Tagged: Education

Ekklesia | Government issues guidelines

After a number of requests from teaching unions and civic bodies, including the Christian think-tank Ekklesia and the British Humanist Association, the UK Department of Children, Schools, and Families has issued guidance for teachers uncertain whether and how to discuss creationism – which is rejected by both scientists and theologians as lacking factual and theoretical value.

7/7 bombers the product of the British education system?

An email received 21/7/07 from:
London School of Islamics    
An Educational Trust
63 Margery Park Road London E7 9LD
Email: [email protected]
www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk
Tel/Fax: 0208 555 2733 / 07817 112 667

Building Bridges

The unrest among British Muslims both young and old is not only due the British policies abroad but also due the policies at home for the last fifty years. Anti-immigration was the norm during 60s & 70s and the British society and the Establishment just closed its eyes and even state schools tried to hide all physical and verbal abuse of Muslim children and teachers under the carpet. Muslims do not feel equal; that leads to a victim identity and extremism can take place. On top of that the young generation was deprived of their cultures and languages making them cut off from their cultural and linguistic roots. The second and the third generation were educated in State schools and they all speak English in local accents but not well versed in Standard English. Schools do not encourage and teach Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. They are even discouraged to speak their own languages at home.

Education | Call for ‘post-9/11’ RE teaching

RE teachers must provide children with a more sophisticated understanding of the subject in a post-11 September world, Ofsted says.

After a five-year inspection of RE classes which began in the year of the attacks on the US, Ofsted says rote learning of RE is no longer adequate.

It says teachers should include ways in which religion is not always a force for good.

BBC NEWS | Education | Call for ‘post-9/11’ RE teaching.

Andrew CopsonThe guest speaker at our meeting in Ipswich on 13 June, the BHA’s Education & Public Affairs Officer Andrew Copson, was interviewed on BBC News 24 today, 17 June, about this Ofsted report, together with Kate Ivens from the Campaign for Real Education (I think we might differ about what “real education” means). She claimed that young children were “confused” by learning about a variety of faiths and secular world views.

Humanist is made a full member of Suffolk’s SACRE

While Humanists in other parts of the country struggle to be co-opted onto their county’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE), I was promoted from being a co-opted member of Suffolk County Council’s SACRE to full membership at its meeting on 5 June, with the agreement of all those present.

Faith schools ghettoes for the middle class, warns think-tank

Headteachers should be stripped of the power to pick pupils amid fears the best schools are colonised by middle-class children, according to one of Tony Blair’s favourite think-tanks.

The IPPR says faith schools are 10 times more likely to be over-run with middle-class children compared to other schools

12th February, Darwin Day

Earth-clockMonday 12th February is Darwin Day, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809. Scientists, Humanists and Rationalists around the world will be celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday in a variety of ways.

Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species set out his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Whenever I get the chance, I tell children in Suffolk schools about evolution. It’s surprising, and worrying, how few seem to know much about it. Unless they know the truth, they are susceptible to the lies being promoted by Creationists who are distributing “Intelligent Design” teaching materials wherever they can.

This is how I’ve introduced evolution in schools:

BBC NEWS | Nursery pupils taught philosophy

Children as young as four are being taught philosophy in the nursery, BBC Scotland has learned.

The Clackmannanshire Council initiative is believed to be the first run by a local authority in Britain.

New research from Dundee University suggests learning philosophy raises children’s IQ by up to 6.5 points and improves their emotional intelligence.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Nursery pupils taught philosophy.

It’s not the first time that very young children have been taught philosophy. In 2005, it was reported that children were learning philosophy in Leicester, and there’ve been similar reports from schools in other parts of the country.

A Xmas message to Prof Muller

Professor Dave Muller is Principal of Suffolk College, Ipswich.

For the past 2 or 3 years, the college has had a “Celebration of Community” in the summer term, with a procession through the town and a church service, involving the Mayor and other dignitaries.

We’ve been invited but haven’t attended because we don’t go to church – for obvious reasons. I’ve written to Prof. Muller a couple of times, explaining why we think it’s not a good idea to celebrate the community with a Christian service, and why we won’t join in, but so far he hasn’t replied. So this is what he’s getting with his Xmas card from Suffolk Humanists: