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Faith School Menace?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Frohicky1, 20 Aug 2010.

  1. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    Hi all,

    I watched Richard Dawkin's program Faith School Menace? on t'box and am wondering what people think. For what it's worth, I think he's completely right, and it's really quite worrying how tremendously infantile the various heads and teachers he interviewed were.
     
  2. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Unfortunately Dawkins is not a psychologist and therefore he can't see why it is important for humans to have religious or philosophical beliefs (even though he has his own beliefs --in the scientific discipline), and why you won't get rid of them by telling people that they are wrong.

    If religion is an opiate for the masses, he is the equivalent of people advocating prohibition to curb drug addiction. Ain't gonna work; people need their mood altering subtances. All you can do is teach people to believe sensibly.
     
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  3. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    way i look at it is this:

    there should be NO faith schools allowed at all. Im all for people believing in whatever they want to believe but not allowing someone to your school because they are not what you beleive is stupid and discriminating.

    im aware they have to allow a certain % of other people but thats equally as retarded.

    If i opened a school and said its a white school or black school but we can take 10% of other ethinic minorities cause goverment says we have to id be shot.

    how is this any different ?
     
  4. TheCherub

    TheCherub Minimodder

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    It's different because faith is a matter of personal choice, whereas country of birth / skin colour is not something that anyone ever get's a chance to chose.

    Whether that's justification or not is another matter entirely!
     
  5. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    just because you choose it doesnt make it NON-discriminating as i doubt many people will be willing to change thier faith to fit.
     
  6. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    I have always been of the belief that Faith Schools should be abolished, regardless of the faith.

    My reasoning being that children (esp young children) are not developed (emotionally or mentally) enough to make the choice, a school should be a place of learning, and religion should be a personal choice when of sufficient maturity.
    I think Religion should be taugh and be part of the curiculum as a choice for further education, however Religion should not steer teaching.
     
  7. memeroot

    memeroot aged and experianced

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    there should be no faith schools funded by the state.
     
  8. Zinfandel

    Zinfandel Modder

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    Agreed 100%.
     
  9. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    I don't think it matters as much as people say, faith schooled or not when a child gets older they will go their own way

    some of the nicest people I know grew up in private christian schools.. then there's people like me, come from a divorced family and very little church as a kid- after seeing how lame and do nothing the other side is.. finally found my own beliefs later

    private schools shouldn't be funded by the state I agree.. any private school- but they do get funding under charters here.. there's a lot of corruption with people starting schools and pocketing the money- the kids don't learn anything

    we had an experience like that once.. the principle of the charter was going on extravagant trips to africa and some of his staff was buying cars- they counted up to 3 mercedes

    it was shut down eventually after an investigation.. but that kind of thing happens a lot when your dealing with government money
     
  10. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Agreed. Somewhat of a paradox, but if a group wants to be accepted as a separate group of people then they need to be prepared to face the same equality measures as other groups. Education is something which should be equally available to all. If a private school offers superior education then anyone should be allowed to join. Obviously that has limitations, a school will have a maximum number of students, but selection should not discriminate on students because of religion.

    As TheCherub says, religion may be a choice, but it is my own opinion that that fact does not make it exempt from equality requirements.

    On a side note, I'm not a personal fan of any private schools being allowed. The concept of selectively allowing or not allowing an education, something which should be available to all, is awful.
     
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  11. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    there are ethnic schools though.. like all one race- by law they have to let others in but it doesn't happen

    some of them work for immigrants who's parents don't speak the language.. gives a good place to start without jumping into public schools where a smart kid might lag behind because of language
     
  12. cyrilthefish

    cyrilthefish What's a Dremel?

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    Really? Please explain why it's important.

    I can just about see the philosophy angle, but i still don't see any justification for religious preaching at school (bar teaching children about* the different religions.)

    If people want to indoctrinate their own children, fine. But let them do it in their own time and without using taxpayer money to do so.

    We need a baseline level of schooling that parents can add to if they feel that something important is missing, that baseline is secular teaching.

    *teaching about the religions vs preaching is an immense difference
     
  13. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    QFT. Dawkins does more to damage what people think of science/scientists than anyone else in my opinion.

    I agree with that completely - religion is a free choice, and it should be a choice, not part of the curriculum.
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I will later. Right now I'm dealing with the unfortunate occurrence of the 'click of death' in my OS harddrive on my main PC --which has instantly killed it. My iPhone does not lend itself to long posts...
     
