Welcome to the coloured glass classroom! We hope to provide you with lots of creative ideas and resource links to help you engage the young people in your religious and Christian education classes. This blog is sponsored by the Anglican Schools Commission of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland.

29 December 2015

Every book of the Bible...on video


Students these days are so visually oriented, mere words don't cut the mustard.

Bibledex features short and quirky videos on every book of the Bible presented by theology experts.  It is a project by the University of Nottingham's Department of Theology and Religious Studies in conjunction with video journalist Brady Haran.

There are varying styles and lengths but a treasure trove of possibilities, growing all the time, is on offer.

There are even videos for themes and particular bible verses.

It's well worth a browse.  It's highly likely you'll find yourself bookmarking the site for further use

You can find it here

(originally posted by Jonathan Sargeant)

22 December 2015

Responding to Human Need with Loving Service


What does mission look like in the 21st century?

The Anglican Communion has five Marks of Mission that answers this question.

They are:
  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth 
This year in conjunction with the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane's message to schools we a series of learning activities focused on the third Mark of Mission - to respond to human need by loving service.

They could be used as a series of lessons or as a basis for something more extensive.

They can be found on the Anglican Schools Office site ascqld.org.au or accessed directly here.

The individual learning activities follow this plan:
  • Lesson One What’s your mission?
  • Lesson Two Whose mission?
  • Lesson Three What do people need?
  • Lesson Four Responding with loving service
  • Lesson Five The Church responds
  • Lesson Six We can respond 

17 December 2015

Transforming Service Conference 2016


April 14-16 2016 - Brisbane


This is an invitation to educators involved in leading or organising service learning activities in Australian schools. The Transforming Service Conference will bring together Service Learning Professional from all over Australia to share a national picture of service learning activities and to.work together on advancing the understanding of service learning and the foundations which underpin service encounters.

The Transforming Service Conference is an ecumenical initiative that recognises the rich variety of approaches to service across Australian faith-based school. The conference will focus particularly on secondary schools but recognises that many schools adopt a whole-of school approach to service learning. International; and cross-cultural service encounters will be a focus of discussion, alongside local endeavours.

@transformserve  #tscon16

Registrations Open Now
Venue: Australian Catholic University Leadership Centre, Elizabeth St, Brisbane

1 December 2015

What did the nativity smell like?

One way of helping students to engage with the text of the Bible is to get them use their imagination and senses.

A simple Y Chart can be helpful for this.




Provide students with a copy of the infancy narrative from Luke 2.1-21. As they read it have them fill out a y chart. The headings: feels like, sounds like, looks like, might be used to help students explore the mood and details of the events expressed in the text. Alternatively looks like, smells like, sounds like could also be used. Encourage students to use their imagination and to think about the sights, sounds and smell they would experience if they were there.


An alternate way of exploring the infancy narratives would be to bring some things into the classroom to touch and smell such as hay and lambs wool. 

26 November 2015

Nativity Origami


Want to challenge your students fingers? Have a go at some nativity origami?





19 November 2015

Ban sports from school: separation of club and state


"The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth from the Scottish Episcopal Church in Glasgow has called professional sports drug-addled, corrupt, nationalistic, sectarian, sexist and homophobic". This is the headline from a recent article in The Herald (Scotland).

Some of the great quotes from the article include:

"Pupils should be allowed to opt out of football and athletics at school because professional sport is 'drug-addled, corrupt, nationalistic, sectarian, sexist and homophobic', according to one of Scotland's most prominent Episcopalian clerics."

and


"How are decent parents supposed to keep their children from such negative and corrupting activities? You have a right to remove your children from religious instruction, but not from sport."

In Australia sport is a religion. It is also many of the things that Rev'd Kelvin says it is in Scotland. No one here has called for it be scrapped from schools yet. Doing so would probably be  considered an act of treason.

'Should sport be banned from schools because of its negative social effects', would be a great question to debate  in the RE classroom.

