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EFTRE Conference – Bruges/ Brugge 2010 Inclusion and Controversial Issues in the R.E. classroom PowerPoint Presentation
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EFTRE Conference – Bruges/ Brugge 2010 Inclusion and Controversial Issues in the R.E. classroom

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EFTRE Conference – Bruges/ Brugge 2010 Inclusion and Controversial Issues in the R.E. classroom

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  1. EFTRE Conference – Bruges/Brugge 2010Inclusion and Controversial Issuesin the R.E. classroom A Northern Ireland Perspective

  2. Today’s Session • Purpose - Explanation • Introductions • Understanding Controversial Issues in the classroom • Key Issues and Principles • Sample Practical Activities • Discussion of Scenarios • Handout and close

  3. Introductions • Take a moment to think / discuss • Then share with the group: • Your name & where you are from • How you would define your own religious / cultural identity • Something in religion that angers / frustrates you about inequality or the lack of inclusion (one sentence) • Something you can learn / have learned from religion about including others (one sentence)

  4. Controversial Issues in R.E. Why are they significant for R.E. teachers? • Religion is a controversial area • Religious issues evoke particular controversies in some countries / regions • Northern Ireland – Middle East … • R.E. as a subject in schools is often controversial • what … why … how … to teach R.E.? • Teachers need to be aware of the issues and have skills in how to deal with them

  5. Key Issues and Principles for teaching religion - a brief summary • Mutual respect must be encouraged • Purposes should be clear - • education & exploration - not instruction • Teachers model how to talk about religion - especially religious identity & difference: • this is a way of learning dialogue among equals • avoidancefor fear of “offence” is unhelpful • we should acknowledge differenceswithinas well as between religions – intercultural learning • the creation of safe space in the classroom is crucial

  6. Key Issues and Principles for teaching religion - continued • Human Encounter is crucial • inter-religious & intercultural learning is very difficult when religious teaching/learning is separate! • people articulate and explore their ideas as individuals and as members of communities • People must be able to speak for themselves • People must be allowed to interpret their beliefs and experiences and express them to others in their own way • An ethos of respect is fundamental See handout for more details

  7. Ground Rules

  8. Practical Activities • Paired work • Line-ups • Walking Debates • Scenarios

  9. ScenariosWhat are your options? What should you do? • A parent requests to withdraw their child from R.E. unless their own religion is being taught. • Your school decides on a policy of “no religious displays” – symbols, dress, artefacts. A parent asks you to help them change the policy. • A discussion on world poverty is sidetracked when some pupils frequently make remarks about other pupils who are asylum-seekers from poorer countries. • A Muslim pupil joins a fairly monocultural class and anti-Muslim graffiti begins to appear around the school. • A small number of pupils in your class are from quite poor immigrant families. You have to decide if it is okay to teach about poverty and need.

  10. Closing Statement Something positive that I can take away from this session – or that I would like to think more about – is …

  11. Thank you Norman Richardson Stranmillis University College, Belfast n.richardson@stran.ac.uk