  15. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    So, we're all of the "laicite" opinion, then? Excellent.

    The curriculum is set by the government bodies designated for it, and shouldn't be open to misinterpretation by any group, religious or otherwise. I'd be against atheist schools just as much as faith schools.
     
  16. Vaio

    Vaio What's a Dremel?

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    While I agree with Dawkin's opinion that faith schools are bad, he doesn't do himself any favours by being such a smug git when pointing it out.
     
  17. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    The problem with the government deciding upon a set curriculum is that a governing body is only as good as the people serving on the committee that determines what should and should not be taught.

    Here in the US, we have a National Education Agency, but specific curricula are predominantly determined at the state and local level. There are good and bad sides to this approach. While local school districts are free to set their own curricula, the downside is that general education can vary widely from city to city, and state to state. Kids in one district may be getting a wholesale different education than kids in the same grade in the district next door. Then there is the problem with apportioning federal money according to performance. Clever schools administrators in affluent districts will fudge the numbers as necessary to guarantee that they get the money they need for a shiny computer lab or - more likely - a new sports stadium.

    Then there is the issue of textbooks and how a state with a large population, such as Texas, can influence the course material nationwide. Being a very conservative state seated firmly in the Bible Belt, there are a number of Christian fundamentalists that sit on the Texas State Board of Education. One board member is a staunch creationist, and he was successful in leading a group of like-minded board members to recommend a number of controversial changes to the Texas curriculum.

    As an aside, Don McLeroy also offers a lesson to people casting the religion net. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and a medical degree in dentistry. Before you label all religious people as utter ponces, keep in mind that this man, while being a self-admitted fundamentalist, has also successfully studied hard sciences. Just food for thought.

    But I digress. Because Texas is such a large state, and therefore buys a relatively large number of textbooks, textbook manufacturers typically print books geared to the Texas model. This has repercussions nation wide, especially in poorer districts that can't afford to buy alternative textbooks. Thankfully, technological advances such as on-demand printing and e-books, have helped to mitigate Texas' influence in the national education scene. However, this whole scenario serves to illustrate the inherent danger in allowing a small group of people to determine nationwide education standards. The governing body is only as good as the people serving on it, and it's only really effective if the members even know what they're doing in the first place. To illustrate, I again turn to the Texas State Board of Education as they sat down to discuss what kids should and shouldn't learn:

    To be fair, while this example serves to illustrate how fundamentalist Christian ideology can make its way into secular schools, it can just as easily be a group of far-left liberals who might like to take out any reference to any of the good things religion has done throughout history.
     
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  18. Vigil

    Vigil Not geek enough

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    I found the arguments a bit forced sometimes but there were several very valid points he made and some blunt truths.

    Dawkins came across as smug because he is also very staunch in his own beliefs and a voiced them in a lecturing tone.

    I went to a catholic primary school and protestant secondary school in Northern Ireland. Both went through the motions of mass at assembly and I remember prayer before lunch when I was little. I treated them as a kind of tiresome and odd tradition because I and my family never had any religious faith of any sort. Either I was entirely oblivious to their indoctrinations or I was like most people and just took the readings to be a nice if slightly disjointed story the teachers liked to read out loud. I also think Dawkins over played the role of religion directly attributing to the divide. It's become a banner that's always flown but I personally think underneath it's a mix of tribalism behaviour and kids who are taking the opportunity to throw rocks.

    However, I just say I was rather dismayed by the Muslim girls in that school and the way their teacher held the Qur'an as a valid argument against science in a science lesson. Salt and fresh water wat? If the students want to practise religion and study the religious literature, fine. Do it in their own time outside of class if they are so devoted. RE should for teaching *about* religion like Geography or History and science lessons about teaching some experimental and analytical skills.

    In the end, I must conclude to keep the RE lessions but take the "faith" bit out of the schools.
     
  19. Krazeh

    Krazeh Minimodder

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    Err, aren't secular schools essentially atheist schools? If atheism is the abssence of belief in the existence of deities then that would pretty much sum up the curriculum taught in state schools in the UK, i.e. it doesn't teach kids that deities do exist and that one or more of them is responsible for the world/universe we see around us. There's nothing about atheism that prevents the teaching or discussion of religious belief systems such as is included in the nation curriculum.
     
  20. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    I was thinking more along the lines of schools that expressly believe in the lack of a God, as opposed to just not being faith-based schools. Apologies for the confusion.
     

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