Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Create Secular Temples to Fire Religious Insight

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Create Secular Temples to Fire Religious Insight

Article excerpt

Sometimes, the best way to teach students about religious places is to take the religion out of them. It may seem counter-intuitive, but pupils are often so respectful of religious belief that difficult questions merely elicit the answer "because it's their religion".

Once the class has studied the features of Muslim mosques and Sikh gurdwaras, I use this technique to get pupils to reflect on the wider purposes of places of worship.

First, a Venn diagram on the wall reminds the class of what they have already learned. Each pupil adds a Post-it note to the wall highlighting the similarities and differences between Muslim and Sikh temples.

Next, we look at the ways in which holy buildings are used: as places of worship and celebration, as community meeting spaces, as areas where followers can learn more about their religion's beliefs and culture. Pupils work in pairs to think of features of temples that are linked to these purposes, and then we write these ideas on the board.

To really get the children to understand these functions, I turn them into designers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.