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A movie medley of trailers. Bladerunner:. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lW0F1sccqk
Bicentennial Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5YMEwX2-88
If are bodies are made of machinery, can we still be human?
Homework: can a machine think? Searle’s Chinese room argument made clearly:
Some interviews with pioneers of artificial intelligence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aygSMgK3BEM
Year 8 second half of the Christmas term. A follow-up to a lesson comparing Matthew and Luke on the Nativity. Starter: what is the relationship of Santa to Christmas. Main Phase: reading through:
Plenary: what do they think now? Any change? Why?
A source for year 9 which pupils need three weeks to consider in groups. I like to allocate tasks to individual pupils when they are working in groups and get them to organise planning, keep a project diary and write an evaluation of their own contribution as well as of the outcome. The big question is to look at the ‘historical Jesus’. The source is: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ
My own conclusion is that such a person did really exist. This first burst is part of a ‘Jesus project’ I get them to do in year 9.
A well-organised collection for mining – please let us know if you find something of interest.
Ranvir – Re your excellent remarks about sex education and the Kama Sutra.
Aldous Huxley’s book Island is a fascinating read: http://amzn.to/16GhKUf.
We certainly need some changes.
Allan, thank you for your kind words. As part of the medley I like to offer pupils I do include some Greek myths. This serves several purposes – it is a view into a religion, it informs us that religions may die out, they are referenced in a lot of art and literature, both historic and contemporary, i.e. Disney and other movies and we have to re-examine again what the sources of religion are and, related to this, what religion is. I like to start with Schliemann and the discovery of Troy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhQAPg0SgZg This can be supported by video clips from the movie starring Brad Pitt. in class. The big point is that here is something regarded as fanciful and invented but which turns out to be historical. Are (some) myths based on history? For Year 7.
Really three ideas that I would use from year 9 onwards.
Durkheim on religion. Just a tad over 10 minutes and a chance for them to make notes independently and then share in a classroom discussion about what they have just seen. Is ‘religion’ some sort of social glue? If so, what is today’s religion? Fashion Gurus, designer home Gurus, cooking Gurus, relationship Gurus, etc. And what is the God/goal?
Weber on religion. Whether a particular religion is ‘true’ or not may be irrelevant to some versions of Religious Studies which may look at the impact of religion in history, as well as currently. Again, pupils make notes independently and then discuss. You could mix it up by making a Mind Map on the board that everyone tries to contribute something to.
Marx on religion. I think the ‘opium’ as escapism is important in order to understand some features of nineteenth century Christianity in Britain, but opium as painkiller, the ‘sigh of the oppressed’ might be a good introduction to liberation theology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4enR1Xc4xng Homework could be something about Oscar Romero.
The Durkheim, Weber and Marx videos, note taking and discussion are each one lesson long when I do it. There is a lot of background that the pupils need which could either be supplied through a prior reading homework or through filling in gaps in the classroom.
I know that there is a great danger of getting swamped by videos, but I must mention this site that I have just found:
Top Documentaries: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/
and that two of the finest series ever made are now available on line:
The Ascent of Man -Jacob Bronowski, http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/ascent-of-man/
Cosmos – Carl Sagan, http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBA8DC67D52968201
Thanks for the excellent August 26 links – all very significant and pointing to the usefulness of religion – how do we keep the social and personal benefits when so many reject institutional religion, religious leaders, and belief in God?
The St Johns Nottingham work is impressive – I have bought access to the New Testament and the Faith & Modernity timelines
Thank you for your kind words. After looking at sociological perspectives I get pupils to examine psychological approaches. The obvious one is Freud. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aArfjbcmutI provides food for thought although the use of the word ‘shit’ on one slide is regrettable (but it could be explained as being used for effect). After discussing the ideas it might be worth picking an issue to trigger deeper engagement and reflection. A suggestion is ‘marriage’. Who invented that? Why? Is it making a comeback? Why do same-sex couples want it? Is it inherently patriarchal?
The other thinker is Jung. An intelligent, though somewhat boring (challenging?) piece for pupils to watch is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcthKnvY2hE Whether or not the style of the documentary is boring the material certainly is not. After a brief discussion I would introduce the easier to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_Q1gFsvIw about Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey.
The hero’s journey takes us back to work in year 7 on ancient Greece. They can contrast the hero’s journey of Hercules and Perseus with the historical tale of Theseus. For Hercules and Perseus I would simply show trailers of movies about those characters, the Disney Hercules https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5J8jie6tgk and maybe the new film starring the Rock when that trailer becomes available! For Perseus the various Clash of the Titans will do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXttqg0RWU8. For the historical tale of Theseus Arthur Evans and Crete is fascinating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3dak2YQdPM So was ancient Greek religion a blend of the hero’s journey (myth) and history turned to legend?
Theatre, shared imagination, feeling and questioning, is an absolutely vital contribution of Greek civilization –
Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth – theatre and democracy http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039gly5
Agreed, though I think it is interesting to locate Greek contributions in the context of other Ancient civilisations. For instance, I enjoy subverting the film, ‘300’ to reflect that the Persian Empire was monotheistic, multi-cultural, had an efficient tax system, road network and way stations on the roads, tolerant (the Greek inventions took place on Persian soil), and used wine drinking as a means to open up and look at what lay beneath. The Romans had a phrase for this, ‘in vino veritas’. In any case, part of the joy of RS is looking beyond nineteenth century ‘nationalist’ narratives to become aware of their own narrative building and sense making in a twenty-first century context that is more global, a history of human thought. As a bolt-on to my suggestions re: Zoroastrianism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C2BfMYuwL0
Thanks Ranvir: an excellent series. A book to put along side it is Persian Fire by Tom Holland: http://amzn.to/12UTFbC .
Completely agree Allan. Holland’s book was eye opening for me, a fresh perspective.
Here is something else a little different that the pupils tend to enjoy. It is a compilation of 60 second adventures in thought. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zVaFjSxAZs The first episode about Achilles and the Tortoise is really a starter but the pupils can engage with time travel. The idea that moving faster than the speed of light could enable time travel is intriguing. A small gain is the realisation that Newton could be wrong – he posited space and time as absolute grid points within which the universe existed, whereas today people are more likely to argue that in fact space-time is one relative quality.
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