Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Features of Fundamentalism Mnemonic

Mnemonics are ways of remembering complex chunks information by linking them to simpler or more memorable words, phrases or images. If, like me, you learned the points of the compass through the phrase "Never Eat Shredded Wheat", that's a good example of a simple mnemonic.
Below is an acrostic mnemonic I've come up with to help remember and revise some of the key features of religious fundamentalism:

If you've already studied fundamentalism, then most of these should be fairly familiar, but if you're not, then here's a brief explanation of each feature:

Science - Rejection of scientific views when they conflict with sacred texts. However, many fundamentalists have made effective use of modern technology to promote their message.
Elect - The view held by some fundamentalists that they are part of a spiritual elite, chosen by God for a particular mission. In some cases, this may justify violence.
Patriacrchy - The view that men and women have different roles, with women subordinate to men. In fundamentalist groups this is seen as being ordered by God, not the product of culture or history.
Authoritarian - Blind obedience to authority, as opposed to individual freedom and conscience. This may involve obedience to the teachings of a religious text or a religious leader.
Reaction Against Modernity - Fundmentalism is seen as being a reaction against the modern world. Fundamentalists view themselves as being distinct from, and separate to, modern secular society.
Apocalyptic - The view that we are living in the last days, and that the world as we know it will shortly be brought to a sudden end.
Texts - Belief that a sacred text is inerrant (contains no errors). Fundamentalists hold that their sacred texts are literally true, and are hostile towards attempts at historical or literary criticism of them.
Ethically Conservative - The moral commandments of religious texts are seen as being binding for all time. In practice, this tends to lead to a conservative moral position, for example opposing homosexuality.
Dualism - Dividing the world into clear categories of good and evil, right and wrong, "with us" and "against us". There is little room for ambiguity or grey areas in fundamentalist thinking.

Some of the above might be open for debate, and some scholars might include other characteristics, but if you can use the SEPARATED mnemonic to remember these characteristics, and can explain and give an example of each, you should be well on your way to getting a decent grade in a Part A question on the features of fundamentalism.  
I've also put together a short PowerPoint that (if you're a teacher) you could incorporate into a revision lesson.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Christian Ethics: AQA "A" Spec Revision Workbook and Checklist

I've come across a workbook I put together for the AQA A Specification  GCSE unit on Christian Ethics. I no longer teach the A spec (and to be honest I completely forgot that I'd made the workbook), but somebody out there might it useful.

Looking through the workbook, it's mostly made up of candidate sample answers for peer assessment, plus some past paper questions and a set of key facts to learn.

There also a revision checklist for four of the six topics in the GCSE (I might have put it together for mocks rather than the final exams), which might also be of some use.

You can download the checklist here and the workbook here via google docs.

I am, of course, still hunting for the Year 12 revision booklet I was actually looking for when I found them...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Life After Death Revision Checklist

Photo credit sxc.hu/fanginhoon

I've put together a revision checklist/topic self assessment for the AQA unit on Body, Soul, and Personal Identity. You can download it from Google Docs here.

If you're revising for your GCSEs or A levels right now (and if you're following these tips on how to get an A, then you should be!), using checklists can help you identify the areas you need to target in your revision, and avoid the temptation to simply go over the parts of a topic you're already most comfortable with.

I've put together checklists for most of the AQA GCSE and A level syllabuses for RS. If you'd like any others for particular topics, then please post a comment below.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Farsi Beyond Driven - Iranian Heavy Metal

Photo Credit: Danesh Sarouie

The BBC World Service's Freedom Songs programme profiles Iranian metal musicians and the challenges they face in a country where women are banned from singing in public, and rock music is seen by the authorities as Satanic. You can listen via iPlayer here.

If you got the pun in the post title, it's worth a listen!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Life, Death and Beyond - Draft Scheme of Work

I've put together a rough draft of a scheme of work for the AQA A2 synoptic unit on Life, Death, and Beyond, which I'm teaching for the first time this year. It's something of a hybrid, using the AQA Spec, a WJEC textbook, and a template scheme I nabbed from OCR!

If you teach the synoptic unit, then like me you might find the lack of resources and schemes of work a bit of a headache. Any suggestions on how to improve the SOW (or extra resources to include) would be much appreciated! You can download the scheme of work from here.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Body, Soul, and Personal Identity Revision Games

Photo credit sxc.hu / runrunrun

Owing to popular demand (i.e. one person), I've created some "Articulate" and Keyword Pairs revision games for the AQA A2 Body, Soul, and Personal Identity topic. The definitions are taken or adapted from the Jordan, Lockyer, and Tate official AQA textbook.

You can download the games from here if you have a TES account, or from here via Google Docs.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Evangelical Students Running (or Ruining) Courses?

An interesting article article about the impact that evangelical Christians are having in Religion departments in an era of increasingly student influence:

Teaching religion: my students are trying to run my course

Via the Put RE back into the English Baccalaureate facebook group.