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Spiritualism in Schools?

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Spiritualism in Schools?

Post by Candlelight.kk on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:09

Tue, 07 Apr 2015, 11:22 pm
A recently released Press Release by the Spiritualists' National Union (SNU):


SPIRITUALISTS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO RAISE AWARENESS OF UK’S EIGHTH LARGEST RELIGION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS



- Centenary of WW1 brings Spiritualist’s positioning into spotlight
- Religion is particularly relevant to younger demographic


The Spiritualist National Union (SNU) is this month embarking on a major awareness drive to highlight the relevance of the UK’s eighth-largest religion to young people, and empower RE teachers across the UK’s secondary schools to explore faiths outside of the major religions with their pupils.

One of the key beliefs of Spiritualism is bringing peace through the power of thought, deeds and actions, meaning this year’s centenary of WW1 is especially relevant to the religion. The teaching support pack will be distributed to schools across the UK in time with this poignant anniversary.

A dedicated online information resource including lesson plans, information and activities is also being launched on the SNU’s website http://www.snu.org.uk in coming weeks.

As it stands, all state-funded schools are required to teach religious education, but with the number of trainee RE teachers on a steady decline, head teachers and RE teaching staff are under increasing pressure to fulfil their duties.

And while the country’s biggest religions are largely well understood by teachers, it is those outside of this that are often forgotten, despite their relevance to many hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

As the eighth largest religion in the UK, Spiritualism is experiencing a period of significant growth with 340 Spiritualist churches around the UK and an estimated 100,000 people attending services each week. In fact, the last census results showed a 79%* increase in people across England declaring themselves as spiritualists. The principles and beliefs of Spiritualism including, equality, security and peace, resonate with many young adults and the religion is seeing an influx of younger members joining their congregations.

Julia Almond, Finance Director at the SNU and retired Director of Children and Young People, comments: “The centenary of WW1 this year really brings the values of Spiritualism into the spotlight, and 2014 presents a unique opportunity for teachers to focus on a religion outside of the major ones, highlighting its values of peace, brotherhood and personal responsibility.

“I am a retired secondary school head teacher and at the SNU we are fully aware of the resource and time pressures put on teachers, especially for subjects such as RE which is often under-funded and under-staffed. With this in mind our awareness drive is aimed at supporting teaching staff across the UK by providing free resources, information and activities to help them – not to create more work.”


For more information, please contact Will Ockenden or Vicki Murphy at Prohibition on 0113 320 4583

or email will@prohibitionpr.co.uk / vicki@prohibitionpr.co.uk.

For more information on Spiritualism, and the religion’s membership organisation, the Spiritualist National Union (SNU) visit http://www.snu.org.uk


* Percentage increase taken from comparison between 2001 and 2011 Office of National Statistics Census results on religion across England and Wales.

_______________________



And more details here from the SNU website: http://www.snu.org.uk/schools/

There is growing interest in teaching about Spiritualism in schools.

Spiritualism is a religion for the 21st century and its supporters are growing in number. There are 350 SNU Churches and centres affiliated to the Spiritualists National Union.

The Spiritualists National Union has developed a number of resources to assist teachers in devising activities about Spiritualism.

All these resources were developed by teachers and curriculum advisers and are freely available to use on line.

It is planned to add to the range of materials available over time.

We are keen to encourage any feedback on these materials and welcome any new suggested additions to the resources available.

Please send any comments to: snu@snu.org.uk


The book “This is Spiritualism” has been sent free to every secondary school in England, Scotland and Wales as part of an introductory pack about Spiritualism. It contains information and learning activities appropriate for Key Stage 3 including:


    How Modern Spiritualism started The beliefs of Spiritualists How Spiritualists worship Spiritualism and Peace


The pack which was sent to schools also includes the book “Philosophy of Spiritualism” which is appropriate for GCSE and ‘A’ level use.

A range of high quality leaflets and information about different aspects of Spiritualism is also included. The press release about the Spiritualist view of the First World War centenary is also part of the pack.

Further copies of the hard copy version of the book “This is Spiritualism” are available from the SNU Head Office for £3 including P&P. (£2.50 if collected)

The full resource pack is available for £10 including P&P. (£8.00 if collected)
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Re: Spiritualism in Schools?

Post by mac on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:11

It would be great if something positive came from this initiative.

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Re: Spiritualism in Schools?

Post by Candlelight.kk on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:13

mac wrote:It would be great if something positive came from this initiative.

I'm not too enthusiastic about the idea of teaching Spiritualism as an included school curriculum subject, certainly not as a 'religion' - "eighth largest" or not! Have it made available to those who may be interested in learning about it at their leisure, yes - and Maurice Barbanell's book "This is Spiritualism" (which is part of the 'pack' that has already been provided around the schools) is an appropriate choice for that purpose - but I really think it would be a far more sensible and acceptable idea to perhaps (initially, at least) have that book and possibly the rest of the "pack's" contents made available in the school's library, for example - to be perused in the students' own time and not part of an obligatory subject of study.

