Sunday, September 24, 2006

Education, Education, Education

Now I am two weeks into my R.E teacher training, I have been pondering the purpose of Religious Education (R.E) in schools. I was reminded of this quote by Peter Drucker:

"When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course."

There is definitely some grains of truth in this statement I think. One of the questions I have been asking myself is whether R.E is an obsolete subject that has been made into a required course. Its a curious thing, but when people find out you are training to be an R.E teacher, they suddenly find within themselves the desire to engage you in deep and meaningful conversations. I certainly found this to be the case when I was a youth worker for the Church of England. But anyway, I have had many conversations over the last few weeks with people who are more than willing to tell me their opinions on R.E. These range from vehement, hate filled diatribes on the evils of R.E, through positive and openminded thoughts to vehement, hate filled diatribes on the evils of not exclusively teaching a particular religion

Some of the people I have spoken to have said that R.E has no place in today's schools because it is not relevant and raises too many difficult questions and issue. Well, I'm not sure I agree with that, (**caution - pretentious quote alert**) Aristotle once said "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." I think I can apply that to R.E, it may be hard or bitter but the fruit is sweet and more than worthwhile. As I've been pondering this question of whether R.E is worth teaching, I have come to realise that R.E is possibly more important than ever.

In today's overly secular society, giving young people the opportunity to look at things from an 'eternal' perspective is vital. The chance to see how people of different faiths live their lives is an amazing privilege both for teacher and pupil. We had a course trip out to the Jewish Museum at Cheetham Hill. It was absolutely fascinating to see this place which is still laid out like a synagogue and to talk to the Jewish gentleman about his faith. It brought it alive in a way that just reading about Judaism could never do.

Anway, enough seriousness, I think I will return to this topic when I have thought about it a bit more. Here are some movies

Kung Fu Hustle ****
The Mummy Returns **
(Watched with my Dad and 3 bottles of wine at some silly time in the morning! Interesting)
Inside Man ****
Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price ****
Children of Men ****


Daniel said...

Hey Lee! I'm on your course!

The Jewish Museum was indeed ace.

Nat said...

Kung Fu Hustle was pretty good. Also, as I have mentioned, living in a country without required religious education makes me wish I lived in a country that did have it.