of Education and Theology York St John University JULIAN STERNJULIAN STERNJULIAN STERNJULIAN STERN
RE has all the advantages of being able to draw on the cultural and historical resources of all the peoples of the world. And it also has all the advantages of drawing on the understandings of the pupils studying the subject. It is grand and historical and it is deeply personal. Being involved in RE, as a teacher as much as a learner, is one of the great opportunities to discuss some of the most important of lifes questions and some of the most fascinating of the answers to those questions. RE has all the advantages of being able to draw on the cultural and historical resources of all the peoples of the world. And it also has all the advantages of drawing on the understandings of the pupils studying the subject. It is grand and historical and it is deeply personal. Being involved in RE, as a teacher as much as a learner, is one of the great opportunities to discuss some of the most important of lifes questions and some of the most fascinating of the answers to those questions.