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Primary Schools need more diverse Religious Ed, says research

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 15/10/2015. Primary Schools need more diverse Religious Ed, says researchTags: Education And Politics Religion

A research paper by sociologists at Trinity College Dublin have found that religious education in state run primary schools in Ireland should include teachings about different faiths outside christianity to correspond with our growing multi ethnic and multi faith society.

In Ireland, 90% of primary schools are patroned by the catholic church and non catholic children who attend these schools have an option of ‘opting out’. However, the authors of the paper entitled 'Religious Diversity in Primary Schools: Reflections from the Republic of Ireland', argue that if religion is taught by the state in non-denominational schools it should be taught universally and not restricted.

According to article in the Irish Times yesterday, the authors of the paper, led by Prof Daniel Faas, Associate Professor in Sociology, argued that religion in Irish schools needs more debate as there are many positive aspects to religious studies. He writes:

“Rather than limited to the provision of information about religious and nonreligious traditions, the approach should enable students to think critically about religions and to be able to discuss religious and ethical matters in an informed way.”

The authors believe that rather than promoting one religion more than another, the benefits of students learning about all religions will in turn help them gain tolerance and understanding in our modern multicultural society.

“Religious education in schools has the potential to promote tolerance, teach about human rights and challenge discrimination. Rather than a challenge, religious and moral education (as opposed to indoctrination) should be seen as an opportunity to help younger people to understand and respect the increasingly diverse world and communities around them without compromising their own sense of self and their identity.”

Source: The Irish Times.


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