File Name: importance of teaching religious and moral education in primary schools .zip
Curriculum for Excellence Religious and Moral Education. Extracted from Principle and Practice: religious and moral education, Education Scotland. The Education Scotland Act continues to impose a statutory duty on local authorities to provide religious education in Scottish schools.
Faith in schools and education in general may be under the microscope, but there should always be a place for religion in education, writes the Headteacher of Stonyhurst College. Religion in education all too often gets a bad press. Faith is irrelevant in everyday life, they claim: keep it in church for the few who attend. In a pluralist and diverse society, religion offers only segregation and ignorance. On the contrary — religious education is more important now than it has probably ever been.
In secular usage, religious education is the teaching of a particular religion although in the United Kingdom the term religious instruction would refer to the teaching of a particular religion, with religious education referring to teaching about religions in general and its varied aspects: its beliefs , doctrines , rituals , customs , rites , and personal roles.
In Western and secular culture, religious education implies a type of education which is largely separate from academia , and which generally regards religious belief as a fundamental tenet and operating modality, as well as a prerequisite for attendance.
The secular concept is substantially different from societies that adhere to religious law , wherein "religious education" connotes the dominant academic study, and in typically religious terms, teaches doctrines which define social customs as "laws" and the violations thereof as " crimes ", or else misdemeanors requiring punitive correction.
The free choice of religious education by parents according to their conviction is protected by Convention against Discrimination in Education. Religious education is controversial worldwide. Some countries, such as the United States, do not publicly fund religious education nor make it part of compulsory schooling.
In other contexts, such as the United Kingdom, an 'open' religious education has emerged from Christian confessionalism that it is intended to promote religious literacy without imparting a particular religious perspective.
This kind of religious education has drawn criticism because, it is argued, there is no neutral perspective from which to study religions and any kind of compulsory schooling is likely to impact on the formation of a student's religious identity. Since people within a given country often hold varying religious and non-religious beliefs, government-sponsored religious education can be a source of conflict. Countries vary widely in whether religious education is allowed in government-run schools often called " public schools ".
Those that allow it also vary in the type of education provided. People oppose religious education in public schools on various grounds.
One is that it constitutes a state sponsorship or establishment of whatever religious beliefs are taught. Others argue that if a particular religion is taught in school, children who do not belong to that religion will either feel pressure to conform or be excluded from their peers. Proponents argue that religious beliefs have historically socialized people's behavior and morality.
They feel that teaching religion in school is important to encourage children to be responsible, spiritually sound adults. In Christianity , catechesis refers to the religious instruction of children and adult converts. In traditional Muslim education, children are taught to read and sometimes speak Arabic and memorize the major suras of the Qur'an. Many countries have state-run schools for this purpose known as Madrasah Islamiyyah in Arabic; meaning "Islamic school".
Traditionally, a settlement may pay a mullah to teach children. There is a historic tradition of Sufi mullahs who wander and teach, and an ancient tradition of religious universities. However, the study of Islam does not suffice. Students must pass the state mandated curriculum to pass. Religious scholars often serve as judges, especially for criminal and family law more rarely for commercial law.
In New Zealand, "Religious Education" refers to the academic teaching of religious studies. There are no officially recognised syllabuses as the school has to be officially closed in order to allow the classes to go ahead.
There are organised groups such as the Secular Education Network   and the NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists,  who are actively lobbying Government to have legislation changed to remove the classes from state primary schools.
In the People's Republic of China , formal religious education is permitted. Religious education usually occurs in scheduled sessions in private homes. In India , there are a number of private schools run by religious institutions, especially for Hindus , Muslims , Sikhs , Christians , Jains and Buddhists. During the era of British rule , Christian private schools were quite prominent and widely attended by both UK British and Indian students.
Many of the schools established during this era, especially in areas with a heavy Christian population, are still in existence today. In Japan , there are many Christian schools and universities with mandatory religious education. Any religious education at private middle and high schools requires the teacher to be accredited by a university teaching the religious education standards.
