Category Archives: Religious Education

Free speakers and resources from Compassion in World Farming

Many pupils are passionate about the welfare of animals though, if surveys are to be believed, many of them do not know how their bacon, eggs and milk are produced!

Food production is a growing topic of debate whether you are talking about the ethics of how we treat animals, how we produce healthy food and how we can feed a growing population.

At the same time, most of the major faiths teach kindness to animals and for some religions it is a major part of their belief system. This is a subject which can engage children, encourage debate and develop respect for the beliefs of others.

Finding time to discuss topics such as animal welfare and sustainable food production is doubly valuable – it gives pupils an important understanding of a range of ethical and environmental factors and it encourages great debates!

To help you to engage your pupils in such discussions, we provide a free speaker service and a pack of resources including a film and discussion activities, which can be adapted for pupils of different ages, abilities and levels of confidence.

To enquire about a speaker or to order a free resource pack, please email education@ciwf.org.uk. It will be very helpful if you put “RE mailshot” in the subject title.

To view or download the resources directly, including films, please go to our Religious Education webpage.

Yours faithfully

Phil Brooke
Education Manager
Compassion in World Farming

PS We’ve had some wonderful evaluations from teachers for our talks and resources:

“ I think the pack is super, very well organised and presented  … most impressed, both with the philosophical reaction sheets and with the world religions ones. The questionnaire (Personality Test) looks excellent, too.”

I like (the video Farm Animals & Us) because

its emphasis is on choices and how they affect animals
it shows how animals have intelligence
it uses humour – the school as a factory is brilliant
contrasts between intensive and traditional farming methods effectively made

(How Do Animals Matter – opinions, religious and secular)

Lots of useful questions and summaries
Should help students to sort their own views and promote an understanding of other perspectives

Links and contacts:

Email: education@ciwf.org.uk

Tel: 01483 521 965

Education website: ciwf.org.uk/education

Religious Education webpage: ciwf.org.uk/re

Speaker service: ciwf.org.uk/speakers

“Since Tom started using Education Quizzes, he has really started to sparkle.”

We have made Education Quizzes free for a whole year so that students like Tom can sparkle too

Despite all the revision tips, tricks and techniques, the best way to help your pupils to retain the knowledge that they have learned in their RE lessons is by presenting them with the opportunity to use this knowledge on a regular basis.

However, since there is more than one topic area to cover in RE, it can sometimes be a long period of time until a topic is revisited, by which time your pupils will have forgotten much of what they had previously learned.

Which is why we have produced an extensive library of RE quizzes and made them free to use for a whole year, so that your students can test and revise their knowledge as frequently as they need and want to.

What’s more, Education Quizzes is ideal to set as homework tasks as it involves little to no PPA time – giving you more time to focus on planning and preparing future lessons and assessing the work of your students from lessons which have gone before.

To get a better idea of what Education Quizzes is all about, simply visit www.educationquizzes.com. And to sign your school up for Education Quizzes for free for a whole year, go to www.educationquizzes.com/schools-uk-registrations/.

If you have any queries, you can easily contact us by sending an email to admin@educationquizzes.com.

Why do Religious Studies teachers take part-time qualifications in from the University of Cambridge?

We all tend to have our own reasons for approaching each course we take and each additional qualification we work towards.

Some courses can cover an aspect of a syllabus that one is teaching and which has not been central to one’s studies in the past. Some take participants into the world of further study, and some involve original research.

And then the status and credibility of the awarding body is also important, not just for the quality of the teaching and the work, but also in terms of how the qualification will look on our CV should we wish to apply for a new post at some time in the future.

This coming academic year the University of Cambridge is offering part-time courses in philosophy and religious studies starting this October. Brief details are given below, and more information is available on our website.

The Certificate in Philosophy I course looks first at metaphysics and addresses philosophical problems concerning time, space, possibility, and the relations between objects and their properties, considering such questions as, “Is there a metaphysical difference between us and past people?” and “Are there things which exist but are not part of the actual world?”

This is followed by an introduction to logic and the philosophy of language, examining formal logic, a language within which we can formulate arguments clearly and test whether they are valid or invalid, while asking, “How do sentences get their meanings?” and “Are there any sentences which are neither true nor false?”

In the final unit on Ethics, normative ethics and meta-ethics are considered and we begin by considering what “goods” our ethical theories should promote and ask whether there are principles which determine what is right thing to do and, if so, what they are. We ask, “Can moral beliefs be true?” and debate whether ‘It is wrong to hurt others needlessly’ is to be taken as a statement, a prescription telling others how to act, an expression of disapproval, or something else?

The Advanced Diploma in Philosophy and the Advanced Diploma in the Study of Religion is a part-time research-based course that offers the opportunity to undertake independent study based around a series of eight structured supervisions over two academic years.  You can choose your own research topics, and your research proposal is considered when you apply.

Alternatively if you’d like to dip your toe in the water or explore a specific topic, we also offer a range of short courses throughout the year.

You can find out more about all the above courses and apply online by 5 September on our website

Alternatively, you can contact me directly with specific enquiries on 01223 746 417 or email me at enquiries@ice.cam.ac.uk.

Paul Ireland
Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge
Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge, CB23 8AQ

What exactly are ethics, and how to do they change?

From Utilitarianism to Deontological Ethics, from Virtue Ethics to Free will and Determinism there are a lot of ethical systems around.

And that is before we get to environmental ethics, medical ethics (including abortion, euthanasia and embryo research) and business ethics.

So what are they all, and how exactly they relate to religious ethics?

That is the question that “Religious Ethics” by Francis Beswick examines, considering ethical thinking in relation to various religious traditions, while considering how religious and secular ethics differ from each other.

