14 Jun '14

News Faith schools are the issue, not Michael Gove's Trojan horses | The big issue

State support for religious schools may help foster the 'swamp' of values that the education secretary is so concerned aboutCatherine Bennett hits the nail on the head ("Forget these 'Trojan horses' the real issue is faith schools"). Michael Gove, the education secretary, appears incapable of appreciating that his creation of independent academies and support for faith schools may help foster the very "swamp" that he is so concerned about. After all, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arose out of the same pre-Enlightenment, misogynist "values-swamp" from within archaic pastoral cultures.The logic of school secularisation also means replacing RE with cultural anthropology so that children are exposed to a more critical awareness of other cultures and world-views. As a retired social sciences teacher, I have latterly covered many RE classes in academies and, although most RE teachers (mainly practising Christians) are professional in approach, I have witnessed instances of proselytising masquerading as objective teaching. Additionally, many RE teachers are involved in PSHE (personal, social and health education) where their biases about sexuality, sex and relationships are potentially problematic. Religious belief is best left to individuals and families.Philip WoodKidlingtonOxfordshire Continue reading...

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