Can Special Religious Education and Secular Ethics Education Foster Growth?

An Analysis of the New South Wales Primary Ethics Controversy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther

Abstract

In 2010, a secular ethics curriculum was developed by philosopher Philip Cam and the St James Ethics Centre and trialled in 10 NSW government primary schools. It is now taught in over 350 schools. It was introduced as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) classes, which the 1990 NSW Education Act required all state schools to offer. Special Religious Education (SRE) aims to instil in students the beliefs and values of a particular religion (predominantly Christianity in Australia). This is distinct from General Religious Education (GRE), which involves a study of world religions. The now amended 1990 Education Act specifically stated that secular ethics classes were not to be run concurrently with SRE. I will draw upon Dewey’s notions of the self and growth to argue that schooling must provide students with the opportunity to critically inquire into diverse cultural knowledge and practices, including religious and ethical beliefs. SRE, GRE and secular ethics classes all have weaknesses in regards to their ability to foster such critical inquiry. SRE’s dogmatism and narrow focus renders it the most problematic of the three. An approach which integrates aspects of GRE and philosophy based ethics may be the most facilitative of growth. This perspective extends upon the views Nel Noddings and Stephan Law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages5
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
EventAustralasian Association of Philosophy - Monash University (Caulfield), Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 3 Jul 20167 Jul 2017
https://aap.org.au/Conference/Accepted-Abstracts

Conference

ConferenceAustralasian Association of Philosophy
Abbreviated titleAAP Conference
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period3/07/167/07/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • religious education
  • ethics education
  • John Dewey
  • philosophy of education
  • children's rights
  • philosophy in schools

Cite this

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title = "Can Special Religious Education and Secular Ethics Education Foster Growth?: An Analysis of the New South Wales Primary Ethics Controversy",
abstract = "In 2010, a secular ethics curriculum was developed by philosopher Philip Cam and the St James Ethics Centre and trialled in 10 NSW government primary schools. It is now taught in over 350 schools. It was introduced as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) classes, which the 1990 NSW Education Act required all state schools to offer. Special Religious Education (SRE) aims to instil in students the beliefs and values of a particular religion (predominantly Christianity in Australia). This is distinct from General Religious Education (GRE), which involves a study of world religions. The now amended 1990 Education Act specifically stated that secular ethics classes were not to be run concurrently with SRE. I will draw upon Dewey’s notions of the self and growth to argue that schooling must provide students with the opportunity to critically inquire into diverse cultural knowledge and practices, including religious and ethical beliefs. SRE, GRE and secular ethics classes all have weaknesses in regards to their ability to foster such critical inquiry. SRE’s dogmatism and narrow focus renders it the most problematic of the three. An approach which integrates aspects of GRE and philosophy based ethics may be the most facilitative of growth. This perspective extends upon the views Nel Noddings and Stephan Law.",
keywords = "religious education, ethics education, John Dewey, philosophy of education, children's rights, philosophy in schools",
author = "Bleazby, {Jennifer Bernadette}",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
language = "English",
pages = "5",
note = "Australasian Association of Philosophy, AAP Conference ; Conference date: 03-07-2016 Through 07-07-2017",
url = "https://aap.org.au/Conference/Accepted-Abstracts",

}

Can Special Religious Education and Secular Ethics Education Foster Growth? An Analysis of the New South Wales Primary Ethics Controversy. / Bleazby, Jennifer Bernadette.

2016. 5 Abstract from Australasian Association of Philosophy, Melbourne, Australia.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther

TY - CONF

T1 - Can Special Religious Education and Secular Ethics Education Foster Growth?

T2 - An Analysis of the New South Wales Primary Ethics Controversy

AU - Bleazby, Jennifer Bernadette

PY - 2016/6

Y1 - 2016/6

N2 - In 2010, a secular ethics curriculum was developed by philosopher Philip Cam and the St James Ethics Centre and trialled in 10 NSW government primary schools. It is now taught in over 350 schools. It was introduced as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) classes, which the 1990 NSW Education Act required all state schools to offer. Special Religious Education (SRE) aims to instil in students the beliefs and values of a particular religion (predominantly Christianity in Australia). This is distinct from General Religious Education (GRE), which involves a study of world religions. The now amended 1990 Education Act specifically stated that secular ethics classes were not to be run concurrently with SRE. I will draw upon Dewey’s notions of the self and growth to argue that schooling must provide students with the opportunity to critically inquire into diverse cultural knowledge and practices, including religious and ethical beliefs. SRE, GRE and secular ethics classes all have weaknesses in regards to their ability to foster such critical inquiry. SRE’s dogmatism and narrow focus renders it the most problematic of the three. An approach which integrates aspects of GRE and philosophy based ethics may be the most facilitative of growth. This perspective extends upon the views Nel Noddings and Stephan Law.

AB - In 2010, a secular ethics curriculum was developed by philosopher Philip Cam and the St James Ethics Centre and trialled in 10 NSW government primary schools. It is now taught in over 350 schools. It was introduced as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) classes, which the 1990 NSW Education Act required all state schools to offer. Special Religious Education (SRE) aims to instil in students the beliefs and values of a particular religion (predominantly Christianity in Australia). This is distinct from General Religious Education (GRE), which involves a study of world religions. The now amended 1990 Education Act specifically stated that secular ethics classes were not to be run concurrently with SRE. I will draw upon Dewey’s notions of the self and growth to argue that schooling must provide students with the opportunity to critically inquire into diverse cultural knowledge and practices, including religious and ethical beliefs. SRE, GRE and secular ethics classes all have weaknesses in regards to their ability to foster such critical inquiry. SRE’s dogmatism and narrow focus renders it the most problematic of the three. An approach which integrates aspects of GRE and philosophy based ethics may be the most facilitative of growth. This perspective extends upon the views Nel Noddings and Stephan Law.

KW - religious education

KW - ethics education

KW - John Dewey

KW - philosophy of education

KW - children's rights

KW - philosophy in schools

M3 - Abstract

SP - 5

ER -