The book commences with the phrase “I ought to …” and notes that from this kind of statement ethics, whether it be secular or religious ethics, begins.

Throughout the book the student is aided by a large number of questions presented for consideration which take the student back to the various topics that have been covered in order to ensure that each different ethical system and viewpoint is understood.

Religious Ethics is available as a copiable spiral bound book or on CD Rom. The book comes with an unlimited photocopiable licence for the school, and costs £21.99 plus £3.95 delivery for either the book or CD. If you wish to buy both together the price is £28.98 plus £3.95 delivery.

You can order in four different ways. In each case please quote our reference T1697emn. Sample pages and a contents list can be viewed prior to ordering on http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/re/T1697.pdf

What is the most effective way of helping students come to terms with all the key topics within the subject?

One of the problems that some students face when coming to the philosophy of religion is that of the multiplicity of concepts.  They learn about verification and falsification, but then as other new issues arise, that piece of knowledge slips from their mind…

What is needed is a quick and easy way of going back and being reminded of each of the topics that arise within the philosophy of religion course, so that when there is any uncertainty (for example, half way through writing an essay) they can resolve that at once.

With this in mind Francis Beswick created a straightforward book which can be photocopied, or put on the school network and made available to everyone, and which covers 22 of the key topics within the philosophy of religion.

Thus every student taking A level religion, and those in the sixth form who are interested in such topics, can get an immediate insight into the issues.

Each topic is dealt with in a short article (usually around 1000 words) which gives the student an immediate awareness of the key points within the topic and which is ideal both as a basic learning resource and as a source for revision when needed.

The essential philosophical arguments covered in this book are supplemented by research topics and discussion points which will make philosophical language more accessible and enjoyable for your students.

Topics within the volume include: Design Arguments; religious experience; verification and falsification; theories of revelation; near death experiences; life after death and reincarnation, etc.

The essential philosophical arguments covered in this book are supplemented by research topics and discussion points which will make philosophical language more accessible and enjoyable for your students.

The Philosophy of Religion by Francis Beswick
Publishers reference: T1700; ISBN: 978 1 86083 741 8

A sample of the book is available on line at http://pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/philosophy/T1700.pdf

Prices

  • Photocopiable book: £21.99 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £21.99 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £28.98 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

What is the simplest way of making philosophical arguments accessible to students?

Understanding philosophical argument requires a knowledge of the fundamentals such as logic, argument, empiricism, rationalism, justification, scepticism…

But the study of these concepts can become rather dry and removed from the work of philosophers unless presented in a way that relates to the world of the student, taking them from their own world to these different approaches to that world.

This approach makes the concepts accessible and comprehensible to students before getting into the application of these concepts through the work of specific philosophers and their approaches.

Thus in this volume we look at moral philosophy which takes the student through utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics, to practical ethics looking at topics such as abortion and voluntary euthanasia, and to meta-ethics.

There is also a separate section on the philosophy of region covering ideas of God, cosmological ontological and teleological arguments, faith, reason and belief, and the implications of God’s existence.

After each argument there is an explanation – where necessary – of each part of the argument, followed by discussion of any problems or issues arising. Finally there are questions and points for discussion.

Some of the material on God and Moral Philosophy will also be useful to students of A level Religious Studies whose course includes some Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Of particular relevance are sections on: arguments for the existence of God; faith, reason and belief; religious experience; God and morality; miracles.

There are sample pages from the photocopiable book at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/re/T1706.pdf

Publisher’s reference: T1706EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 771 5

Prices 

  • Photocopiable book: £25.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £25.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £32.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.  Please quote the order ref: T1706EMN

You can purchase the book

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Religious experience – from quasi-sensory phenomena to Sigmund Freud

What is the difference between a quasi-sensory phenomenon and a charismatic experience or a mystical experience?

It’s a fairly fundamental question and one that students of religious studies need to understand before they get too far into the religious experience component of Religious studies AS and A2 levels.

That, of course, is only the start, for there is also the question of Channels, Sources and Occasions of Religious Experience.  There’s also the need to know about such thinkers as Rudolph Otto, William James, Sir Alistair Hardy, Richard Swinburne, as well as those hostile to religion such as Ludwig Feuerbach and Sigmund Freud.

The copiable book, Religious Experience, (also available on a CD so that it can be put on the school’s learning platform) deals with all these points and many more in a way that gives the student a basic understanding and then allows, and indeed, encourages, debate beyond this point.

In short, it covers the spectrum of issues involved in Religious Experience and the theories advanced to explain them. It provides an introduction to and discussion points on these main types of religious experience and will enable students to obtain an overall grasp of the subject matter. It looks at the different kinds of religious experience and the different channels or occasions for religious experience and also discusses religious experience in the context of the major religions.

After taking in The Ongoing Significance of Religious Experience the book moves on to Problems of Religious Experience, including Empiricism, Kant, and The Logical Positivists.

The volume concludes with Discussions of Religious Experience, which ranges from private and public experiences to perception and moral attitudes.

Throughout the book are exercises/activities for the students to complete. These can form the basis for written homework or for group discussion in the classroom.

Religious Experience is available as a copiable spiral bound book or on CD Rom. The book comes with an unlimited photocopiable licence for the school, and costs £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery for either the book or CD. If you wish to buy both together the price is £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery.

You can order in four different ways. In each case please quote our reference T1672emn. Sample pages can be viewed prior to ordering on http://bit.ly/5Xt0dR

  • By post to First and Best, Hamilton House Mailings plc, Earlstrees Ct., Earlstrees Rd., Corby, Northants NN17 4HH
  • By fax on 01536 399 012
  • By phone with a credit card or with an official school order number on 01536 399 011
  • On line with a credit card at http://bit.ly/8lXyCy