Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, December 04, 2015

Common Core for Religious Education?

In the USA, arguments about common goals of a national curriculum seem to have centered around mathematics. In the UK and Russia the arguments extend to the contents of curricula for religious education.

Although the idea of separation of church and state is seen in most places as a good one, religion is part of the state school curriculum in most places.

Students of comparative politics ought to be able to describe the major issues that arise from discussions about religious curricula in the countries they study.

Religious education in England 'needs overhaul'
Religious education in England's schools needs a total overhaul to bring the subject into the 21st Century, argues a report.

Religious belief has changed sharply in recent years but religious education has not kept pace, says the Goldsmiths, University of London, report.

"Content should reflect the real religious landscape," said co-author Prof Adam Dinham…

Teaching is currently required to reflect mainly Christian traditions while also taking into account the teaching and practices of other principal religions - but official statistics from the 2011 Census showed an increasingly fractured pattern of religious belief, argue the authors…

"The religious landscape now includes religious traditions, informal religion and beliefs as well as non-religious world views," said Prof Dinham.

"We think non-believers and those with informal beliefs need to be treated more seriously as a growing part of the picture."…

Primarily, the authors recommend a national panel to develop a new statutory framework for the subject which would be applicable to all schools and would balance a national approach with local needs.

It should also be compulsory for all students to 16…

The government did not directly respond to calls for reform but a Department for Education spokeswoman said religious education was vitally important to help children develop the British values of tolerance, respect and understanding for others.

"It prepares young people for life in modern Britain and that is why it remains compulsory at all key stages…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

The Comparative Government and Politics Review Checklist.

Two pages summarizing the course requirements to help you review and study for the final and for the big exam in May. It contains a description of comparative methods, a list of commonly used theories, a list of vital concepts, thumbnail descriptions of the AP6, and a description of the AP exam format. $2.00. Order HERE.

Just The Facts! 2nd edition is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.

Just The Facts! is available. Order HERE.

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What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.

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What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, the original version and v2.0 are available to help curriculum planning.

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