One’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. The purpose of this study is to foresee the perception of teachers, parents and management about religious education at primary schools. Religion and beliefs gives awareness of our norms and values. Religious education teaches the ethics of living a peaceful and loving life. It teaches individuals, families, communities that how they should take decisions for living a better life full of peace and harmony. Patrick (2006) said that religious practice benefits individuals, families, and communities and thus the whole world.
Religious education is very important for students at early ages. It teaches them how to response others and tells them ethics of living a better life. Religion plays a significant role in history and society as well, study about religion is essential to understand both the nation and the world. It also makes great beneficence to other parts of school syllabus such as liberty, civil, crafts and disciplines for supportable development. John et al (2003) mentioned in his report that the curriculum needs to cater the child’s affective, aesthetic, spiritual, moral and religious needs in order to develop the individual’s full potential. RE plays specific role in developing spiritual and moral values of a child as well as to be aware to knowledge of God.
- Literature Review
Religious education make student broad minded but it happens when teachers teaches them with these clear concepts and practices about how to practice these thoughts as well as to communicate and deal with others in adverse community. Religious Education teachers need to have in depth knowledge of content and pedagogy as well as need to have quality assessment skills to deliver effective instructions as they are the pillars of teaching process. Dinama et al. (2016)
Liagkis (2016) supported the concept that pedagogically, all instructions are determined in the curriculum sequentially but religious education teachers are responsible to deliver effective teaching to learners to make them able to practice
Geoff Teece (2009) proposed an article on learning about religion and learning from religion or religious education. In this article researcher said there is a lack of clarity in terms of learning and actually mean from the religion. Researcher also argued that the term religion is understood by applying a second order explanatory frame work that actually refers to the concept of study of religion such as rituals and myth. Religious education or religious instruction was a serious concern in education system.
To figure it out Gardner (1980) gave a solution that, not to make students committed towards any of the religion and instead of this teach about the events and lifestyles guided in different religions. The question arises after this given solution that is it appropriate to grow students up with the brought minds in sense of their beliefs in educational scenario? Or is it better not to go against the grain and follow the traditional style accordingly? The explorers of these questions were Gardner (1993) & McLaughlin & Hare (1994)
Leahy & Laura in 1997 gave their notion that religion is not restricted to be taught in inflexible environment. Religious concepts can be integrated in other subjects of curriculum to enhance knowledge (P.329).
Leahy (1998) considered that should the parents be allowed to take decision about their child’s learning method of religious education by censoring the curriculum of school but she herself deny it because it will spoil the rights of other religious groups and kill the ways for different groups producing social imbalance.
According to John M.Hull there is a part for the school in preparing pupils to take an informed and thoughtful part in a pluralistic culture. When the society contains not one but several religions, the necessity for a thoughtful study of religion becomes greater, not less. (1984, p. 48.)
While standards such as admiration, acceptance, and treating people with kindness are clearly important plus constantly have been, new public currently furthermore prerequisite to understand the causes of, and possible solutions to, complex and global issues. (Nord and Haynes, 1998, p. 36)
Ethical reflection contributes to that understanding by helping young people see that tolerance of others is not enough; that a global, interconnected world calls for harmony by others whose outcomes and futures are intertwined, and that they want to be prepared to turn, not just personally, but also collectively and politically. (Freiler, 2009, p.15)
Susan D. Holloway in his article “The Role of Religious Beliefs in Early Childhood Education: Christian and Buddhist Preschools in Japan”. Off and on in western writing the Japanese are mark out as a non-religious people apart from it Japanese are considered the faithfulness that conflict with Americans. Japanese show up more prepared to put together and meet the doctrine that often appealing Shinto at the beginning and wedding whereas the Buddhism stand with silence/external rest through in spite of circumstances that work to darken the noticeable philosophical contribution of different doctrine, definite direction of Christians ideology and Buddhism are observed that pressure the school of Japanese.
- Objectives of the study:
- To find out teacher’s perception about religious teaching as an aspect of education.
- To identify the role of teachers for children character development.
- To find out parent’s perception about religious teaching.
- To explore the role of school management for teaching religious subjects in curriculum.
- Methodology of the Study:
A quantitative research design was selected to conduct this study. In this study questionnaires were used as a research tool. In the educational research field questionnaires are worthily considered as a popular technique mostly used for investigating the opinions, attitudes, perceptions and preferences.
Questionnaires constitute an important and popular technique that is widely used to study the attitudes, opinions, perceptions and preferences in the field of educational research. Muijs (2004), Reid (2006)
Oppenheim (1992: 100) described questionnaires as: “The questionnaire is an important instrument of research, a tool for data collection. It is considered a set of questions arranged in a certain order and constructed according to specially selected rules”.
[Creswell (2008), Cohen et al (2007), Raid (2006)] all categorized questionnaires information as there are three types of data that may be collected about respondents through using questionnaires including Factual, Behavioral and attitudinal. Demographic characteristics of respondents are covered in factual questions; behavioral questions are used to investigate about the actions, habits, and experiences of participants; and to know about interest, belief, values, opinions and attitudes investigator uses attitudinal questions. In this study research tool is consisted on two elements from mentioned categories including factual and attitudinal questions.
Three questionnaires were designed for each category of respondents. Respondents of the study were teachers, parents and management belongs to primary schools of Karachi. Total number of statements was 10 for each category of respondents. 30-40 minutes time duration was decided to fill questionnaires after the pilot study. Closed ended statements were used in questionnaires and respondents were asked to give their point of view by chosen rubrics of Likert Scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, to some extent, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree).
- 1. Pilot testing of Questionnaires
Oppenheim (1992: 48) mentioned this “everything about the questionnaire should be piloted; nothing should be excluded, not even the type face or the quality of the paper”. 50 respondents were selected for pilot testing of questionnaires (20 teachers, 20 parents and 10 management staff). Piloting the questionnaires was aimed to ensure the layout of questionnaires, to cater the language difficulties, to check instructions needed to improve and to improve validity and reliability of questionnaires. The feedback received through pilot testing provides the clarity about statements of questionnaire, layout, instructions and validity as well.
- 2. Sample selection
Teachers, school management of primary schools and parents of primary grade children of Karachi, Pakistan were selected as a population of this study. Sample was selected district wise; there are 6 districts in Karachi namely Central Karachi, East Karachi, South Karachi, West Karachi, Malir Karachi and Korangi Karachi. By using convenient quota sampling technique 4 districts out of 6 were selected including East Karachi, South Karachi, Malir Karachi and Korangi Karachi. Total 200 sample size was selected for conducting this study. 50 samples were intended to select from each district approximately. For desired sample primary schools were selected through searching on internet and developed communication with concern authorities of all schools for asking their willingness to fulfill research needs.
- 3. Data collection procedure
Researcher visited schools district wise one by one and distributed 250 questionnaires to participants more than actual sample size to get maximum return rate. 30 out of 250 participants did not return their questionnaires. 220 participants returned questionnaires on time.20 questionnaires out of 220 were excluded due to incomplete responses. So finally researcher got desired sample size 200 out of 250. Remaining questionnaire responses was 40 (principals, wise principals), 100 teachers and 60 parents selected collectively. Whereas, 10 (principals, wise principals), 25 teachers and 15 parents were selected from each district.
5. Analysis of Data:
SPSS version 21 was used for data analysis procedure. 5-Likert scale responses were converted into numeric scale 1-5 to enter the data in SPSS. Through using SPSS researcher calculated the frequencies and percentages. After calculation, result is presented through generating graphs showing frequencies and percentages of responses of each category.