Christian Foundations of Education

Introduction to Religious Education and Religious Understanding

Religious education refers to education which is concerned with religion. It can involve education provided by the church or any other religious company to improve morale and Faith of the person. It contributes to developing knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, practices, culture and tradition of different religions in the person and allows them to develop spiritual understanding and find purpose and meaning of life (Peter et al, 2018). Religious education can be considered appropriate for primary school children as well because it can help children to learn good practices, believing in God and Faith and make appropriate decisions in their future life to become a good person. However, it is also necessary that extreme religious education should not be provided to the children in the classroom which includes only learning about a particular religion and its practices that would make the child only believe in that particular religion (Robbins et al, 2016). In this report, 10 different questions will be discussed along with their possible use in the classroom consisting of children below 10 years of age. All the questions will be based on religious studies and practices and provide good understanding of religion to the children.

Discussion on Religious Education and Religious Understanding

Question 1: What do you know about religious books such as the Bible and its impact on the life of the people?

This question can be asked to the children in the classroom which will help them explore the understanding of religious book for different kinds of religion. Before they learn about religion, it is necessary for them to understand there are different religions in the world who follows different books and faith according to these books (Robbins et al, 2016). For example, after asking this question, the teacher can begin to tell them about the Bible which is considered as the holy book of Christian. This is because it contains all the teachings of God Jesus Christ and it can allow the Christian students to understand the importance of the Bible in their life. The teacher can also choose easy stories from the Bible such as Adam and Eve, which will not only increase the excitement level of the children in the religion but also so make them understand the moral of the story and learnt from it to become a good person (Gregory et al, 2018).

Question 2: What do you think of other religions?

This is one of the most important questions which needs to be asked to the children in the classroom because of various purposes. First of all, it is possible that due to the diminishing mindset of people such as parents and neighbourhood, children understand that their religion is the best and other religions are not good enough to follow (Robbins et al, 2016). This can develop the same mindset in the children which will make them not to respect people from other religions. For example, if a Christian is being taught that Christianity is the only religion in the world, children will begin to others in the same way as other Christians, even if they belong from different religions, which can hurt their sentiments (Peter et al, 2018). Therefore, it is necessary for them to understand that there are other religions in the world apart from their's and everyone has different religious practices and rules which can be different from their religion and needs to be respected (Holley, 2016). The teacher can increase the understanding of different religions among the children by taking the examples of two children from different religions in the same classroom and allowing them to to learn and comprehend each other.

Question 3: How can you become a good person?

Now this question may not seem related to religious education at once, but it certainly is. The teacher of the primary school you can ask this question to the students and see what they answer. It is possible that most of the answers will be like by respecting elders, being kind to others, bye not stealing and hurting others, etc., which is basically the things which are written in religious books all over the world. The teacher can help the students understand that in order to become a good person, they need to learn from these religious books such as Bhagavad Gita in Hinduism and Bible in Christianity (Peter et al, 2018). By taking the examples of different stories in any of these books such as the Good Samaritan, teacher can teach the students on how they can become a good person, which mainly includes by helping others and not getting angry. They can help them understand that embracing religion appropriately will help them increase their faith in God and understand that people doing good will receive good.

Question 4: What you should do if you do something wrong?

Another question which may be related to normal conscience, but is actually associated with the religious study is to ask students what they should do if they did something wrong. The most common answer the teacher can get is asking for forgiveness which is something taught in religion. This question will help the children on how to ask for forgiveness after doing wrong and what does it actually mean (Holley, 2016). Children's commit small mistakes every day such as fighting with other children and sometimes stealing candies and other stuff. It is necessary for them to understand why it is necessary to ask for forgiveness to the person they have hurt stolen from. The teacher should explain that it will help them to become a good person and enable them to not commit such mistakes again in the future.

Question 5: Do you believe in God?

I think this is the most important question which needs to be asked to the children in the classroom because it will allow the teacher to understand if they have some sense and knowledge of religion and God or not (Rodriguez and Stokke, 2019). The children need to know that if they believe in God, it means that they understand the meaning of faith. However, if a child does not believe in God, it is not necessary to force them to believe, but to ask the reason behind their answer. No matter what religion the child is from, the teacher needs to explain that even if they do not believe in God, they need to understand that doing good to others will follow.

Question 6: Do you pray to God?

This question can help the teacher explain the importance of praying to the children, regardless of their religion (Rodriguez and Stokke, 2019). They can explain that praying refers to communicating and interaction with God which is necessary to be done every once in a while. This will help them to keep your faith alive and become a good person they always wanted to be. When the child is included in the praying, it makes Dun believe that praying is something very important with adults do (Gregory et al, 2018).

Question 7: Is it necessary to believe in God?

Now this question can contradict with the religious studies in many ways but is also necessary to ask the children. This is mainly because believing in God is something extremely personal and should not be forced to others, especially children (Holley, 2016). Therefore, making them understand that it is not necessary to believe in God if you do not do bad things and hurt others. The teacher can explain to the children that if they follow good practices such as being nice to others, always respecting others, not lying and stealing, etc, this itself is considered as believing in God in a different way. 1 do not have to pray to God and read religious books to believe in God but by doing good.

Question 8: Is there a heaven?

In religious education, discussing Heaven and Hell is also necessary while teaching the children because they need to know that if they do well to others, they will go to heaven. They need to understand the concept of Heaven and Hell so that they can differentiate between good and evil along with their consequences (Hull, 2017).

Question 9: Is there only one God?

If one of the students have not heard it, they will certainly hear it in the future that God is one for every religion. The teacher needs to ask this question to the children of primary school so that they develop an understanding of one supreme power who is responsible for looking after the people regardless of their religion (Hull, 2017). They need to understand that no matter what religion the other person follows, their god is also the same, even if they have different names. This will enable them to not differentiate and discriminate people based on religion and develop a sense of relation and Association (Rodriguez and Stokke, 2019).

Question 10: Why it is necessary to be religious?

The last question the teacher can ask the students is why it is important for them to be religious. The answer includes it will help them to be faithful, kind and generous and become a good person while identifying the meaning of life (Hull, 2017). However, they also need to be taught that even if a person is not religious, he or she still needs to be respected for their belief.

References for Religious Education and Religious Understanding

Holley, R. (2016). Religious education and religious understanding: an introduction to the philosophy of religious education. Routledge.

Hull, J. (2017). God Talk with Young Children. The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood, 117.

Gregory, M. R., & Oliverio, S. (2018). Philosophy for/with Children, Religious Education and Education for Spirituality. Steps Toward a Review of the Literature.

Robbins, M., & Francis, L. J. (Eds.). (2016). The Empirical Science of Religious Education. Routledge.

Rodriguez, M. C., & Stokke, C. (2019). Taking spiritual experiences seriously in the religious education classroom: a transrational approach. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 1-17.

Peter, T., Taylor, C., & Short, D. (2018). Religious belief and the queer classroom: Measuring the impact of religious affiliation on LGBTQ-inclusive education practices. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, (185).

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