The Atheist Foundation of Australia applauds the position of Joe Kelly, the principal of Cranbourne South Primary School who has suspended the classes with Access Ministries where he offered these comments, "It is not education," Mr Kelly said. "It has no value whatsoever. It is rubbish – hollow and empty rhetoric … My school teachers are committed to teaching children, not indoctrinating them."
We encourage all other school principals to put the education of our children above the attempts to indoctrinate them via the promotion of one particular faith based belief system. This thinly veiled pseudo-curriculum has already been systematically reviewed and exposed for what it really is.
Professor Marion Maddox ARC Future Fellow, Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University concluded,
"The tone of ACCESS materials is unequivocally evangelical, not only in that it relentlessly pushes the participating students towards cultivating an individual faith but, perhaps more importantly, in that a person participating in the ACCESS program would come away with the idea that Christians believe that being (or becoming) a Christian is the only acceptable life choice."
"Moreover, proselytising may occur not merely between religions but between different branches of a single religion. Despite occasional warnings in the teachers’ books to have regard to Christian diversity, ‘Religion in Life’ continuously presents a single, evangelical, literalist version of Christianity. My conclusion is that ‘Religion in Life’ would, intentionally or not, have the effect of conveying to non-evangelical Christian students that their version of Christianity was inadequate and that they should abandon it and adopt the ‘Religion in Life’ version."
Dr David Zyngier, Senior Lecturer in Curriculum & Pedagogy at Monash University included in his evaluation,
"Students across all the student workbooks are not being challenged to think independently as the vast majority of student tasks are based on what we in the profession call busy work.
Moreover there does not seem to be any logical selection and sequencing of the content, nor is the content broken down into manageable instructional units based on students’ cognitive capabilities. The related instructional delivery in the Instructor’s Manual also does not appear to support clear sequencing, clear descriptions and demonstrations of skills to be acquired, nor are the student activities followed by practice and timely feedback – the essence of good pedagogical practice which should focus initially on high levels of teacher involvement."
Our children deserve a high quality secular education, free from the infiltration of fundamentalist evangelicals attempting to indoctrinate them into their narrow brand of religious dogma.
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Phone: (08) 8835 2269
Email: [email protected]