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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renn View Post

    I can understand the 'child abuse' argument, though I'd by no means categorize it that way myself. I guess it's the idea that adults in a position of power, teaching children something that goes against all our scientific understanding of the world, can appear to be an abuse of power. Of course it wouldn't appear that way if you believed in creationism, but apply it to any other belief that flies in the face of science. Would the general public accept government funded schools teaching that people never actually went to the moon, that flying saucers and little green men exist etc.? I genuinely don't know the answer.
    This. Totally how I see it too. It's not "child abuse" per se, but an abuse of power, yes. I think we as a society have an obligation to pass on knowledge to our children, it's a huge responsibility and one that should not be abused.

  2. #22
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    I dont think creationism should be taught in schools - but I dont think funding should be withdrawn from schools who teach it either.

    My Daughter attends a catholic school who certainly teaches creation as part of the religious program.

    When I ask her (year 6) if they taught her evolution she replied "whats evolution" ... but that went on to a conversation about science and the world and she said that her and her friends had already ask in classes etc about the dinosaurs, and all kinds of other critical thinking type questions ...

    I am not super comfortable with the way its done - but neither do I think its harmful in primary school where we can explain that that is what the religion believes etc - but that science proves something different.

    (she is not going to a catholic high school though )

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    No it shouldn't be taught in schools bc it's factually untrue. Now before people get their knickers in a knot..... I'm not saying don't teach God created the Earth/Universe. But Creationism is different - it teaches that the earth is only about 4000 years old, that people lived with dinosaurs and the earth was created in 7 days, all of which are 100% categorically not true.

    If Catholic/religious schools want to teach religion in the context of science - that God created the earth, but ancient people didn't understand science so it was of course billions of years. That dinosaurs existed hundreds of thousands of years before homo sapiens, and God created the Big Bang - I don't have an issue with that. I have family members that are quite religious but believe the above. They believe in science, the Big Bang, just that God made it all come about.

    I still don't feel these beliefs belong in a public school outside of opt-in scripture class.

    Do I think it's damaging? Yes I do.

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    I don't think it should be taught. Than again I don't think any religion should be taught as fact.
    I wouldn't call it child abuse, that would mean telling our kids about Santa etc is abuse.
    I do think it is damaging depending on the age of the child. Young children have a tendency to take something a teacher says as fact and creationism is false. There is no way around it. It's incorrect and has no basis in reality.
    I think if religion is to be taught at all in school it should be presented as a 'this is what various religions around the world think, how they differ, how they are similar, where the history of their beliefs come from' etc
    Scripture classes should be opt in rather than opt out. I also feel quite strongly about the fact that children who don't attend 'religion' classes are given time wasting activities as it is seen as unfair for the religion students to miss out on anything.

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    I think a private or religious schools need to be upfront and transparent about their teachings. I think a public school shouldn't have opt in/out religion, they just shouldn't teach religion, unless it's something that teaches about a range of religious beliefs.
    And no I don't think funding should be withdrawn.

    I don't think its child abuse at all, this would mean the Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa would be in that area too.

    I attended a catholic school, by no means is this drilled into students as a be all end all fact, schools generally teach science as well, where children are then taught about evolution, I don't remember this at all being confusing. I really do not believe it damages children in any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparklebug View Post
    I think a private or religious schools need to be upfront and transparent about their teachings. I think a public school shouldn't have opt in/out religion, they just shouldn't teach religion, unless it's something that teaches about a range of religious beliefs.
    And no I don't think funding should be withdrawn.

    I don't think its child abuse at all, this would mean the Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa would be in that area too.

    I attended a catholic school, by no means is this drilled into students as a be all end all fact, schools generally teach science as well, where children are then taught about evolution, I don't remember this at all being confusing. I really do not believe it damages children in any way.
    I attended a private Christian school for primary as well, I learned about science, evolution, and dinosaurs but also about Adam and Eve, Noah, etc. Like a-squared said, I think it helped with my critical thinking because I can remember always trying to figure out how it all could have happened and deep down I knew science was right and the other stuff was unproven 'stories.' I was always asking questions and do not remember feeling confused. It obviously comes down to the types of teachers you have teaching you about both science and creationism and also your parents. If your parents are devoutly religious then it doesn't really matter where you go to school, you will be being taught that creationism is fact.

