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A school of thought: why British pupils should study philosophy

June 21, 2018

Does culture make us more human? Is desire a mark of imperfection? To prove an injustice, do you need to know what is just? These were some of questions French high-school students faced this week in the philosophy exams that children all over the country are required to sit. When the questions were tweeted by an AFP reporter, a further question was raised: should British children be doing more philosophy, too? There is already a reasonably large movement of philosophy...

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Lack of good religious education ‘leaves pupils at risk’

February 17, 2018

Do different religions have separate heavens? Where do morals come from? What is the difference between Jesus in the Bible and in other scriptures? These are just some of the questions the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) says that secondary school pupils grapple with on a regular basis. But the REC is warning that a shortage of religious education teachers could contribute to religious stereotyping and discrimination, leaving pupils at risk of becoming ignorant, or bigoted. It...

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Schools break law on religious education, research suggests

September 17, 2017

More than a quarter of England’s secondary schools do not offer religious education, despite the law saying they must, suggests research given to BBC local radio. The National Association for RE teachers obtained unpublished official data under Freedom of Information law. It says that missing the subject leaves pupils unprepared for modern life. But the main union for secondary head teachers said many schools covered religious issues in other lessons. “They might be teaching through conferences, they might be using...

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Ban parents from pulling children out of religious education classes, Church of England says

April 27, 2017

Parents should be banned from pulling their children out of religious education classes because they are preventing students from learning about Islam, the Church of England has warned. Derek Holloway, the Church’s lead on religious education (RE) policy, said that those with “fundamentalist” religious beliefs are “exploiting” laws which give them the right to withdraw children from the lessons, in order to stop them from learning about the Muslim faith. He said that parents are using a “dubious interpretation of...

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Philosophy can teach children what Google can’t

April 2, 2017

At the controls of driverless cars, on the end of the telephone when you call your bank or favourite retailer: we all know the robots are coming, and in many cases are already here. Back in 2013, economists at Oxford University’s Martin School estimated that in the next 20 years, more than half of all jobs would be substituted by intelligent technology. Like the prospect of robot-assisted living or hate it, it is foolish to deny that children in school...

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