It reminds me of an assessment question I posed once to year elevens using Ninian Smart's dimensions of religion:

Using Smart’s dimensions explain how belonging to and following a particular sport may be classified as a religion. Using Smart’s dimensions explain why a sport might not fit into the category of religion.

If you are unfamiliar with Smart's dimensions they provide a good framework for thinking about the various aspects of different religions. The dimensions are mythological, ritual, doctrinal, ethical, social, experiential  and material.

16 November 2015

A Very Angry Christmas Quiz Part 2



As a follow up to "A Very Angry Christmas Quiz" checkout this video "Retooning the Nativity" which highlights the differences between the traditional popular nativity scene and what we find in scripture. I always make sure I say to children that it doesn't matter if there were three wise men or more. It doesn't matter that we flesh out the story a bit in our imagination. The important thing is to go to the heart of  what it is about: Emmanuel - God with us.



10 November 2015

A Very Angry Christmas Quiz


It is that time of year when I begin to post Christmas resources. This is one of my favourites.

This quiz has circulated around the internet for a long time. I have used it with a variety of age groups. I have often found that students get a bit angry and incredulous when the answers are revealed. They find it outrageous that the 'facts' they know about the Christmas story don't really appear in the Bible but are the result of tradition. In fact while many of the things we have added in tradition may be reasonable assumptions this quiz is a good reminder to us all at Christmas to go back to the source of the nativity stories. Children can find this quiz confronting and I have even had students say to me: Do you even read the Bible?!?!

This is a great opportunity to get students interested in reading the nativity narratives and looking at the closely. Have fun and be prepared for the wrath of your students.

The Questions

1. How many wise men were there?
a. 3
b. 4
c. The Bible does not say.

2. Did Joseph meet the wise men?
a. Yes
b. No
c. The Bible does not say.

3. What animal did Mary ride to Bethlehem?
a. Donkey
b. Small horse
c. Llama
d. The Bible does not say
.
4. The Holy Family named the child "Jesus" because:
a. An Angel told Mary to use the name.
b. An Angel told Joseph to use the name.
c. All of the above.
d. None of the above.

5. What type of building was Jesus born in?
a. Stable
b. Cave
c. Inn
d. The Bible does not say.

6. What animals were present at the Nativity?
a. Cattle
b. Sheep
c. Doves
d. All of the above
e. The Bible does not say.

7. Who besides the wise men saw the star?
a. The shepherds
b. King Herod's astrologers
c. The Bible does not say.

8. How did the star compare in brightness with the other stars?
a. Brighter
b. Equivalent
c. A faint glow over the horizon.
d. The Bible does not say.

9. How soon after Joseph and Mary reached Bethlehem was Jesus born?
a. Within minutes.
b. That night
c. The Bible does not say.

The Answers

1. How many wise men were there?
c. The Bible does not say.

Although tradition suggests there were three wisemen, as in the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are," the Bible actually does not give the number of Magi. Go to Biblical account of the Magi in Matthew).

2. Did Joseph meet the wise men?
c. The Bible does not say.

Matthew writes that the magi found the Child with Mary, but makes no mention of Joseph. Matthew 2:9-11. Of course, as a good parent, we would probably expect Joseph to have been there.'

3. What animal did Mary ride to Bethlehem?
d. The Bible does not say.

Although it would be a long walk for a pregnant woman from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the Bible does not mention what animal, if any, Mary rode. Luke 2:4-6

4. The Holy Family named the child "Jesus" because:
c. All of the above.

In Luke, the Angel Gabriel tells Mary to use the name "Jesus." Luke 1:30-31 . In Matthew, an angel tells Joseph to use the name. Matthew 1:20-21

5. What type of building was Jesus born in?
d. The Bible does not say.

Although Luke tells us that the baby was placed in a manger, there is no mention of where the manger was located. Luke 2:6-8

6. What animals were present at the Nativity?
e. The Bible does not say.

Despite the line in Away in a Manger that "the cattle were lowing, the poor baby wakes," there is no mention of which animals were present at the Nativity. Luke 2:6-8

7. Who besides the wise men saw the star?
c. The Bible does not say.

Check Matthew's account.

