Despite being the third largest world religion, Hinduism’s relationship to Religious Education feels a little like RE’s relationship with the Curriculum. Teachers know it’s on the syllabus but many can’t quite define what ‘it’ is, attempts to template it alongside its peers don’t really work and as with Religious Education itself; Hinduism seems to split opinion between those that are passionate about its inclusion and those who fail to see its relevance. Needless to say, I am passionate about quality teaching of both Hinduism and RE.
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When giving instruction to Muslim and non-muslim students in the UK, one area of the curriculum on Islam covers Forms of expression and ways of life. This scopes to Muslim identity expressed through the ummah including the ceremonies for welcoming a child into the ummah; expectations about modesty including dress codes; one national Muslim organisation working to relieve poverty and suffering in the UK and halal and haram; categories, how they are applied to laws of food and drink, and so forth. Here Dr Matthew Wilkinson alerts us to the need to consider history.
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When we look to Judaism, we look to public acts of worship such as synagogue services and the use of Tenakh and Talmud in daily life. There is the worship in the home and private prayer, prayer in Jewish worship including amidah – the standing prayer and rituals such asbirth ceremonies; Bar and Bat Mitzvah; marriage; mourning rituals. Children are taught about Shabbat in the home and synagogue, the Jewish Festivals including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. What is an effective education in Judaism for children in Schools? Here, one UK teacher criticizes elements of the curriculam and makes suggestions.
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An ideal lesson plan on Sikhism might scope to creating small groups, allocating one or another aspect of Sikhism and setting off to research their topic in relation to Sikhism. They may be researching Sikh practices, Sikh language, Sikh culture, etc. They may use the internet, encyclopedias, and other books to supplement their research. The outcomes might be presented as write a song, a poster, a PowerPoint presentation, ‘teach’ the class in a mini-lesson, write a short play, etc. How do we inspire teachers to be confident “out of the box”?
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UK: How could the teaching of Buddhism be improved in schools?
Observations about the delivery of Buddhist RE to students in the UK refer to Systematic and traditional delivery, addressing the usual main topics : The Three Jewels, (i.e. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eight Fold Path, etc. There is a Thematic strand, e.g. Exploration of religious founders, rites of passage and festivals, specific virtues and ethical values such as forgiveness, selfless and charitable behaviour, etc, along with a Comparative approach : i.e. Buddhism taught alongside another faith such as Christianity.
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The Australian Multicultural Council was commissioned by the Australian Government to examine aspects of Social Cohesion in Australia, and the role of interfaith dialogue in building and maintaining social cohesion. This report examines social cohesion, religion, national engagement in Interfaith Dialogue, and opportunities for strengthening interfaith dialogue. The various topics of roundtable discussion were – inter alia – Interfaith sector and social cohesion, Interfaith and anti-racism, Interfaith education and Inclusion in interfaith dialogue.
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In recent years, the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department in Toronto, Canada has committed itself to building a website featuring curriculum and useful educational resources for interfaith work. These resources include online courses, toolkits, best practices, do-it-yourself workshops, activities, multifaith prayer services, guidelines, games, meditations, Powerpoint, etc.
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Project Interfaith has a library of recommended reading for Children. On this page, we append the recommended reading list for Children ages 7 – 10
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Project Interfaith has a library of recommended reading for Children. On this page, we append the recommended reading list for Children ages 3 – 6
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The Green Rule poster is derived from the classic Golden Rule found in major faith traditions, paraphrasing it by saying: “Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.” This is a Poster with sayings from many of the world’s great religious & spiritual traditions, showing that at their core all have an awareness of the sacredness of creation. Study guide available.
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