Religious/Philosophy Education

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mabw
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Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by mabw »

Hi,

Is Religion/ Philosophy taught in public schools in your country? If so, what is covered and how is it tested in standardised tests? I know schools in the UK study the Good News Bible.

I'll be especially interested if you are from a Buddhist country.

I come from a Muslim-majority country. Muslims attend religious classes for a certain number of hours per week while non-Muslims have Moral Education.

Many thanks.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

mabw wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 7:42 am Hi,

Is Religion/ Philosophy taught in public schools in your country? If so, what is covered and how is it tested in standardised tests? I know schools in the UK study the Good News Bible.

I'll be especially interested if you are from a Buddhist country.

I come from a Muslim-majority country. Muslims attend religious classes for a certain number of hours per week while non-Muslims have Moral Education.

Many thanks.
In the US, theoretically religion shouldn't be taught at all in public primary schools, other than in a sociological sense or something.

The reality is very diverse though and does not reflect that, there are plenty of places where the curriculum is fully secular, other places (in the South for instance) where they literally try to teach young earth creationism in schools.

When I was in high school (a while back, I graduated in 1994) the school wouldn't do anything overtly religious, but evangelicals had pull and we were forced to go to thinly-disguised sermons as school assemblies and similar things. Similarly, there were a lot of Christian "clubs" that got preferential treatment, got to use school facilities for their services etc. which as far as I know is not legally kosher, but many places goes on anyway.

Generally though, in larger cities the rules are followed a bit more, so there is very little overt religious teaching in schools.

They also taught virtually nothing about other religions in my high school history classes, it was like they did not really exist. It was all just Christianity.

It's funny because I grew up in the American Southwest, which is highly Hispanic and Catholic, but my history classes that broached the subject of religion all came from the point of view of white protestant culture, essentially.

Philosophy (of the non-religious variety) was available a little in high school if you were a dedicated student, took the right literature classes maybe, but certainly not emphasized. I had a few English classes such as Crime and Punishment that were closest thing you would to an ethics class or something at that level of education.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Australia is a bit of a patchwork / compromise too. Educational standards vary from state to state but all have free state-run schools alongside 'private' or 'independent' schools mostly run by Christian churches (although there are a few Jewish and Muslim schools in our bigger cities, and a few explicitly secular private schools).
The state schools are nominally secular but 'religious education' is normally presented to each class once a week, for 40 minutes or an hour, by a volunteer from a church group, i.e. not a school teacher. Children who are opted out of it by their parents are given something else to do in another room. Most state schools also have some kind of Christmas and Easter celebrations - Santa, Easter eggs, carols, etc, but without a lot of real religion attached and mostly avoidable by those who don't want anything to do with it.
Private, 'independent' and religious schools present a lot more religion and it is more sectarian, but again it varies from school to school. A Catholic primary school I knew well incorporated a very short, student-led, liturgy into the weekly whole-school assembly and a monthly Mass led by the local parish priest. Each class also had a short formal meditation session - five or ten minutes - led by the teacher in the classroom, four days a week. The whole school also put a lot of effort into Easter and Christmas, and had a big Mission Week fundraising event every year.

:namaste:
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mabw
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by mabw »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:00 am
That's interesting. I was under the impression that Australians, similar to Northern Europeans, were largely irreligious.

Anyway, any philosophy at school?
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Kim O'Hara »

mabw wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:52 am
Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:00 am
That's interesting. I was under the impression that Australians, similar to Northern Europeans, were largely irreligious.
We are, but there are still strong traces of our inherited Christian traditions. Not many of us attend church on a weekly or even monthly basis, and most of those who do are over 65, maybe over 75. Congregations have been dwindling for years. Churches have amalgamated parishes and sold off excess church buildings, while there are so few new priests coming out of Catholic seminaries that they have to recruit them from developing nations.
The old parish schools are doing okay mainly because they have such a good sense of community, and the Church supports them partly in the hope that that sense of community brings young families back into the church (I don't know how well that works). The 'independent' schools are bastions of privilege and conservatism, with religion as one strand of the conservatism. (And no, I don't like them or their backers very much at all.)
Anyway, any philosophy at school?
Almost none, unfortunately.
I have heard of a programme called "Philosophy for Children" (P4C) in a couple of state primary schools as an alternative to old-style Religious Education. I thought it was a great idea but since then we've had a Prime Minister who advocated for ministers of religion (Christian, of course) to be paid to go into schools as counsellors (student advisers on life problems) instead of trained (secular) counsellors so any progress has been very slow and scattered.