8. How did the star compare in brightness with the other stars?
d. The Bible does not say.

Check Matthew's account.

9. How soon after Joseph and Mary reached Bethlehem was Jesus born?

c. The Bible does not say.



Although every Sunday school Christmas pageant has Mary deliver a baby moments after Mary and Joseph are turned away from the inn, the Bible does not specify a time period. Check Luke's account.

3 November 2015

Religious Short Film Prize


Here is a great opportunity for student film makers to take up. The Australian Centre for Culture and Christianity are offering a $5000 prize for a religious short film.

It has to be shorter than 8 minutes but can be in any genre at all.The film doesn't have to focus on a mainstream religion.

There is more information at creativitypillar.org.au

Even if students didn't enter it would be worthwhile exploring what religion is and what might fit into the category of religious film. This conversation in relation to religious art and the Blake Prize has been going on in Australia for over fifty years.

It would also be interesting to get students to create an idea for a religious film and pitch it to the class.

27 October 2015

Teaching Resources on Human Traffiking


Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans has developed some teaching resources focussing on this topic.

"This educational resource has been prepared for secondary school teachers to assist in educating and raising consciousness about the issue of human trafficking."

The resource has five aims:
  • To educate and raise consciousness about human trafficking
  • To provide a process for teaching about human trafficking
  • To invite reflection on the issue of human trafficking
  • To encourage action to address the issue of human trafficking
  • To invite transformation in attitude on the issue of human trafficking

There are links to a large range of resources and information in these recources. They are worth checking out.

20 October 2015

What is Anglican anyway?


Ever wondered what Anglicans are really about? Here are five short videos of Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, based on his Synod Address for 2015, each dealing with a different aspect of Anglican identity.  There are questions to provoke conversation for each video. 






These videos could be useful for exploring Anglicanism with senior students or even as a resource to get yourself thinking about the different aspects of Anglican Christianity. A lot will depend on your students inclination to learn about this material and how you  provide scaffolding for them to access it.

These are all courtesy of the Formed Faith website.


15 October 2015

Australians Together


"Australians Together is a fresh approach to building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians that seeks to plant a seed in peoples’ hearts and minds; the idea that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can live in respectful, peer relationships with each other.Importantly, Australians Together is not about fixing problems; it is about shifting our approach to one another in order to build positive, healthy relationships marked by humility, respect and love."

Although this free resource has been designed for churches there may be many sections that could be useful in the religious education classroom. There are videos, stories and other resources.

8 October 2015

Transforming Service Conference


April 14-16 2016 - Brisbane


This is an invitation to educators involved in leading or organising service learning activities in Australian schools. The Transforming Service Conference will bring together Service Learning Professional from all over Australia to share a national picture of service learning activities and to.work together on advancing the understanding of service learning and the foundations which underpin service encounters.

The Transforming Service Conference is an ecumenical initiative that recognises the rich variety of approaches to service across Australian faith-based school. The conference will focus particularly on secondary schools but recognises that many schools adopt a whole-of school approach to service learning. International; and cross-cultural service encounters will be a focus of discussion, alongside local endeavours.

@transformserve  #tscon16

Registrations Open Term 4 2015
Venue: Australian Catholic University Leadership Centre, Elizabeth St, Brisbane

6 October 2015

Religious educator? Educate yourself


The Centre for Public Christianity has a website that would be a useful resource for religious educators in Australia particularly if they were hoping to extend their own knowledge of the Christian faith.

From their website:

The Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) is a not-for-profit media company that offers a Christian perspective on contemporary life. We seek to promote the public understanding of the Christian faith by engaging mainstream media and the general public with high quality and well-researched print, video and audio material about the relevance of Christianity in the 21st century.

