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Primary ethics volunteer stood down


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#1 Riotproof

Posted 09 September 2019 - 07:57 AM

https://www.smh.com....903-p52nkw.html

I must admit I am a big aghast at this. I thought that it would be a better option for ds rather than the non-scripture he attends now. It gives me pause that we are allowing volunteers in as teachers in our schools at all.

Quote

Under Department of Education policy, class teachers are not required to remain in class during ethics lessons but can do so to monitor student behaviour.

Edited by Riotproof, 09 September 2019 - 07:59 AM.


#2 dadwasathome

Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:14 AM

The child quoted is one of DS11's classmates. DS11 said he'd heard something about this but wasn't in the SEE group himself.

Will ask some more questions tonight when he's actually awake. :)

I agree that SRE has no place in modern classtime, and ethics education should be mainstreamed.

#3 Delirium

Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:39 AM

I’m very proud of those children involved for speaking up. I wish they didn’t have to!  I’m stunned a volunteer could be in a classroom without a teacher present.

#4 Chelara

Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:44 AM

I don’t disagree with the complaints and the volunteer being stood down but surely this sort of thing happens all the time in scripture classes and it doesn’t usually make the news. I don’t think it’s possible to be totally unbiased or without your own opinions or agenda, so obviously sometimes that comes through in the classes. It would also happen at times in regular classrooms with paid teachers.

They’ll have trouble sourcing volunteers for ethics now I’m sure.

My children are in non scripture, it’s a total waste of time but at the moment I’m not really happy with the alternatives offered.

#5 born.a.girl

Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:57 AM

Definitely happens in scripture classes.  My daughter accidentally ended up going to RE classes as apparently no one bothered reading the form that said she wasn't to go. By the time I found out she was going, she was enjoying the colouring in, and believing there was a back-up for Santa - someone who could grant your wishes.  In fact she'd get them mixed up at times.

The mother of one of her friends was the RE teacher.  I was chatting with her outside the classroom one day,and commented that I was related to someone who thought that Muslims were trying to take over the world.  'Well, they are' was her response. I was dumbfounded that someone with those attitudes was taking the classes.

Roll on a few years and she's at a Baptist school, where the CE taught 'this is what we believe, this is what Jews believe, this is what Muslims believe etc etc ...'. They even had a Building Bridges program going where the kids visited each others' schools and realised how much they had in common.

Teaching religion in the State system is just wrong.

#6 Riotproof

Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:02 AM

Honestly, I don’t care what happens in scripture classes. They’ve opted into it.

I just find it perplexing that the next best option is also not scrutinizing their volunteers that well. Which brings me to the fact that I think scripture and non scripture should be completely eliminated in NSW public schools.

#7 red_squirrel

Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:13 AM

The question with ethics classes is you always have to wonder whose ethics are being taught?

There is no such thing as neutrality.

Is it the state mandated officially ‘correct’ opinions that are taught or the opinion of the teacher? Or any other nefarious group that wants to get in there and push their cause.

I would never send my kid to one of these.
Have the conversations yourself as a parent. Teach them your ethics yourself. There is no need to outsource this to unknown people.

Edited by red_squirrel, 09 September 2019 - 09:14 AM.


#8 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:25 AM

Hmmm...I’m not so sure that there isn’t a place for ethics in our curriculum. It’s good for kids to be exposed to a broad range of ideas, and not every parent will present that. Ethical understanding is also a general capability of the Australian Curriculum and is raised in numerous subject areas. But ‘ethics’ as a subject shouldn’t be taught by volunteers and if it’s a discrete subject, it should have a set syllabus.

The problem is not with the teaching of ethics, the problem is with allowing any random person to do it. It’s a way that school can provide cheap DOTT time to primary teachers and it’s not ok.

#9 molinero

Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:25 AM

Unfortunately a lot of ppl hold this view about the stolen generation.

I'm glad this person was shamed for sharing these dangerous beliefs.