:namaste:
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mabw
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by mabw »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 8:14 am
Philosophy (of the non-religious variety) was available a little in high school if you were a dedicated student, took the right literature classes maybe, but certainly not emphasized. I had a few English classes such as Crime and Punishment that were closest thing you would to an ethics class or something at that level of education.
Are students exposed to theories on epistemology, ontology or Greek philosophy at school?
mabw
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by mabw »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 12:08 pm
I have heard of a programme called "Philosophy for Children" (P4C) in a couple of state primary schools as an alternative to old-style Religious Education. I thought it was a great idea but since then we've had a Prime Minister who advocated for ministers of religion (Christian, of course) to be paid to go into schools as counsellors (student advisers on life problems) instead of trained (secular) counsellors so any progress has been very slow and scattered.
Woa, that sounds cool. I'll goggle this, thx.

Hmm, if the PM has made such a move on ministers of religion, looks like there's a pretty sizable proportion of Australians between 20-50 ish who are conservative and advocate Christian values as well.
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tkp67
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by tkp67 »

I recall learning in public school on Long Island religion in historical context. It was either associated as a motivator and social policy or as a display of social advancement. American and European history as a cause and effect to establishment of America.

I don't recall any real religious bias either for or against. Must have lucked out demographically since it seems regional schools here don't seem to be too polarized to any one philosophy.
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Malcolm »

mabw wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 1:03 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 8:14 am
Philosophy (of the non-religious variety) was available a little in high school if you were a dedicated student, took the right literature classes maybe, but certainly not emphasized. I had a few English classes such as Crime and Punishment that were closest thing you would to an ethics class or something at that level of education.
Are students exposed to theories on epistemology, ontology or Greek philosophy at school?
Only in private schools, for the most part.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

mabw wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 1:03 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 8:14 am
Philosophy (of the non-religious variety) was available a little in high school if you were a dedicated student, took the right literature classes maybe, but certainly not emphasized. I had a few English classes such as Crime and Punishment that were closest thing you would to an ethics class or something at that level of education.
Are students exposed to theories on epistemology, ontology or Greek philosophy at school?
It depends on the school system I’m sure, but generally not in primary education I’d say. Maybe someone else here has had a different experience.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttadinesso
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by zerwe »

Went to Open School (still within the Public system) in the 1980s and had the opportunity to be introduced to Greek philosophy and many other things.

Shaun :namaste:
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KathyLauren
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by KathyLauren »

In Canada, public schools are supposed to be secular. However, when I was a kid, growing up in a "bible belt" area, they had a daily Bible reading. I doubt if they do that now. Separation of church and state, and all. I don't think it would be allowed now.

Most areas have a separate tax-funded Catholic school system, in which religious education is expected. And of course, private schools can teach whatever they want.

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Nemo
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Nemo »

I did a large unit on Greek myths and religion in high school in Canada. Then self a directed project on Norse mythology. But those things are all cut now. You can take comparative religion in your first year of post secondary though. Once you are exposed to a half dozen crazy religions it gives some perspective on your own sacred cows. Thunder is not Thor's hammer.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Religious/Philosophy Education

Post by Kim O'Hara »

mabw wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 1:08 pm Hmm, if the PM has made such a move on ministers of religion, looks like there's a pretty sizable proportion of Australians between 20-50 ish who are conservative and advocate Christian values as well.
Not really. That particular PM was well to the right of most of his (centre-right) party, which in turn was elected, by a narrow margin, by all ages including the 60+ demographic.
Our current PM is arguably worse, however. He a Pentecostalist and has been filling his team with like-minded people. :toilet:

:coffee:
Kim
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