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Old 17 Apr 2012, 10:48 AM   #355464 / #1
neilstone40
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Default Paganism to be included in the school curriculum?

Apologies in advance for posting something from the Daily Mail. Best not to take it as in any way literal or accurate (just like a few other scribblings I could mention...)

Quote:
Paganism has been included in an official school religious education syllabus for the first time.

Cornwall Council has told its schools that pagan beliefs, which include witchcraft, druidism and the worship of ancient gods such as Thor, should be taught alongside Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The requirements are spelled out in an agreed syllabus drawn up by Cornwall’s RE advisory group.

So you'd think that those who advocate that religion has a place in Education would be delighted...


Quote:
Mike Judge, Christian Institute spokesman, said: ‘Religious education is squeezed already – there’s barely enough time to cover Christianity and the other major religions.

'Introducing paganism is just faddish and has more to do with the political correctness of teachers than the educational needs of children.’
Anyone else suspect that his inclusion of "and the other major world religions" may have followed a protracted "...err, ah, um - oh and..."?

The often grey area of interpretation between what is Religious Education and what qualifies as worship has been a thorn in my side for years.

Personally I'm keen for kids to learn about religions while not not being required to worship at school but have often believed it should be taught in a similar way to how kids learn about the Gods of Mount Olympus or the Norse Gods with no religious belief presented as more valid (or possibly less ridiculous) than another..

Full article here...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1sEzKzemf
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 11:19 AM   #355466 / #2
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yeah, herding cats that will be.

and yeah, not unexpected reaction.

coffee... must have...
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 12:44 PM   #355498 / #3
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Well I've always thought it good to include all religions if we are to teach creationism -- including paganism, witchcraft, satan worship, etc...
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 02:06 PM   #355524 / #4
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As an occultist myself, I think it's great! There's no reason why witchcraft, paganism and occultism shouldn't be taught as alternative worldviews. I don't think people should be forced to believe in them, but I don't see any reason why people shouldn't be taught about them and left to make up their own minds as to what they personall think.

One day, I'd like to teach children about magick, witchcraft and occultism myself. I'd like to set up a voluntary group for any children who are interested in such things to come and learn about them in the setting of, say, a library, for instance. I would teach them of such things as magick, astral projection, mediumship and general occultism from the angle of it being true and valid but would reinforce to them that they should make their own minds up as to whether they personally believe in it themselves - I just like the idea of showing them differing viewpoints and theories.

So again, as an occultist, if religions are to be taught in schools in the UK (and I personally have no problem with children being taught about religions, as long as they are not forced to practice them) then I think it's only fair that faiths such as witchcraft and paganism should be included to an extent.
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 02:40 PM   #355532 / #5
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Teach the controversy! They don't like it when the tables are turned though. I have no problem with teaching comparative religion - just when RE classes are used as an excuse to evangelize a single religion.
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 03:33 PM   #355548 / #6
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Classrooms could really do with arguments about whether raccoon or squirrel hide makes a better shamanic medicine pouch. Teach that shit!

Who needs arithmetic anyway? It just turns some kids into winners and we can't have that can we?
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 04:03 PM   #355561 / #7
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The comments on the Mail link were interesting - the best rated ones, anyway.

David
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 04:23 PM   #355564 / #8
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If the class is World Religions then it should all be in there. Even more so since some of those practices are historical to Britain and have some cultural context.
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 04:52 PM   #355567 / #9
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Wait, most British schools don't? What bloody use is a religions class if it doesn't even cover the major faiths in your own country? Then, too, modern Wicca originated in the UK; even if it were now extinct, you should should still talk about it.
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 04:57 PM   #355569 / #10
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I like this superfluous paragraph in the article:

Cornish pagans include witches Cassandra and Laetitia Latham-Jones, who dress in robes, own broomsticks and a black cat and cast spells. Their website says they offer baby blessings, psychic house cleansings and spells to suit particular situations.

Aren't all of those things, except for possibly the cat and the house cleansings, equally true of, say, an Anglican deacon? Sometimes wears robes, owns a broom, offers "prayers" for special occasions? Exorcisms used to be in vogue too, for that matter.
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 06:07 PM   #355585 / #11
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One thing that sprang to mind when I read this article was that in High School, I had the same teacher for Religious Education as I had for Classical Studies (studying the Romans, Greeks, Vikings, etc).

While she had a passion for teaching about 'old religions and their mythology' (as she titled them), she was extremely sensitive about anyone referring to Judeo Christian beliefs as 'mythology'.

IIRC I actually got four strokes of the belt for referring making some reference which included the words Jesus & mythology in the same sentence.

I can visualise the public outcry though if they ever teach kids about Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism and various other beliefs and practices. After all, the church has been working hard to demonise/persecute/kill their adherents for centuries...lets see the Pope or other Christian leaders blame atheists and secularists for that one...
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 06:11 PM   #355589 / #12
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Since they are embedded in a 'largely Christian' culture, there should be little or no need to cover Christian materials, as the students should already have a rudimentary understanding and can get plenty of (probably conflicting) commentary and explication from their family and friends....paganism and those 'other major religions' could use some illustration and explanation, though.

I think they should have a "Which is more silly?" aspect to the regular RE curricula, outlining one belief and then selecting a similar Christian belief (as the predominant religious paradigm) and having the students compare and contrast and provide their rationales for selecting the one they did.
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Old 17 Apr 2012, 09:59 PM   #355640 / #13
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http://thedevilspanties.com/archives/6335
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Old 18 Apr 2012, 06:39 AM   #355781 / #14
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This one is weird to me, because I'm used to thinking of the UK as being more secular-minded than my own country; I forget that the situation on the ground is actually rather more complex than that. I can imagine someone making a media blitz about teaching about Wicca here, maybe, but really it wouldn't seem as odd as all that. Not to half the country, anyway. Not really to any of it. Some might disagree, but we've come to expect "inclusive" educational programs that bring up minorities and so forth.
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Old 18 Apr 2012, 09:00 AM   #355804 / #15
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In UK state schools, discussion of anything other than Christianity has traditionally tended to be a fairly token gesture. There is some more time being given to other religious beliefs, particularly in areas where there are significant populations of Muslim or Hindu families but nothing to write home about.

That said, there remains a major imbalance in favour of presenting Christian belief, particularly when it comes to communal acts of worship. My kids have never experienced any other beliefs being incorporated into acts of worship at school despite their high school having a large Muslim population and also one the the main population clusters in Scotland for Jews.

In RE, again the vast majority tends to be Christian based with a very occasional 'dip' into other beliefs.

In the last Scottish census, the vast majority of people did not identify as Christian (statistically more so than the rest of the UK IIRC). It seems strange and anachronistic that it continues to have such a privileged place in the education system.
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Old 18 Apr 2012, 12:54 PM   #355838 / #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilstone40 View Post
In the last Scottish census, the vast majority of people did not identify as Christian (statistically more so than the rest of the UK IIRC). It seems strange and anachronistic that it continues to have such a privileged place in the education system.
One could have an entire interesting career investigating the "correlation vs. causation" of that particular situation.
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Old 20 Apr 2012, 07:58 AM   #356628 / #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
Wait, most British schools don't? What bloody use is a religions class if it doesn't even cover the major faiths in your own country? Then, too, modern Wicca originated in the UK; even if it were now extinct, you should should still talk about it.
What's with the implications of a dead past. I've met some of these people - not the well publicised ones - though they do seem mainly to be ladies. But so far as I've heard they don't go for weird ceremonies in the innumerable stone circles around here.
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