The Teaching of Religion in Schools in America and Britain.

My thoughts on teaching religion.

Opher's World


As a retired Headteacher who has taught in both America and Britain I remain amazed at the differences and stupidities in both.

In Britain, which is now a fundamentally secular country, the only compulsory subject by law is Religion. It is also compulsory to have a religious assembly that is wholly or mainly Christian. Presumably Islamic, Jewish and Hindu schools can do their thing.

In America, which is dominated by Christianity,  religion was banned from being taught.

In Britain, in a comprehensive school, I have seen some devout teachers who set about indoctrinating their children with Christianity and saw that as their job. Heaven knows what extremes of religious indoctrination are deployed in religious schools. They did this with impunity with the full backing of school, governors and the education system.

In America, when I taught evolution I had to teach fifty percent of the lesson on the insane and highly unscientific theory…

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2 thoughts on “The Teaching of Religion in Schools in America and Britain.

  1. That you had anyone watching you while teaching shows a distinct lack of trust; only inspectors should do that and not on a regular basis.
    We all give off our own propaganda and some subjects like history or literature are wide open to our interpretation. Mathematics is pretty neutral but then older students may question its purpose or usefulness. Established science has been laid down for us but once again it has its dark side , just look at the internal combustion engine. Religion is a tough nut, take the question of redemption ; is it possible ? Certainly it happened to Scrooge . It touches on the most important subject of all, moral character , without which the rest are just dross.
    It seems to me we need a mixed bag of teachers of all types and with different beliefs and standpoints for the best education. It should mirror our political government where all views can be aired , accepted or rejected. There should be no dedicated religious schools , just as there should be no physics universities but of course religion must be taught.

    • Kersten – I agree with you.
      As a teacher I didn’t mind other people sitting in on my lessons. It is good to be questioned on what you are doing and to defend your actions.
      As a Head I used to encourage teachers to sit in on other lessons so that we could all learn from each other.
      I have no objections to religion being taught as a comparative course on world religions. My beef is with indoctrination.

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