Devon Humanists have welcomed a new guidance for schools that includes the teaching of non-religious viewpoints alongside the teaching of Devon’s several other faiths. According to the revised Devon Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2014, students will be taught Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism as well as non-religious worldviews like Humanism.
According to Keith Denby, Devon Humanists chairman, a 2011 census revealed that 25 percent of all people in England and Wales identify themselves as having no religious preference and this number seems to have risen to 65 percent recently, as seen in a survey conducted by British Social Attitudes.
“It is now more important than ever that children in our schools are made aware that, far from being somehow deficient in their values, non-religious people can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity… They trust to the scientific method, evidence, and reason to discover truths about the universe and place human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision-making… This outlook on life is coherent and widely-shared, and has inspired some of the world’s greatest artists, writers, scientists, philosophers and social reformers.”
Denby said that they were looking forward to helping teachers in providing a balance between faith and non-faith based ideologies by aiding the teaching of Humanism and similar non-religious belief systems to students. He also made note that such acceptance of non-religious worldviews in Devon schools will prove to be a step forward and help people in the United Kingdom recognize how quickly the county is changing.
“We now live in a county of many faiths and, increasingly, of no faith, and so it is important that our young people are made aware of the beliefs of all our communities. We need to live and work together, and mutual understanding is the best tool we can give our children so they can live in harmony in the future,” he said.
Photo Credit: Andres Rojas