What Do We Tell The Children?

Confusion, Conflict and Complexity

April 2007
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    20th April 2007
  • ISBN 9781858564074
  • Language English
  • Pages 142 pp.
  • Size 8.25" x 11.75"
  • Images illus & activities
  • Request Exam Copy

This timely book offers preparation for teaching about issues of conflict and provides specific resources to use in the classroom. The teaching and learning material can be used flexibly in conjunction with existing schemes of work according to the teacher’s professional judgement.

Children are growing up in a complex and confusing world. The complexity and confusion derives partly from the conflict caused by, or connected to, religious beliefs, political ideologies and philosophical life stances. Such conflicts are especially likely to erupt when two different absolutes clash. The clashes stem from bigotry and they also nourish it.

Increasingly, these clashes are expressed in verbal and physical violence—violence that makes “good news” for the media. All religions speak of “good news” of another order but this voice is often drowned. That billions of believers the world over are neither fundamentalist nor fanatical, but desire peace and understanding for themselves and others is a fact the press, broadcasting and popular discourse generally ignore. And so complexity and confusion are confounded.

What Do We Tell the Children? evokes dilemmas about the scope of sensitive matters when talking with children. We adults may be uncomfortable and confused ourselves but children and young people have pressing and pertinent questions and seek a response even if there is no one answer. Wood suggests practical ways for teachers to respond to these questions.

"The insightful reflection on the issues, the expert guidance for finding a way through RE minefields and the practical classroom strategies and resources all go to make up a very empowering text. This publication has a cutting edge that makes it stand out from other teachers’ handbooks."

- World Religions in Education

Acknowledgements; Introduction; PART I: CONFUSION, CONFLICT AND COMPLEXITY—BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: No Such Thing as Neutral; ‘Otherising’ the Other; Mind Your Language; Islamophobia; Antisemitism and Antizionism; The Good, the Bad and the Untidy; PART II: CHARTING A COURSE—GUIDANCE ON APPROACHING THE ISSUES IN SHCOOLS: The Escape; Talking, Teaching and Taboos; Questions, Questions, Questions; Decisions, Decisions, Decisions; Planning and Preparing; The Return; PART III: CRAFT AND CURRICULUM—ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES: Images for Imaging; Telling Tales; Plays and Puzzles; Reporting on Reporting; ‘The Answers at the Back of the Book’; Credits and References.

Angela Gluck Wood

Angela Gluck Wood is an experienced educational consultant and co-director of the Insted Consultancy, which specializes in equality and diversity. She has expertise in world religions and interfaith dialogue, and has published about forty books, several for Trentham.