There are articles and resources on many relevant topics including: big questions, world religions, science and faith, society and politics, history, the arts, ethics and lives of faith.

Many of these articles would be suitable for engaging students in the senior years and for educators to learn more about their area of expertise.

2 October 2015

Moving Making as Bible Engagement



Need a way to get students interacting with the Biblical text that is engaging both in terms of content and strategy?

Okay, we’ll get to that.  First off, have you seen that app that is gaining great popularity amongst phone users called Vine?  This app allows users to create a six or seven second video that can be uploaded to other suers of the app or through Twitter. 

People are using this app to make videos that are everything from comedy skits to social comments to fake trailers for films to ...whatever you can think of.  If you google “best Vines compilation” you’ll be able to watch numerous examples to get an idea.

The point for us as teachers is that the idea of a seven second video as an interesting way to communicate has now become accepted amongst secondary students.  So....

The next time you want students to engage with a story from the Bible why not have students:

  • Examine the Bible story and identify the “story beats” as a F&TV teacher would say. 

For instance, Noah’s Ark? 
a.    People are being pretty bad and God is upset
b.    God picks Noah  and gives him instructions
c.    Noah builds the ark and his neighbours pick on him
d.    Noah loads the animals into the ark
e.    Rain starts and the flood ensues
f.     The ark is safe for forty days
g.    Noah receives the message that land has appeared again
h.    God makes a promise to Noah
  • Divide your class into groups, one per story beat.
  • Have students create a ‘vine’ for their story beat.  It might be one that

a.    Captures the emotion of their part of the story, or
b.    Actually recreates their part of the story
  • Now re-read the story acting as a narrator and play each vine at the appropriate moment on the class data projector so that all can see.You can use the app to do this though you don’t need to if that would be a problem.  If it is then students can film with their normal phone cameras and message the video footage to you, or alternately, just plug each phone in to the class technology at the appropriate moment.  Or you can collect the video footage, assemble it together with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie  in a minute or two and play it next lesson with your narration.

 Guest Poster: Jonathan Sargeant

30 September 2015

Students bored by religious education? You aren't being affective.


If students are bored in class, no learning is taking place!

The affective learning domain was described as part of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a system for identifying, understanding and addressing how students learn. The affective domain is particularly focussed on student motivations, attitudes, perceptions and values. Teacher attention or lack of it to the affective domain can enhance or inhibit student learning. This is particularly true when it comes to religious education. This post won't come close to doing justice to this topic, but its a start.

When entering the religious education classroom students may come with strong pre-existing feelings about the topic of study, and may have been influenced by negative cultural and peer values about it.  It is important we make sure that we address student attitudes and motivations, and structure learning in a way that will not turn students off.

The affective domain should be central to the teaching of religious education because of the nature of the subject. We should not be solely focused on providing students with information but with providing them with the resources and space to grow and learn spiritually, emotionally and morally. Affective learning enables them to reflect on what is important to them and what may be of value to their life. We don’t want students just to receive information but to respond to it, to find value in their learning and to integrate it into their own thinking, feeling and being. This means finding approaches that will draw students in.

There are five levels in the affective domain moving through the lowest order processes to the highest.  To some degree each of these can be addressed by using creative, engaging and appropriately selected learning strategies, however, the teachers must also be aware of broader issues.

Receiving
At this level the student is just paying attention.  If we can’t make it to here then no learning will take place at all. When structuring lessons, it is important we do so in way that will grab the attention of students. We can do this by connecting it to things they care about. This could include the use of popular culture or issues of concern.  Expecting students to listen to the teacher talk for too long without interaction may interfere with student’s ability to give their attention.

It is possible to turn students off very quickly if language is used in an unthinking way. It is important that the educator doesn't make statements about beliefs that assume students agree with them, for instance “we all know that Jesus rose from the dead”. The teacher may believe it, but if the students don’t then they may stop receiving. Rephrasing the statement to “I believe...” (Owning – saying you believe it) or “Christians believe…” (Grounding – saying who believes it) goes a long way to wards overcoming this issue.

