Category: education

I don’t even know how you would “teach atheism…

I don’t even know how you would “teach atheism”. What would it look like? You can’t tell children “I don’t believe in any god” and expect that to transfer. Why should it?

Just educate them, teach them critical thinking skills, answer all their questions honestly, and they’ll work it out for themselves.

18,000 children sent to faith schools against …

18,000 children sent to faith schools against parental preference:

NSS education and schools officer Alastair Lichten said: “We’ve long dealt with the problem of families losing out on their choice of local school due to discriminatory admissions. But the other side of that coin is that we are increasingly hearing from families with no choice but a faith school.

"This situation is exacerbated by the increasingly non-religious population, unpopular – and therefore undersubscribed – minority faith schools, school amalgamation biasing against secular schools and a lack of secular provision in rural communities.

"It’s unacceptable that so many children are being given a faith-based education when their parents do not even want it for them. The government must take steps to address this.”

Abstinence-only sex education contributes to h…

Abstinence-only sex education contributes to high rates of teen pregnancies.

The whole “Teach the Controversy” thing was co…

The whole “Teach the Controversy” thing was cooked up by the Christian fundamentalist Discovery Institute as part of what they called the “wedge strategy”. This strategy was explicitly developed to smuggle creationism (since renamed “intelligent design”) into American classrooms using the sort of language that open-minded liberals can relate to. 

Just look at the language they’re using to mean the exact opposite: “freedom”; “discovery” and a quote from Charles Darwin about a “fair result”. 

Creationists have proven time and time again that they will lie and cheat as much as they can get away with to get what they want, and what they want is control of your children’s minds

I ache for Arkansas public school students…

theoutatheist:

Posters have been put up, framed signs, “In God we trust”

Now public school students who are atheists, agnostics, humanists, Buddhists, freethinkers, irreligious, pagans, wicca, and so many others are told they are not apart of the “we” of their school.

Students are being told that they are not welcome in their public school. 

Even if you ignore the blatant attack on the freedom of thought and freedom of religion,

how can you ignore the exclusion of students? The state wide marginalization of children. 

School is about preparing our children for their futures, how can we expect them to learn and develop in a setting that we are telling them they aren’t welcome in? 

This is simply sad.

In case you didnt know, florida is following in their footsteps.

Florida is the second state to mandate the exclusion and ostracization of students.

The second state to tell children with polytheistic and nontheistic beliefs that they dont belong.

The second state to “ok” descrimination of kids based on their religious beliefs.

What happened to freedom of religion?

Good. 

Good. 

The fallout continues from the Atheist Ireland…

The fallout continues from the Atheist Ireland campaign (which was crowdfunded) to secure ETB foundational documents under Irish Freedom of Information legislation.  

Despite ostensibly being the state-sponsored alternative to a Catholic education, ETBs are regularly smuggling religious indoctrination in the brains of Irish children during their most formative years, in this case dressed as sex education.

Education policy promotes reasonable sex education programmes across primary and secondary schools, but this policy can be completely undermined by the religious ethos of the institution.  The Department of Education can do nothing to prevent religious schools leaving out chunks of the recommended curriculum, distorting the rest, and bringing in anticontraceptive and antichoice lobbyists.

Very Catholic organisations such as LifeWorks (company directors Ruth Cullen and Cora Sherlock)

solicit donations from schools to deliver their classes. In one school, students who walked out or challenged any of the material were reported to the principal.

It might be time for Catholics to give back my country.

Over the last few years, the Irish government has been subject…

Over the last few years, the Irish government has been subject to criticism of its failure to address a legal obligation to provide education to all children in the state, regardless of religion. The criticism is that nearly all the schools in Ireland are owned by the Catholic Church, staffed by people who are required to demonstrate a commitment to Catholic values, and actively promote a Catholic ethos. 

Recently, the government response has been to recommend that non-Catholics (22% of the population in the last census) send their children to schools run by Educational and Training Boards (ETBs). The Catholic Church itself welcomed this approach to accommodating diversity. 

However, an in-depth investigation by Atheist Ireland has revealed that at least some ETBs were also actively promoting a Catholic ethos. Some highlights of that investigation include the following direct quotes from Tipperary ETB documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act:

  • “The Christian belief, ethos and characteristic spirit of our schools is Catholic.”
  • “… it is our duty to have prayer / put up Christian symbols etc.”
  • “The importance of Religious Education being viewed as a core subject in the curriculum.”
  • “In addition to class hours, time must be allowed for regular class, school and year based liturgies as well as an annual retreat or pilgrimage.”

Again, these are the schools the government regards as suitable for non-Catholic students. At the risk of stating the obvious, this affects not just atheists, but also Protestants, Muslims and Hindus, who have established communities in Ireland. 

There’s a real disconnect when trying to explain these problems to Catholics, particularly if they’re in positions of authority. They just don’t seem to understand that some people don’t want their children exposed to the Catholic religion. They’re not “making trouble”, or “being like that”. They’re exercising their legal rights. 

[via Jane Donnelly @ Atheist Ireland] Diploma to teach the…

[via Jane Donnelly @ Atheist Ireland]

Diploma to teach the Catholic Religion is a requirement to get a job as a teacher in the vast majority of publicly funded Primary Schools in Ireland. Access to the teaching profession is not an option for religious minorities and those with no religious faith.

Catholic Bishops approve the appointment of all teachers in most Primary Schools. 

This is the grip that the Church has on our education system and the reason why minorities cannot access the teaching profession.

‘Life and society’ classes to replace religious education in Luxembourg…

‘Life and society’ classes to replace religious education in Luxembourg schools

Luxembourg has abolished religious teaching in schools, as part of the government’s plan to separate church and state over a 20 year period.
Religious education in Luxembourg schools will be replaced with new ‘life and society’ classes. In a July statement, the Education Ministry said the new classes will ensure schools become “a place of dialogue, where coexistence is built and one learns respect for others”.

READ HERE