Religious or political education, or clubs that promote a specific religious or political group, are prohibited at public schools. In Pakistan , Muslim students must take Islamic studies from primary to higher education.
The subject is optional for non-Muslim students, who can choose the subject of ethics instead. In Thailand , Burma and other majority Buddhist societies, Buddhist teachings and social decorum are sometimes taught in public school. Young men are expected to live as monks for several months at one time in their lives during which they can receive religious education.
About 90 percent of Iranians practice Shi'ism Islam , the official religion of Iran , Sunni and Shi'i are the two largest branches of Islam, with the overwhelming majority of Iranians practicing Shi'i Islam . The main religion which is being taught to students In Iran is Islam and its holy book called Quran.
Students start to learn it at the elementary and secondary school typically ages 7—14 and it is compulsory for them to learn it. The government try to hire teachers who are kind and convincing in order to teach religious content step by step to students. Other religions are not taught in public schools. There are some private schools for the recognized minority groups who have other religions, that is Zoroastrianism , Christianity and Judaism.
The directors of these private schools must be Muslim, with few exceptions . Because of Austria 's history as a multinational empire that included the largely Islamic Bosnia , Sunni Islam has been taught side by side with Roman Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox classes since the 19th century.
However, children belonging to minority religions, like Jewish , Buddhist and Latter Day Saints also study religious education in their various denominations. At many schools, secular classes in Ethics can be attended alternatively. Most of Finnish students study Evangelical Lutheran religious education. A student can receive religious education according to his or her own religion if the denomination is registered in Finland. Since religious education is a compulsory subject, pupils who do not belong to any religious group are taught Ethics.
In France , the state recognizes no religion and does not fund religious education. However, the state subsidizes private teaching establishments, including religious ones, under strict conditions of not forcing religion courses on students and not discriminating against students according to religion.
An exception is the area of Alsace-Moselle where, for historical reasons it was ruled by Germany when this system was instituted in the rest of France under a specific local law , the state supports public education in some religions Catholic, Protestant, Jewish mostly in accord with the German model.
Historically, the various confessions in Germany have contributed to primary and secondary education and do so still. Education in Germany still embodies the legacy of the Prussian education system introduced by Frederick the Great in The curricula of the various states of Germany since then have included not only basic technical skills but also music singing and religious Christian education in close cooperation with the churches.
Most of the federal states of Germany, which has a long history of almost even division between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism , have an arrangement whereby the religious bodies oversee the training of mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religious education teachers.
In one of the federal states this includes Orthodox Christian teachers as well. In Berlin, Bremen see Bremen clause and Brandenburg, religious education is not mandatory. The training is supposed to be conducted according to modern standards of the humanities , and by teachers trained at mostly state-run colleges and universities. Those teachers teach religion in public schools, are paid by the state and are bound to the German constitution, as well as answerable to the churches for the content of their teaching.
Children who are part of no mainstream religion this applies e. The Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands , an atheist and agnostic association, has adopted to the legal setup of the churches and is now allowed to offer such classes.
From the age of 14, children may decide on their own if they want to attend religion classes and, if they do, which of those they are willing to attend. For younger children it is the decision of their parents. These schools have to follow the same curricula as public schools of their federal state, though. The introduction of Islamic religious education in Germany has faced various burdens and thresholds, but it is being introduced currently. In Greece , students at public primary and secondary schools typically ages 6—17 learn the basics of the Greek Orthodox faith using the official curriculum.
In accordance to EU's religious freedom rules, their parents can opt them out of the religious classes by requesting it in paper without any additional justification.
The students that opt-out attend alternative non-religious courses. Universities which are mostly public don't have any religious content unless it's related to the studies.
In Italy , Catholic religious education is a curricula subject for students attending primary and secondary school ages 6—19 , though students can opt out of religious classes and attend alternative courses instead. Data shows that the percentage of students who choose to attend religious class is in steady decline.
