Public school religion education raises complex policy responsibilities
in plural democracies. In Australia, ambiguous policy intent and contradictory
implementations create confusion for parents and educators. The state’s desire to
encourage access by diverse faith groups defends minimal regulation, but also
enables extremism, with children warned they will ‘burn in hell if (they) do not
believe in Jesus’ (ID44). In the context of debate about alternatives, this pilot
survey of attitudes identifies significant differences between the teaching
philosophy desired by parents and professional educators and the approach taken
by volunteer religious instructors.
Byrne, C 2010, 'Believe or ‘burn in hell’: the politics of religion pedagogy in Australia, a pilot study', in B Offord & R Garbutt (eds), A scholarly affair: proceedings of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia 2010 national conference, Byron Bay, NSW, 7-9 December, Southern Cross University, Centre for Peace and Social Justice and the School of Arts and Social Science, Lismore, NSW, pp. 37-53. ISBN: 9780980498073.