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Education about diverse religions and worldviews, social inclusion and countering extremism: lessons for the Australian curriculum
journal contributionposted on 2015-05-04, 00:00 authored by Anna HalafoffAnna Halafoff
Since the turn of the twenty-first century, the so-called ‘religion in schools debate’ has generated a significant amount of controversy in Australia and arguably impeded progress in both research and education about diverse religions and non-religious worldviews (ERW). This article focuses on the recently released Review of the Australian Curriculum – Final Report and examines why there has been such strong resistance to learning from international best practices in implementing ERW programmes in Australia. It presents an analysis of the Review’s findings, in light of these advances, notably the recently released Signposts: Policy and Practice for Teaching about Religions and Non-religious Worldviews in Intercultural Education document published by the Council of Europe. Finally, this article argues that for the Australian Curriculum to be genuinely ‘world class’, and for it to promote an appreciation of religious diversity, it needs to include ERW as a separate subject or across the national Curriculum, drawing on Australian and international research and policies in this field to develop curricula and resources that are appropriate for the Australian context.