Call for 'Post-9/11' RE Teaching

June 17, 2007

Author: Robert Pigott

Source: BBC News

RE teachers must provide children with a more sophisticated understanding of the subject in a post-11 September world, Ofsted says.

After a five-year inspection of RE classes which began in the year of the attacks on the US, Ofsted says rote learning of RE is no longer adequate.

It says teachers should include ways in which religion is not always a force for good.

Increasingly pupils have been opting to study RE for GCSE and A-level exams.

Ofsted says that in England, which it covers, RE is being taught better.

'Standard responses'

In many schools, religion is linked with contemporary religious and moral issues, such as whether the war in Iraq was morally justified.

But all too often, say the inspectors, the exam system encourages "standard, mechanistic responses" running the risk of "trivialising significant religious issues".

It says students are often denied the profound understanding they need of the impact of religion on society.