Including 'Spiritualism' on the curriculum as an actual subject to be taught, I think, provokes a myriad of formalities, questions and preparations which would need to be looked into in much greater detail before taking it to that stage - and that's just in regard to the question of who would be doing the actual teaching(?); what qualifications would be required(?) and what form would this teaching take(?) .... etc, etc.
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Re: Spiritualism in Schools?

Post by mac on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:15

Candlelight.kk wrote:
mac wrote:It would be great if something positive came from this initiative.

I'm not too enthusiastic about the idea of teaching Spiritualism as an included school curriculum subject, certainly not as a 'religion' - "eighth largest" or not! Have it made available to those who may be interested in learning about it at their leisure, yes - and Maurice Barbanell's book "This is Spiritualism" (which is part of the 'pack' that has already been provided around the schools) is an appropriate choice for that purpose - but I really think it would be a far more sensible and acceptable idea to perhaps (initially, at least) have that book and possibly the rest of the "pack's" contents made available in the school's library, for example - to be perused in the students' own time and not part of an obligatory subject of study.

Including 'Spiritualism' on the curriculum as an actual subject to be taught, I think, provokes a myriad of formalities, questions and preparations which would need to be looked into in much greater detail before taking it to that stage - and that's just in regard to the question of who would be doing the actual teaching(?); what qualifications would be required(?) and what form would this teaching take(?) .... etc, etc.

The introduction by the SNU says: "As it stands, all state-funded schools are required to teach religious education, but with the number of trainee RE teachers on a steady decline, head teachers and RE teaching staff are under increasing pressure to fulfil their duties." Isn't it against that requirement that the SNU education pack was developed? If so, why can Modern Spiritualism not be delivered by a teacher in a similar way to how they deliver education about other religions?

Julia Almond, Finance Director at the SNU and retired Director of Children and Young People says: "I am a retired secondary school head teacher and at the SNU we are fully aware of the resource and time pressures put on teachers, especially for subjects such as RE which is often under-funded and under-staffed. With this in mind our awareness drive is aimed at supporting teaching staff across the UK by providing free resources, information and activities to help them – not to create more work.” She will be well aware of the need for appropriate qualifications for teachers needed to deliver the information.

I see no reason that information can not be provided additional to the teaching but not instead of it. Some students may indeed be interested in reading about Spiritualism but perhaps not many. As for 'This Is Spiritualism' this is not Maurice Barbanell's book. Rather an unfortunate choice of title. Maurice Barbanell's book is actually mentioned at the end in 'Further Reading' section.

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Re: Spiritualism in Schools?

Post by Candlelight.kk on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:17

mac wrote:
The introduction by the SNU says: "As it stands, all state-funded schools are required to teach religious education, but with the number of trainee RE teachers on a steady decline, head teachers and RE teaching staff are under increasing pressure to fulfil their duties." Isn't it against that requirement that the SNU education pack was developed? If so, why can Modern Spiritualism not be delivered by a teacher in a similar way to how they deliver education about other religions?


I am not really familiar with "how they deliver education about other religions" in UK schools. I assume the "other" means other than CofE?

In Ireland religion is taught in a subject called Religious Education which is compulsory in many schools for the Junior Certificate, but available as an option for the Leaving Certificate. The course educates students about communities of faith, the foundations of the major world religions, the sacred texts, religious practices and festivals for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians. Students also learn about religious change in Ireland, meaning in life, religious and non-religious responses to the search for meaning, atheism, agnosticism and other forms of belief. Students are also educated about morality in a number of different faiths and their moral codes. ( Wiki )

Is that a system that could be incorporated into the UK schools? (if not already in place?) - in which case Spiritualism would/should already be included in the "communities of faith, the foundations of the major world religions" mentioned above.

Is this the main aim of the SNU with this current proposal? - to officially include Spiritualism in the list of "major world religions"? The Press Release mentions that Spiritialism is the world's EIGHTH LARGEST RELIGION. If that's the purpose of this proposal, then I don't really see a problem with it.
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Re: Spiritualism in Schools?

Post by mac on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:20

I worked in elementary/primary school and can remember only a little from the time our daughter was in secondary school. Her religious education was a very loosely structured subject, much to my delight as I didn't want her subjected to material I considered unsuitable. I was also more concerned with her putting all her effort into subjects that would get her to a good university.

I would prefer that religion isn't included in any curriculum but if it has to be then I'd like to see Spiritualism being taught - fat chance!

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