    I do not think private schools should lose funding as long as they are upfront about what and how they teach and I do not think it is a form of child abuse. I think I'm ok with children learning about it, as long as they are also presented with what science says. I think it would be great for public schools to have a world religions class that one can choose to take, I took one at uni and found it so interesting, I think it would only benefit to learn about all of the different beliefs.

    I feel like I'm not being very articulate right now. Tired. Jetlagged. Wine.

    I shall be back!

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  9. #27
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    @HollyGolightly81 I myself am having a problem with articulation at the moment, but yes I agree.

    The one thing I do remember is bombarding our re teacher with questions regarding evolution when we wanted to waste some time and get out of some work.

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    I am a private school teacher, & creation is in our curriculum. My thoughts are varied, so I'll try to articulate them with some clarity!

    I'm fine with creation being taught as a part of the curriculum, as in, 'this is what the bible teaches about creation'. But I do think evolution needs to be taught alongside it. It generates really positive discussion in the students about religion and science, and how we can reconcile the two. I enjoy science & I personally feel that science intertwines really beautifully with religion - the two dont have to be opposing forces - but I also believe strongly in God and I believe strongly in science, so I guess I feel like I dont have to choose 'one or the other'.
    I dont think any good can come out of purposely ommitting current scientific knowledge from the curriculum in religious schools. We should be teaching kids what we know and understand, and how we came to that conclusion. I'm thinking particularly of someone I know who was home-schooled in a religious home. She argues fervently against evolution and often says things like 'I cant believe people actually believe we evolved from monkeys!' and I'm like.... 'ummmm..... no-one believes that'. She just has no understanding of evolution whatsoever, which doesnt help her argument at all.
    Also, I hate hearing about how religion is taught in public schools. I think it's more damaging to have an untrained, over-zealous christian come into a classroom of children of varying beliefs, and tell them everything they know is wrong, and THIS is what they shouls believe instead. How confusing. It doesnt help the cause of science OR religion. I had to go to uni for 4 years to learn how to teach well. As I said, in our private school, religion and science are taught together and intertwined, so students can think about how the two can work together and apart.
    In SA, we have to justify our private school curriculum. It is presented before the non-government registration body, who make sure we are doing the right thing and teaching kids correctly. So we are allowed to have creation in our curriculum, but we do have to justify it's place, and demonstrate how we teach science correctly as to not disadvantage our students or fail to teach them what they need to know.

    I hope i've made some sense with my many, jumbled thoughts!

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    I agree Cheeesecake. I attended catholic schools most of my schooling, and while I feel there is little room for free thought, I find scripture in the public system is way way worse. I've been very clear in the past expressing that I'm not a fan of untrained people teaching kids, be it home schooling or volunteers coming in for scripture. So that is one component, the volunteers are not teachers. The second is that I know the catholic system has their own curriculum for RE. So teachers are not only *real* teachers, they have a clearly governed path.

    I find the group who run scripture, Aware Ministries, nothing but pushy evangelists sending untrained and over zealous people into schools. Some of the stories I have heard has been appalling and I've seen it first hand with my first child. She brought home a seemingly innocent dot to dot for Easter. I forget the exact wording but it was very close to 'only believers go to heaven the rest are left in hell/purgatory'. After that she was in non-scripture.

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  14. #30
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    I know it's not the topic of the thread, but I have a huge problem with how religion is taught in public schools too @delirium, & I agree with what you've said there. Even though I am a christian & my kids are in a private school & religion is heavily intertwined throughout the curriculum, I think if we were in a public school, I would opt out of RE for my kids. It should be a trained teacher teaching a 'world religions' class & focussing on tolerance and understanding of all religions. The vitrol I see on fb etc agains some religions - particularly islam at the moment - just smacks of ignorance. I want my own kids to understand well about different beliefs and religions so they don't grow up to be bigoted a$$holes.

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