The Null Device

Religious schools considered harmful?

As the Blair government vaciliates on the issue of faith schools, this article, from an academic, argues that religion is of little benefit to education:
There is no additional educational value that derives from having teachers who share a moral outlook. If anything, universities expect and encourage a diversity of views and approaches among teachers and researchers. There may be unspoken norms, but broadly, doctrinal thought is frowned upon and is considered insufficient to a proper education.
Against all this, the ideal of the university as a place of free thought is not a bad model for understanding how people might learn things. I understand that we live in a society that regards the young as bestial creatures who must be civilised before education is possible - and that this is the job that is handed to religion, with a rolling of eyes at the alleged failures of liberal teaching and child-centred approaches.
The catch is that all must learn to hear and consider unfamiliar and, perhaps, unpalatable views and beliefs, not because becoming educated demands adherence to any particular view, but because becoming equipped to contemplate all views is what makes you educated.

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