Responding
At this level students are responding to stimulus and reacting to it in some way. This could include providing their own opinion, answering or asking questions or sharing their experiences.  One way of achieving this is to provide an open and safe environment. The owning and grounding approach above provides students with the invitation to offer their own view. It is also important that teachers don’t engage in unstructured debates with students about their beliefs or criticise or belittle them but provide them with opportunities to express clearly what they believe and why. I think it is counter-productive for a teacher to overly defend their own beliefs as well.

Activities such as think, pair, share may provide students a safer way to reflect, to share with one other and then offer their ideas to the wider group. Approaches that provide students with creative and engaging ways to respond to stimulus are critical to this level.

Valuing
At this level the student is reflecting on how the information is of value to them and their life. It relates to personal beliefs, attitudes or commitments to particular ideas.  It is at this level that students see the importance of what is being taught and decide to take positions and discuss why it important to them. In this process they will begin to identify their own values. Values clarification exercises may help students to do this, especially if they are given an opportunity to articulate why particular things are important to them. I suspect that students may approach this level if the issues discussed are of importance to their daily life and world view. It is important in religious education that when issues relating to the life of the student are discussed that they are given the space to think about how it impacts them and the people close to them.

Organizing
At this level students are considering different values and ideas and accommodating, integrating or prioritizing them into their own values. The goal for teachers is to help students reflect on moving good values to a higher priority and poor values to a lower priority. One way of approaching this is to seek to make students annoyed or angry about something such as an injustice or wrong in the world. This may motivate students to re-evaluate which of the things they value are important and why.

Characterizing
At this level the student has a specific value that becomes characteristic of them by the way it influences their behaviour and way of living. I suspect that if we can make students care about a particular value enough then we can spur them on to action. Providing students with opportunities to act beyond the classroom, either in the school or at home or in the community may enable them to test out values through action. In doing so they may have the experience that helps them make the expression of the value part of their way of life.

28 September 2015

God and Music



“I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.”
― Johann Sebastian Bach

“The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God 
and the refreshment of the spirit.”
― Johann Sebastian Bach

Music is an important part of the life of many young people.

Research released by Philip Hughes a few years ago had young people listing music as the top way they deal with the challenges of life and one of their top ways for achieving peace and happiness.

Much of the best music ever written in the West has deep roots in Christian spirituality and even today many “secular” bands continue to incorporate spiritual and Christian themes throughout their music.

So why wouldn't we be using this obvious resource for religious and Christian education.

What might a unit based around God, spirituality and music look like?
There are three approaches that come to mind for me, depending on what you hope to achieve. A blend of all of them might be most desirable and would allow students not only to learn about Christianity but also from it.

Approach 1: The development of Christian music

In this approach a survey might be done of Christian music throughout the ages. A unit like this might explore some of the following questions:
  • what is sacred/religious music?
  • are there different types?
  • why is it important?
  • what it is used for?
  • how does the artists perceive God’s involvement?
  • does sacred music differ to music with spiritual themes?
  • what impact does sacred or spiritual music have on Christians and people in general?
  • what does the importance of music in Christianity tell us about how they perceive God?

Throughout this exploration use the music to help answer the questions above.

You could explore:
  • Gregorian and other types of chant
  • Classical Music with Christian themes
  • Hymns and Psalmody
  • Christian rock and roll and hip hop
  • Modern worship music


Approach 2:  Music and Spirituality

A second approach would be to listen to, discuss and analyse modern or ancient songs that deal with issues affecting the live of students. The songs chosen should be ones that seek to reference the Christian faith or Christian themes in some way. These songs don’t need to put a positive spin on everything but should somehow draw on the stories, motivations or beliefs of Christianity.
In this unit some of the following questions might be explored:
  • Why is music so deeply connected with spirituality?
  • Why do secular artists incorporate Christian or spiritual themes into their music?
  • How can music help people deal with problems?
  • Is there a difference between Christian music and music written by Christians?
  • How does music influence peoples thinking?