#10 Deep thought

Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:42 AM

I don't think there's a place in schools for a subject taught by minimally trained volunteers, but as long as SRE exists in schools I also support the Primary Ethics organisation. The silver lining of this situation is that it has exposed/ publicized the weakness of the whole SRE system. There are obviously some volunteers who are inadequate for the task, but I do know others doing this and according to their training they are not supposed to put forward their views at all. They have a script, basically, and they are training the kids to think about the ethics of various scenarios, not teaching their own opinions... in theory.

#11 BusbyWilkes

Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:26 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 09 September 2019 - 09:02 AM, said:

Honestly, I don’t care what happens in scripture classes. They’ve opted into it.

I just find it perplexing that the next best option is also not scrutinizing their volunteers that well. Which brings me to the fact that I think scripture and non scripture should be completely eliminated in NSW public schools.

I can't believe that RE or the necessary alternatives are any public schools. Certainly isn't in my state. Ethics etc is valuable to all students, but should be taught by a teacher.

Funny that NSW likes to hold itself up as the standard other states should aspire to (from an educational perspective) and yet classtime is still given over to "subjects" taught by non- teachers.

#12 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:55 AM

Just because one ethics teacher says something outrageous doesn't mean there's a problem with having ethics taught in schools.

There are always people who say stupid things (most of us really!) - this person just went for maximum dumb by spouting racist crap in an ethics class.

#13 Riotproof

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:02 AM

View PostNot Escapin Xmas, on 09 September 2019 - 10:55 AM, said:

Just because one ethics teacher says something outrageous doesn't mean there's a problem with having ethics taught in schools.

There are always people who say stupid things (most of us really!) - this person just went for maximum dumb by spouting racist crap in an ethics class.

No. But maybe it suggests there is something wrong with volunteers teaching students ethics in public schools. Maybe we should acknowledge that teaching is actually a profession with skills.

I have no issue with ethics being taught as a subject, but it honestly had never occurred to me that someone who valued ethics could display that kind of attitude. Also, blatantly disregarding the tenants of the organization they represent by not allowing students to find their own answer.

#14 doubting thomas

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:07 AM

I opted for non-scripture, which meant I should have then been offered ethics for my child. Last year they were sneaky , I opted for scripture because I thought I'd pick a different one each year and maybe he would learn something, but the week after that they offered ethics all of a sudden, and you weren't allowed to go if you had already chosen scripture.
So this year, I choose non-scripture, expecting to be offered ethics and it turns out they don't have a teacher for it, so the kids do colouring in. Aren't allowed to read or do work.
The whole thing is a farce and should be abandoned.

Also pp, all the scripture teachers are volunteers too. Who knows what they are saying? There is no teacher in the class with them either.

#15 purplekitty

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:08 AM

View PostNot Escapin Xmas, on 09 September 2019 - 10:55 AM, said:

Just because one ethics teacher says something outrageous doesn't mean there's a problem with having ethics taught in schools.

There are always people who say stupid things (most of us really!) - this person just went for maximum dumb by spouting racist crap in an ethics class.
He probably took the job for the opportunity to broadcast his bigoted opinions.
The assessment process is obviously poor or missing.

Just as all,not just one, RE teachers take the position to share their opinions and beliefs.

#16 born.a.girl

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:10 AM

View Postdoubting thomas, on 09 September 2019 - 11:07 AM, said:

I opted for non-scripture, which meant I should have then been offered ethics for my child. Last year they were sneaky , I opted for scripture because I thought I'd pick a different one each year and maybe he would learn something, but the week after that they offered ethics all of a sudden, and you weren't allowed to go if you had already chosen scripture.
So this year, I choose non-scripture, expecting to be offered ethics and it turns out they don't have a teacher for it, so the kids do colouring in. Aren't allowed to read or do work.
The whole thing is a farce and should be abandoned.

Also pp, all the scripture teachers are volunteers too. Who knows what they are saying? There is no teacher in the class with them either.


