Every Thursday afternoon, I volunteer in a local primary school and help in the classroom.
This primary school is a C of E school, and is right next to a church.
They recently changed the name of 'assembly' to 'daily worship' and made it compulsory for the children to pray.
For a start, the only primary school nearest to this one is like 4 miles away. This school is a faith school and is the only choice for most of the parents, as this place is a little rural village.
The reason I am posting this thread is because this week, the theme of learning was 'Space'. The children were drawing planets. One of the kids, I shall here refer to as John (half for identity protection and half because I can't remember his actual name) asked me something about when the sun was going to blow up.
Obviously I replied not for billions of years, and he asked why it was going to explode, so I explained it was going to run out of fuel etc... The questions continued, this was one really bright year one child (he was about 6)
Eventually it got onto dinosaurs and why they were wiped out etc, and I accidentally mentioned the word evolution. John of course asked me what that meant, so I tried to explain it simply, whilst attempting to dodge the social minefield of saying that God didn't create the earth, as I didn't know if he was Christian or not.
Well, it transpired that he had been raised by what I assume was an evangelical parent, as he thought that we were created by God, and when I told him about the Big Bang, he was really interested and wanted to know more.
When he asked me 'I thought God created the world in 6 days?' I was like, 'oh shit'... Problem is, I wanted to say no. Every ounce of my views told me to say know, but I had to try and explain that it was just a worldview, and that it may not necessarily be right, because I know how pissed off religious parents get if you try to tell their kids that their brainwashing was a load of bollocks.
The teacher eventually came round and put and end to the discussion by stating that God created everything and not to worry about anything else.
This child was exceptionally bright for a 6 year old, and asked lots of questions about the nature of God and the world, and evolution and things that I wouldn't have thought about asking aged 6, and he actually understood a lot of it as well... But I would be willing to bet money that:
A) when he gets home and tells his mummy about what he learned from that guy in school today, she will dismiss it as utter bollocks.
B) I'm going to get thrown out of the placement by the ultra-evangelical new headmistress because I dared to contradict their brainwashing
C) that bright little kid, who was asking all of those intelligent questions, if he was not being indoctrinated into creationism, may become a famous scientist or philosopher, but now who is likely to end up a pastor...
What do you think about the indoctrination of children?