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Religion in schools

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mdg
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« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2010, 10:03:47 AM »

Thanks for the book suggestion Brian. We're seriously considering going this route with my grandson. He's a creative and intelligent little chap and I hate to see that spark of curiosity and creativity squashed by our schooling system.

That said, though, I homeschooled my 2 kids years ago when it was still illegal to do so and let me tell you it's not as easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of dedication and self discipline, and the younger the kids are the better. Be warned though, most of the home schooling suppliers are very, VERY christian and all text books are filled to bursting with god and christianity. You have to be registered with one of these places which in turn are registered with the dept of education so that the kids can write exams.
I tossed all text books and got what I needed at a place in Rosebank called School and Playroom; they have an amazing selection of text books and reading books for kids in grade 0 to matric.

You can also register to homeschool with Brainline, which is not overly religious and I don't think that their syllabus is soaked in god stuff. The positive things about Brainline is that it is available in Afrikaans, they set up socials and you can register your kids to do a Cambridge curriculum and write the Cambridge exams. It is more expensive though.

As Einstein said, "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."

mdg
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #61 on: August 31, 2010, 10:07:23 AM »

Why not start a Students Sceptic Association?
Any thoughts or ideas my brilliant Skeptic.ZA friends?
I think that's brilliant...it will get the debating Society off their arsses as well... have a debate on pro and cons of religion (Is religion good or bad for education? or something like that) (not evolution as the antithesis)
Yay! Support. BTW I think that the intent of evolution has never been to "disprove religion" - the intent of scientists has always simply been to find out what happened in the past by looking at the evidence. It is only believers who think evolution is "anti-Christian".
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GCG
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« Reply #62 on: August 31, 2010, 10:22:24 AM »

imagine the teacher's faces when you have like one of these little dance troups rocking up at a school, and instead of getting the kids excited about JC, instead they get them stoked about evolution.  what a lag.
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Brian
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« Reply #63 on: August 31, 2010, 10:26:13 AM »

Why not start a Students Sceptic Association?
Any thoughts or ideas my brilliant Skeptic.ZA friends?
I think that's brilliant...it will get the debating Society off their arsses as well... have a debate on pro and cons of religion (Is religion good or bad for education? or something like that) (not evolution as the antithesis)
Yay! Support. BTW I think that the intent of evolution has never been to "disprove religion" - the intent of scientists has always simply been to find out what happened in the past by looking at the evidence. It is only believers who think evolution is "anti-Christian".
absolutely and it's their way to distract attention from arguments against religion
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2010, 10:26:37 AM »

You can also register to homeschool with Brainline ...

Just checked out the Brainline site - looks awesome, thanks mdg. My son has actually been bleeting about home-schooling for some time now and this looks as if it could be a viable option.

Aaah - I LOVE this site and all you clever people. Thanks for the heads-up mdg.
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Faerie
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« Reply #65 on: August 31, 2010, 13:17:15 PM »

Hey! I've just had an idea! *PING*

I'm going to bounce it off my son this afternoon: Why not start a Students Sceptic Association? SSA! Coool! It can be a kind of counter-club for the SCA - heheh. It may be a mission getting permission and all that, but it may also start some healthy dialogue if anything else. And it will also provide a forum for support/friendships etc. to develop at school, and give our kids something active to do (prepare meetings, guest speakers, debates etc.) within their field of interest.

Any thoughts or ideas my brilliant Skeptic.ZA friends?

Both my boys would likely be interested in joining something like this.
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Lilli
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« Reply #66 on: September 01, 2010, 08:03:00 AM »

...Why not start a Students Sceptic Association? SSA! Coool! It can be a kind of counter-club for the SCA - heheh. It may be a mission getting permission and all that, but it may also start some healthy dialogue if anything else. And it will also provide a forum for support/friendships etc. to develop at school, and give our kids something active to do (prepare meetings, guest speakers, debates etc.) within their field of interest.

