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A preliminary assessment of Buddhism’s contextualization to the English RE classroom

By Phra Nicholas Thanissaro

Abstract

In a preliminary study, twenty ‘migrant’ Buddhist parents and children from England\ud participated in semi-structured interviews to compare their home nurture with classroom\ud presentation of Buddhism. In the home Buddhism received more time allocation and was\ud presented mainly by the mother and monks – the content being that of ‘perpetuating\ud structures’, often in an ethnic mother tongue and with ethos permeating all aspects of life.\ud In school, by contrast, Buddhism was allocated little or no time, was presented mostly by\ud the teacher – the content being meditation, Precepts and the more material aspects of the\ud tradition – in English and with little in terms of amenable ethos. Dissonance apparent\ud between home and school presentation of Buddhism is compared to similar findings for the\ud Hindu and Sikh communities in Britain and the need is highlighted for more attention to\ud avoidance of assumptions in content, better use of allocated time and increased\ud involvement of the ‘migrant’ Buddhist faith community. To this end recommendations are\ud made for further research

Topics: BQ, LC
Publisher: Routledge
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3356

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