Approach 3: Exploring Christianity through Music


With this approach some of the key themes of Christianity could be explored through music either ancient or modern. These themes could include:
  • creation
  • Jesus
  • sin
  • redemption
  • community
  • love 
  • service
  • justice
  • forgiveness

Use music to explore what different people have to say about these topics through their music. Investigate how these ideas are similar or different to Christian theologies.

Just thinking about the idea of a unit relating to God and music made the following songs pop into my limited imagination. Some of these draw on Christian tradition and some on the beliefs of other religions or on popular spirituality. There are a million songs that could be helpful, many more modern than these.
  • The Outlaw - Larry Norman
  • Audience with the Devil - Hilltop Hoods
  • Highwayman - Johnny Cash
  • Take my life - Garage Hymnal

22 September 2015

Time Travelling Jesus


Ever wondered what the world was like when Jesus walked the earth. The idea below could be used as a unit of work to help students discover the world Jesus lived in or it could be used as a piece of assessment.

Students are given the following scenario:

"You work for a time travel agency and are required to create a travel guide for people travelling to Jerusalem during the time of Jesus (~30 AD) as this is one of the most popular time travel destinations. It is essential however that your customers understand the time and place they are visiting so that they will  fit in and not disturb the time stream."

Students may be asked to do the following:
  • Create a time travel guide for the time of Jesus.
  •  Write it in a travel guide format - this could be book or website format.
  • Provide information on:
    • Israel - The Land, Important History and Geographical Features, Language etc.
    • Life in 30 AD – Lifestyle, Government.
    • People – Important Groups – Saducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Romans, Zealots.

There are a few ways to provide this information.
  • Each expert group could be given a Bible passages from the Gospels relating to their topic.
  • Books about the life of Jesus designed for the classroom could be provided.
  • Students could be provided with access to the internet and guided to some useful webs sites.
  • A mixture of these resources could be provided.

There are many ways this could be completed, including individual or pair research,  however one alternate way could be to use the Jigsaw approach (Innovative Teachers’ Companion:  Secondary Edition 2012, page 132, or see www.itcpublications.com.au )

Students are first put in home teams of five members and numbered 1 -5. Home teams are then rearranged into expert teams based around the number assigned. Eg. All number 1’s group together, all number 2’s group together.

2. Each expert team then researches the specialist topic assigned to them:

3. Each expert team should record their findings.

4. Expert teams then break up and return to form their home teams. Each home team should now  have an expert in each area. Each of the experts teaches the others what they have discovered in order to create the their travel guide.

In order for this to work students would need to be provided with good structure and resources for each of the topics they are covering.

16 September 2015

Transforming Service Conference 2016



April 14-16 2016 - Brisbane


This is an invitation to educators involved in leading or organising service learning activities in Australian schools. The Transforming Service Conference will bring together Service Learning Professional from all over Australia to share a national picture of service learning activities and to.work together on advancing the understanding of service learning and the foundations which underpin service encounters.

The Transforming Service Conference is an ecumenical initiative that recognises the rich variety of approaches to service across Australian faith-based school. The conference will focus particularly on secondary schools but recognises that many schools adopt a whole-of school approach to service learning. International; and cross-cultural service encounters will be a focus of discussion, alongside local endeavours.

Registrations Open Term 4 2015
Venue: Australian Catholic University Leadership Centre, Elizabeth St, Brisbane

3 September 2015

Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Scriptural, theological and ethical approaches


This resource produced by the Anglican Church Southern Queensland's Social Responsibilities Committee would be very useful for developing a unit around the issue of refugees  for senior school students. It provides a great structure and lots of links to all kinds of information and resources.

