The Telegraph reports that schoolchildren will be taught about the “rise of atheism” in a new religious studies GCSE, it has been announced. Lessons will also focus on Druids and Rastafarianism as part of a syllabus designed to boost understanding of religious diversity around the world. Attitudes by different faiths towards same sex marriages, human rights, gender equality and even GM crops will be among the topics covered.
In one key area, lessons will focus on the influence of minority religious movements, such as Falun Gong, the banned Chinese spiritual group, and the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, which believe in the spirituality of nature. As part of a topic on Rastafarianism, students are asked to look at the influence of Bob Marley in the 1970s.
Liam Gearon, professor of lifelong learning at Plymouth University, who supports the new course, said:
“This is an intellectually exciting new GCSE which will challenge students to think about the role of religion in modern Britain and in the worldwide community. Encouraging the use of historical reflection as well as thought-provoking analysis of contemporary events, it will engage students of all abilities with the many issues that surround religion in the modern world.”
The disclosure comes days after another exam board - the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance - announced it would run a religious studies GCSE in which pupils answer questions about homosexuality, conservation, binge drinking and drugs in sport.
Read the full story on the Telegraph site.