Any thoughts or ideas my brilliant Skeptic.ZA friends?
I don't have kids, but I know that I would have loved something like this when I was a kid.
I think a lot of the kids in schools today who are having problems 'fitting in' as a result of their non-christian views feel alone, but that their views are way more common, even among children, than they think. A club like this would provide a platform for like-minded youngsters to find each other, not to mention the obvious benefits of sparking and encouraging debate and critical thinking. As for the 'permission' problem - the wording will have to be chosen carefully so as to not give the school the idea that it is essentially 'un-christian' but rather put the focus on critical thinking, science, and argumentative and public speaking skills. No way any school could label a club like that as uneducational, and that is ultimately what the school is supposed to do, isn't it - educate.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 15:19:42 PM by Lilli » Logged
StevoMuso
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« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2010, 13:25:17 PM »

No way any school could label a club like that as uneducational, and that is ultimately what the school is supposed to d, isn't it - educate.
Wish THAT were true. More like indoctrinate, sadly, in SA ... educate? maybe one day.
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Faerie
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« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2011, 09:55:17 AM »

On Friday afternoon my youngest (grade 8 this year), slithers into the studio with a sly grin on his face.  "Guess what Ma!", feeling rather weary (had a crappy day), I just do the eyebrow thing. "I got myself indoctrinated today!" so having my attention now, he brings forth the "gift" the school presented to him at the introduction ceremony they attended that morning - a pretty little pocket bible with his name engraved in front.....

Annoying, to say the least. I'm relieved though, that the lad loves taking the piss out of these type of things, so I didnt do too badly in instilling rational thinking in him. I saw it laying in the Ronnie bag this morning, so he's doing his bit for the environment too by recycling waste paper.  Grin
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« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2011, 17:20:44 PM »

good lad.  and good on you!
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Wandapec
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« Reply #70 on: February 08, 2011, 22:36:31 PM »

Very clever!
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Barryl
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« Reply #71 on: May 12, 2011, 10:54:50 AM »

On Tuesday (10/05) I listened to "Praat Saam" on RSG when they had an academic from UP (University of Pretoria) as a guest speaker on this popular phone-in programme. The topic was centrered around aberrant social beviour in general. But the point I want to stress is this: the academic made a statement during one of his replies, in saying that since religion had been abolished in schools there was an increase in criminal behaviour amongst students/learners. This may be true but I want to emphasise  that it is not the absence of religious dogma that could be linked to a higher incidence of crime but the absence of fostering an ethical training/educational system. After all ethics is common to all religions. So I suggest that in place of teaching religion (in my and many minds = taboo) teach/train/coach basic ethics at school. This could be combined with the teaching of critical and creative  thinking. I am very much an atheist-cum-humanist and believe only man can solve his own problems. Could this possibly be a task/challenge/contribution of an envisaged freethinking/atheist/humanist/may be pantheist organisation initiated by us? Such an organization could be instrumental to influence (intellectually/emotionally) the authorities to pursue such an educational direction.

I feel guilty myself and may be on behalf of many other freethinker/atheists/skeptics that we have pointed out the flaws and absurdities of religion(s) especially the Mosaic-religions. But what about the re-construction of the present relgious/social set-up? Can the vacuum be filled? Or should it be a gradual process - no vacuum ? People will always need to gather and socialize; they will always need  some motivation and inspiration. But these processes should be based on such criteria (rational and irrational) which are not in conflict with scientific facts. What can we, as freethinkers, constructively contribute?
We can teach (and I have done it with my only son, now 30) our children to be skeptical (successfully) but they feel alien in this world inhabited by irrational/viral-infected  thinkers (because they were raised to be so). Most of the new skeptical thinkers will come from the youth. Because you cannot (easily) teach old dogs new tricks.

A very good source for creational/critical thinking is Dr Edward de Bono (His books were some of my Unisa textbooks). Visit his website.
http://www.edwarddebono.com/Default.php

Steven Pinker's books are also very informative icw learning and training.

