English | 196 pages | ISBN-10: 9462094144 | PDF | 3.63 MB
This book describes how Buddhists in Victoria Australia came together to form and deliver a Religious Instruction (R.I.) program in Victorian state primary schools. It argues that it is timely for Buddhists to engage with education and, by describing challenges faced by a non-sectarian group delivering R.I., questions are raised about how Buddhist people might choose to define their spirituality and, drawing upon the Buddha-Dharma, discern what might be cogent lessons for young people being schooled in Australian society. It is by no means a defence of Religious Instruction, but rather aims to raise some broader and more serious issues around how religion and ethics can be taught in Australia, and how voices from communities might be included.
This book speaks to different groups at different stages: Buddhists - 'ethnic' Buddhists and 'convert' Buddhists, dharma people, religious educators, and fellow country women and men concerned with how ethics and spirituality are incorporated into democratic state-funded schooling. This book also speaks to academia, whose role in helping to navigate these complex tasks might be made more inclusive, and possibly clearer, by reframing ontologies and current pedagogies in ways that embrace some perspectives that originated in Asia. The end to which, it is hoped, inclusive and respectful dialogues between educators, religious peoples and the wider community may be furthered, and that learning experiences of students in our schools be enriched.
This book tells of how a community developed and taught the Buddhist Education in Victorian Schools Program (BEVSP) in some Victorian state primary schools and how volunteer members collaborated to develop a landmark experiential learning curriculum 'Discovering Buddha: Lessons for Primary School.'
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