It is a delicate issue that has sparked much debate and discussion in Australia School about the place. Of religions and belief system, particularly Christianity, in school curriculum.
This issue was brought to a head in Britain by the Trojan Horse scandal. A few Islamic schools were investigate over the teaching of certain values. Prime Minister David Cameron, who was involve in the investigations, argued that all schools should teach British values.
Cameron argue that Britain is fundamentally a Christian country and that students should be taught. Values like freedom, tolerance, respect of the law, belief and personal responsibility, and respect for British institutions.
The topic of religions and belief systems, particularly Australia’s JudeoChristian heritage and traditions. Became a hot topic after the Australian national curriculum review I participated in last year.
Tony Taylor, an education researcher, criticized the review as an example in what he called the culture wars. And suggested that the review’s recommendations would unfairly favor a JudeoChristian version of religion.
The Australian Education Union submitted a submission to the curriculum review. It warned of the dangers of including the Bible into the curriculum, pointing out that state. Education was establish in late 19th-century on the principle of freedom from religious teaching programs.
Are School Allow To Teach Religion?
Government schools are secular, and not faith-based schools. The Review of the Australian Curriculum Final Report reveals that state-based legislation permits both religious instruction classes and general teaching of religion and belief systems in government schools.
For example, the Victorian legislation allows state schools to teach about the major forms of religious thought, expression, and character of Australian society and other countries in the world. In Western Australia, the legislation does not prohibit schools from teaching general religious education.
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, a key policy document that education ministers refer to, is very specific. It argues that a well-balanced education should address the “morality and spiritual development and wellbeing” of young Australians.
Many submissions to the national Curriculum Review also argued strongly for teaching about religions and belief systems, particularly Christianity. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which is responsible for the national curriculum, agrees that students should be encourage to learn about different religions, spirituality, and ethical beliefs.
Many submissions from religious organizations supported teaching religion in schools, as expected. Catholic Education Commission of NSW submitted that a balanced and comprehensive curriculum must address the past and present of faith traditions in general and Christianity specifically in Australia’s development.
What Should The Teaching Of Religion Look Like In School?
A way to deal with belief systems and religions is to create specific subjects that are taught over many years. This is the recommendation of Rabbi Shimon Cowen in the Review of the Australian Curriculum Final Report. He argues that Theology should be a separate subject.
Instead of focusing on the differences between religions, such a subject would be focus on common theological categories as well as ethical principles. Cowen argues that all Abrahamic religions (including Judaism and Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) have common origins and share similar ethical and moral values.
Another approach is to infuse subjects such as literature, art, music, and history with religious elements. T.S. Only Christianity can understand Eliot’s poetry and Bach’s Mass In B minor, Faure’s Requium, and most of the history of Western Civilisation.
These two approaches are not to be confuse with schools that offer religious instruction classes in which students of a particular faith can learn more about their religion.
Why Should Children Learn Religion?
There are many reasons why students should be able to understand and appreciate major religions and belief systems. It is essential that students receive a comprehensive, well-rounded education. This submission was made by the Australian Association for Religious Education.
Knowledge and understanding can lead to tolerance, respect and cooperation. It makes sense that schools should promote interfaith understanding and dialogue, especially considering the effects of September 11th and the sectarian violence in Middle East.
Education serves a practical and utilitarian purpose. However, the curriculum also addresses significant existential questions about life’s purpose and nature. In an increasingly self-centered world, including religions and belief systems into the curriculum provides a valuable transcendental element.
The British conservative government has made it mandatory to teach about Christianity and other religions in the country’s national curriculum. ACARA is currently reviewing the Australian National Curriculum Report, which was finalize last year. It recommends that students taught more about moral and spiritual beliefs, particularly Australia’s Judeo Christian heritage and traditions.