I sincerely hope that we can and will be able to contribute to the climate (mindset) to make a positive impact on many people's lives.

Explanations: 1. pantheist- is a naturalist, sees nature in stead of god
              2. emotional appeal - emotion should be part of the communication process with irrationally inclined people
                                    Helen Ziller practices it beautifully.
                                    
              3. irrationality -    all humans are inclined to be irrational but in varying degrees. Even skeptics watching a rugby game at Newlands. .                                   But the difference is that we do not thank god, like some players  when they score a try.              

« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 12:28:12 PM by Barryl » Logged
Faerie
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« Reply #72 on: May 12, 2011, 11:28:28 AM »

On tuesday (10/05) I listened to "Praat Saam" on RSG when they had an academic from UP (University of Pretoria) as a guest speaker on this popular phone-in programme. The topic was centrered around aberrant social beviour in general. But the point I want to stress is this: the academic made a statement during one of his replies, in saying that since religion had been abolished in schools there was an increase in criminal behaviour amongst students/learners. This may be true but the point I want to emphasise is that it is not the absence of religious dogma that could be linked to a higher incidence of crime but the absence of fostering an ethical training/educational system. After all ethics is common to all religions. So I suggest that in place of teaching religion (in my and many minds = taboo) teach/train/coach basic ethics at school. This could be combined with the teaching of critical and creative  thinking.

Who-ever believes religion in schools have been abolished dont have kids at school.  Either way, they did attempt to bring in ethic's education into the educational realm in the shape of Life Orientation, my issue with this is that it is also loosely based on religious dogma, for example, (and I might repeating myself here, the thread has been going a while) on abortion issues, they would unabashedly indicate that it is WRONG and not allow discussion as to scenarios where it might be the right desicion.

Critical and creative thinking are still suppressed, nobody wants a kid asking weird questions and in the process inciting a classroom full of rebellious teenagers who are just realising that they have brains of their own and the ability to think.

My own kids, whilst popular with their peers, are not well liked by their teachers, simply because they are outspoken and questioning, but this is a life-skill they will require, so I'm not overly concerned about it.
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Brian
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« Reply #73 on: May 12, 2011, 13:05:22 PM »

Barryl you don't say what type of academic made the statement: was s/he the researcher who found this trend or is s/he reporting on something they 'read'; or is s/he a educationist/psych/religionist/criminologist etc etc. This could be germane to the finding:
Quote
the academic made a statement during one of his replies, in saying that since religion had been abolished in schools there was an increase in criminal behaviour amongst students/learners.


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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #74 on: May 12, 2011, 13:16:18 PM »

I like the idea of a weekly ethics/ free thinking/ life skills class, Barryl. In my day the closest we came to this was the debating society, which was extramural, and therefore not too well supported.

Tangential to the topic, my kid has recently picked up - from pre-school religious activities no doubt - the habbit of praying for stuff. This he does clearly and out loud, presumably to maximize the irritation imparted to any freethinkers within a hundred foot radius. Some weeks ago we visited his grandmother, and while we were driving into town, he closed his eyes, slapped his little hands together and prayed that "Liewe Jesus" must please take us to a certain restaurant that prodigeously caters for kids by providing jumping castles, slides video games etc. My mom thought it was the cutest thing ever, and was, I suspect, somewhat relieved that my son does not parttake in his father's godless ways. In any case, the day went on, and we forgot about the incident. Until, that is, the evening when, in full earshot of my family, I asked him (maybe a bit gloatingly) if "Liewe Jesus" did as he asked earlier.

My mom was not very impressed by all of this, and said I should not tempt/test/infuriate god in this way. "But mom", I replied as sweetly as possible, "we are just learning all about the power of prayer."

Mintaka
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 14:19:54 PM by Mintaka, Reason: marginal spelling improvement » Logged
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