Humanists UK hosts Understanding Humanism conference for RE teachers

Busy: roughly 100 teachers and education professionals turned out to expand their knowledge of humanism

Yesterday around 100 teachers attended Humanist UK’s Understanding Humanism Teachers Conference at Conway Hall. One of the biggest events of the year for Religious Education (RE) teachers, the conference provided an opportunity for teachers to broaden their subject knowledge and to gather, share, and discuss ideas for teaching about humanism in the classroom.

The conference featured a series of stimulating seminars and workshops aimed at both primary and secondary teachers. These included talks from humanist philosopher Professor Richard Norman; former Ofsted National Adviser for RE, Alan Brine; and the co-founder of Faith to Faithless, Aliyah Saleem.

Humanism now features on an increasing number of locally agreed RE syllabuses in England and Wales, and an ever-growing number of teachers and schools are looking for assistance with how best to include it within their teaching. Humanists are currently involved with more than 100 different Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education across England and Wales, either as full members helping to draw up their local curriculums, or as co-opted members or observers.

Teachers compare notes at the Understanding Humanism RE Teachers Conference

Humanists UK also supports teachers’ needs by offering free education resources, trained school speakers, and teacher training through its education service, Understanding Humanism. 

Reflecting on a successful event, Humanists UK Head of Education Luke Donnellan said ‘To support mutual understanding it is essential that young people, alongside learning about the main religions, have the opportunity to learn about what it means to be a humanist. It is fantastic to work with so many members of the education community on ways to support their students understanding of humanism. Developing a more balanced and inclusive RE can support us to build a more tolerant and curious society and support young people to reach their own informed conclusions about what they believe.’

Notes

For further information, please contact Humanists UK Head of Education Luke Donnellan on luke@humanism.org.uk or on 020 73243070.

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Understanding Humanism is Humanists UK’s education service, which aims to introduce young people to humanism as a non-religious approach to life which can be studied as an example of a ‘non-religious worldview’.  It provides teachers with the resources necessary to teach accurate, high-quality lessons about humanism, and assists them with the development of their own subject knowledge. The Understanding Humanism website offers lesson plans and activities, as well as free school speakers who can work with teachers to broaden students’ understanding. Visit Understanding Humanism at understandinghumanism.org.uk.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/22/bha-becomes-humanists-uk/

 

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