Why religious education is more important than ever

Children have access to more knowledge than ever. But they are also exposed to negativity and potentially damaging content on a daily basis. Pauline Abbott explains why the age-old teachings of the Bible can help tackle the most modern of challenges.

Many children are sadly growing up more isolated than ever. Traditional family past times such as day trips, shared meal times and even watching TV together are sadly declining. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, children have access to an entire world of information – good and bad. With almost limitless text and video content discussing every topic imaginable, the internet can be a power for good. However, it is also responsible for isolating children and delivering a false education.

In this fast-paced world, it’s not possible for parents and teachers to “hand-hold” children every time they use a mobile device. Therefore, it’s critical that children are given the correct tools and knowledge to use the internet correctly.
Pauline Abbott, founder of Child-Led Collective Worship

Traditional skills
Children need a sense of inquisitiveness and an understanding that they shouldn’t accept everything at face value. They need to make moral decisions about what is right and wrong. And they need to be strong enough in character to avoid content that is unsuitable and likely to upset them.

These traits are all strongly linked to Christian values. The Bible teaches all of us to ask questions, approach situations from a positive starting point and to take responsibility for our own actions. Therefore, children that possess these skills will be savvier online and equipped to deal with the negative aspects of the internet.

I strongly believe in the power of theological eduction to equip our children with essential life skills. You can read about why I created CLCW and what I believe it offers our children.

As teachers and parents, we must acknowledge the challenge of mobile devices and the internet. But it is imperative we don’t bury our heads in the sand. We need to teach children the skills they need to navigate the digital world and I believe that religious education can make a huge contribution.