Read from the Introduction:

"In 2010 the Social Responsibilities Committee of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland (SRC) commissioned the Anglicare Southern Queensland (Anglicare SQ) Social Justice research unit to publish a series of discussion papers on the subject of refugees and asylum seekers. The first paper covered the context of current political issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers, including the operation of international law within Australia. The second paper researched statistical informationconcerning applicants for refuge and asylum in Australia and Australian policy responses. The third paper explored scriptural, theological and ethical issues which confront Christians particularly when seeking to engage with the public debate."

"This study guide, prepared by The Reverend Gillian Moses, has emerged primarily from the third paper. It is designed to assist parish and other groups to explore the issues covered in that paper in more depth and through focused engagement with relevant scriptures. The questions which surround our engagement with those who come to our country seeking refuge are profound and continue to shape the political and social landscape of Australia. Our response to refugees and asylum seekers continues to be a hot topic in election campaigning. Ongoing conflict around the world continues to generate new sources of refugees at an unprecedented rate. The issues are not going away."

"As Christians we have theological and ethical resources available which can inform and direct our personal and corporate responses to these issues. This guide will help Anglicans to utilise those resources so that they can contribute meaningfully to the public conversation."

27 August 2015

Gender justice an Anglican concern



Our Scriptures speak of women and men made together in the image of God, equal in dignity and value. We know from inspiring examples from across the Communion that this process of transformation - restoring just gender relationships - requires the leadership of both men and women.


~ Revd Rachel Carnegie, Co-Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance. 


Where does the issue of gender injustice fit within your religious or Christian education curriculum? Is it there at all?

One of the Five Marks of Mission shared by the Anglican Communion is to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation. 

Here are a few quick resources to get you thinking about the importance of addressing this issue and maybe spark some ideas for exploring it in the classroom.


The website the posted the above facts is  www.makers.com and it contains the video stories of over 300 women from a variety of fields and endeavours. It would be a very useful resource in the classroom.



This link goes to the Anglican Communion website and offers some resources for exploring and understanding gender injustice.

21 August 2015

The World at 7 Billion


This infographic (and the six others on the page it is from) is from a few years ago (2011) but is still incredible to look at. These would be useful in creating a unit exploring some of the challenges facing us now and in the next half century. There are other infographics on the page including women and development, youth are the future and poverty and population growth.

I know teachers often struggle to work out what to take to years 11 and 12 in terms of religious education. I wonder if some of this information could form the basis of a unit that explores the problems and how religion may play a role in shaping a better future.

4 August 2015

Anglican heritage and identity


Archbishop Phillip Aspinall spoke at length on Anglican heritage and identity in his Presidential Address to the Synod of the Anglican Church in Southern Queensland. Some of this might be useful in exploring where the Anglican Church came from and what it is about.
The image of an atom or a solar system isn't a bad metaphor for Anglicanism. There are various elements moving in relation to each other, exerting force and influence on each other, keeping each other in balance and on track. The elements of the system are not really in opposition to each other but complementary. Remove one and the whole thing changes and is at risk of collapsing. - Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Synod 2015

28 July 2015

What is the Bible about anyway?


The Bible Project is an amazing Youtube channel with short videos exploring the books of the Bible including their structure and  literary themes. The grand narrative of the Bible is also explored along with thematic elements. This one below is on the theme of the "messiah" through scripture.



15 July 2015

Religions Expanding Across the Globe



A cool little animated video of how different religions spread across the globe. Clearly however this only shows the dominant religion in each place and not the fact that adherants of different religions have resided together in the one place all over the globe. 

Here is a slightly different one:



Here is a link to a unit on how different  religions spread across the globe:
http://www.learner.org/courses/worldhistory/unit_overview_7.html

9 July 2015

One World Wontok: Learning Resources



The Anglican Board of Mission recently released the resources and activities used at this year's One World Wontok Conference. You can find them here.

These resources focus on some of the broad themes of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)– Education, Gender Equality, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, & Employment. Each activity is designed to be used in a 25-30 minute lesson and can be adapted to suit various age levels.