Why the bother with textbooks?

29th October 2010 at 01:00

We were alarmed to read the reported comments of James Conroy (October 8), which suggested that no textbook for religious and moral education at Standard grade "was worth the paper it is printed on", as they had "no narrative, no critique, only lists of things to learn".

Firstly, we do not publish any RME title specifically aimed at Standard grade, nor does any publisher. So I'm not sure which books he has been looking at.

Secondly, lest the Scottish RME textual resource range is tarred by association, we would point out that each of our IntermediateHigher books by Joe Walker goes well beyond SQA course requirements, provoking pupils into thinking about their own views, beliefs and values in relation to the topic, and certainly not simply to "learn facts" for exam regurgitation.

Similarly, RME for Scotland Level 3 is grounded in an active, reflective and critical approach to learning in RME, as well as approaching it through the focused perspective of "personal search".

Its whole focus is on helping young people to develop their own beliefs and values through an encounter with the beliefs and values of others.

Perhaps Professor Conroy's soundbite requires a little more measured consideration. Or perhaps he was quoted out of context? It has been known.

John Mitchell, managing director, Hodder Gibson, Christie Street, Paisley.

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