Moralising in class is not moral education

26th January 1996 at 00:00
There are some disturbing paragraphs relating to moral education in the 199394 report from the chief inspector. Here are two of them: * Poor work in key stage 4 is particularly linked to the discussion of moral issues without any proper link to religious belief (page 7).

* In a few cases they (teachers in key stage 1 and 2) teach morality with little reference to religious knowledge (page 8).

The report, compiled from inspections by the Office for Standards in Education, makes it clear that the inspectorate relates religious education directly to moral education. However, the two cannot be so neatly connected. For example, problems concerning marriage, divorce and abortion are not, per se, religious issues but moral issues. Actually, drawing up lessons and worksheets for primary and secondary school classes in moral education is not difficult. But it is a highly specialised area of human understanding and society should not impose the added burden of preparing lessons in morality on to overworked teachers of RE.

No doubt the inspectorate and some committed religious believers would wish to moralise in the classroom. But this should not be confused with moral education. There is always the danger of RE teachers of a particular persuasion imposing their religious modes of conduct on to pupils. For the sake of education this must be resisted.

Unfortunately, because of the inspectorate's general lack of understanding in these areas, schools are criticised if they do not moralise within the context of RE. Teachers should be aware that such criticism is unjustified.

JOHN A SEALEY

The Brambles

Morton

Lincolnshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now