Not allowed to even read a book from home?

That's bizarre.  I understand the justification from the school (etc) that the other kids would then miss out if something's being taught, but reading for pleasure???

Have it at lunchtime, before or after school.  If parents are so keen for the school to provide their RE lessons they'll have to accommodate them.

#17 Riotproof

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:11 AM

The teachers use it as relief from face teaching time.

#18 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:17 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 09 September 2019 - 11:11 AM, said:

The teachers use it as relief from face teaching time.

That's not quite true. It's not relief. Teachers are entitled under the award to defined amounts of non-teaching time. This time is used for planning, marking and other duties. School executive teams decide how this time is provided. Not teachers. Teachers probably have very little say in it.

#19 IamtheMumma

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:25 AM

Good on the kids for speaking up. I'm sure the person was thoroughly checked out on paper but unless you ask the racist questions, you're not going to know if they're a racist. Shouldn't there be an ethics test and manual prior to being allowed in a classroom?

View PostChelara, on 09 September 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

I don’t disagree with the complaints and the volunteer being stood down but surely this sort of thing happens all the time in scripture classes and it doesn’t usually make the news. I don’t think it’s possible to be totally unbiased or without your own opinions or agenda, so obviously sometimes that comes through in the classes. It would also happen at times in regular classrooms with paid teachers.

They’ll have trouble sourcing volunteers for ethics now I’m sure.

My children are in non scripture, it’s a total waste of time but at the moment I’m not really happy with the alternatives offered.

Of course it happens in scripture class. That is its purpose.

#20 doubting thomas

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:25 AM

No. Can't read a book. Any book. We are getting later and later on Fridays. Sooo pointless.

#21 spr_maiden

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:29 AM

I struggle to understand why scripture is offered in state schools at all. No scripture,  then no alternatives will be required therefore elimitating the farce of volunteers acting as unsupervised teachers.
If you want to indoctrinate your child into a religion,  do it in your own time.

TBC, I would like for my children to learn that there are different belief systems in the world.  From a cultural perspective.  It's the monotheism and this is the true god bs that has no place in state schools.

#22 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 09 September 2019 - 11:02 AM, said:

No. But maybe it suggests there is something wrong with volunteers teaching students ethics in public schools. Maybe we should acknowledge that teaching is actually a profession with skills.

I have no issue with ethics being taught as a subject, but it honestly had never occurred to me that someone who valued ethics could display that kind of attitude. Also, blatantly disregarding the tenants of the organization they represent by not allowing students to find their own answer.

There are just as many teachers with wacko views I'm sure! And I'm sure sometimes they say things that we would really rather they didn't.

I think it's great that it's been called out publicly, hopefully it will encourage any other ethics teachers with similar views to keep their mouths shut on such topics.

As to whether it's appropriate to have volunteers teaching ethics, well that's a whole different topic...

#23 Riotproof

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

View PostEsmeLennox, on 09 September 2019 - 11:17 AM, said:



That's not quite true. It's not relief. Teachers are entitled under the award to defined amounts of non-teaching time. This time is used for planning, marking and other duties. School executive teams decide how this time is provided. Not teachers. Teachers probably have very little say in it.

That’s how they phrase it at our school.  Even the teachers who are supervising the non scripture kids are doing planning during it.
So whether it’s the school executive directing it or not, the fact remains that they’ve built it into their system and it would cost them more if they didn’t have it.

#24 dadwasathome

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:35 AM

In year 2, DS16’s teacher read fables during SRE for the non-scripture kids:)

The more I hear about this specific incident, the more I’m surprised it made the media. From other parents, the kids, school and Primary Ethics all handled it well.

The school does have a number of indigenous families, which may have heightened sensitivity.

But please get SRE out of NSW schools.

#25 Riotproof

Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:40 AM

Primary ethics support running alongside sre. They don’t think sre should be removed. That’s what’s making me question their validity.

Edited by Riotproof, 09 September 2019 - 11:42 AM.





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