Religious education was first introduced as a mandatory activity in Italy during the fascist regime, following the Lateran Treaty ,  but in it became optional. Religious education in Italian public schools is controversial. In Latvia , since parents of the primary school students grades 1 to 3 can choose Christian classes or the ethics. In the Netherlands, a distinction is made between public and special schools.
Special schools teach on the basis of religion, philosophy of life or a vision of education. Public school lessons are not based on religion or belief.
The relationship between schools with different denominations has remained stable in recent years. For this, schools must meet conditions.
For example, education must be of sufficient quality. There are also requirements, for example, for the minimum number of pupils, the competence of teachers and the number of hours of education.
In Poland, religious education is optional in state schools. Parents decide whether children should attend religion classes or ethics classes   or none of them. Religious education is optional in Romanian state schools. Parents can freely choose which religion their children will study, but a majority of religious classes focus on the Romanian Orthodox faith, which is the majority religion in the country. Institutional education in general, and religious education in particular, is centralized in Turkey.
This approach began with the Unity of Education Law, which was first drafted in and preserved in subsequent legal reforms and constitutional changes. The newer Unity of Education Law was interpreted as totally excluding religious instruction from public schools. The newly established Republic of Turkey aimed to be secular and more western with the rule of Ataturk. In , changes such as the acceptance of the Latin alphabet, which is taught to pupils in the national schools, and the Gregorian calendar took place in the new established country.
With the closure of Madrasas,  which were provided for the society to have religious knowledge and education,  classes of religion were also abolished from the schools. Religious education such as Quran courses or other religious activities had to be controlled by the government and separated from regular education. The situation changed in when the one-party period came to an end.
The faculty of Divinity was introduced in at Ankara University to educate, raise and train Imams, carry out scientific research about religion, mostly Islam. This government introduced a religion course into secondary schools.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH IN EDUCATION
Public schools may not teach religion, although teaching about religion in a secular context is permitted. Religion may be presented as part of a secular educational program. Programs that "teach about religion" are geared toward teaching students about the role of religion in the historical, cultural, literary and social development of the United States and other nations. These programs should instill understanding, tolerance and respect for a pluralistic society. When discussing religion in this context, religion must be discussed in a neutral, objective, balanced and factual manner. Such programs should educate students about the principle of religious liberty as one of the fundamental elements of freedom and democracy in the United States.
Religious & Moral Education
Despite the strong status of denominational religious education RE in the German constitution this organizational form of RE finds itself increasingly under pressure at state schools. Reasons for this development are among others the shrinking percentage of baptized people in Germany, problems in organising this form of RE at school and the discussion on the role of religion in civil society. This article presents a survey of school principals who have introduced a cooperative RE at their school to find out which form of RE they prefer for which reasons.
Magazine Updates. Alumni Association Officers. Spotlights by Graduation Year. Inquire Visit Apply.
In secular usage, religious education is the teaching of a particular religion although in the United Kingdom the term religious instruction would refer to the teaching of a particular religion, with religious education referring to teaching about religions in general and its varied aspects: its beliefs , doctrines , rituals , customs , rites , and personal roles. In Western and secular culture, religious education implies a type of education which is largely separate from academia , and which generally regards religious belief as a fundamental tenet and operating modality, as well as a prerequisite for attendance. The secular concept is substantially different from societies that adhere to religious law , wherein "religious education" connotes the dominant academic study, and in typically religious terms, teaches doctrines which define social customs as "laws" and the violations thereof as " crimes ", or else misdemeanors requiring punitive correction.
The current critique of denominational education, and of denominational religious education in particular, risks undermining the place of this core subject in all schools, just at a moment when deeper reflection on religion, belief, spirituality and ethics could contribute enormously to the emergence of a society that seeks to embrace difference and is comfortable to celebrate the presence of a variety of religious and other belief systems. This, of course, means respecting the beliefs of those of the majority religious tradition, too, and seeking to contribute to the religious and spiritual literacy of all young people and of adults. Some recent commentary appears to indicate a lack of knowledge of, or perhaps interest in, the transformation of religious education RE after the renewal of the Second Vatican Council in the s and since.
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