We are rich in resources – many of which are just the press of a button away.
Besides excellent subject guides, there are a host of online blogs, videos, articles and audio files. But which ones are the best – based on solid scholarship AND relevant to your teaching?
Here are just 5 outstanding resources I find myself recommending to teachers across Britain.
(I have 6th form students in mind – though you’ll see that some are great for Key Stages 3 and 4):
1. Readable Atheism.
Richard Dawkins is the atheist-of-choice in today’s classroom – few can beat his pithy sound-bytes and debate-inducing barbs! Yet, for those of you who teach philosophy, an incredible resource is the philosopher A. C. Grayling’s book of very short essays, “Against All Gods”. It’s only 67 pages long and each essay is only 7or 8 pages in length. You can see a preview right here on Amazon.
2. Go to the Synagogue, Mosque or Temple- Now.
TrueTube (www.truetube.co.uk) has lesson plans, videos and assembly scripts for Key Stage 3 and 4; their series of videos, ‘Holy Cribs’ is a great introduction to diverse places of worship for even older students. Many of these videos feature a teenager who explains basic features of places of worship – they are fast paced, engaging and filled with key beliefs and practices. Click and use!
3. Jesus in Pictures.
“Jesus Through the Centuries” is an incredible book for teaching history or theology or BOTH. World-renowned scholar Jaroslav Pelikan wondered what could be learned about history by looking at the ways in which Jesus was portrayed in art in different time periods. The book shows the values and ideals of each generation – some of which have something to do with Jesus and many of which don’t! It’s worth getting just for the pictures alone! See an Amazon preview here.
4. Short Books on Big Theorists
Did you know about SCM’s “Briefly Series?” They cover a range of great thinkers though the ages – including all of the main figures covered in Philosophy and Ethics at the AS and A2 level. They are usually less than 100 pages and are “pitched” at Key Stage 5. I expect that only the more able students will plough all the way through one of these – but they are also incredibly useful in your own lesson preparation. The summary book of the series “25 Great Philosophers from Plato to Sartre” gives key ideas and tips for further reading – check it out here.
5. Judaism in Action
I’ve often been asked, “Is there is a theatrical film which shows Jewish worship and learning in action?” The slightly dated historical Rom-Com ‘Yentl’ is the best bet. There’s an incredible scene of Yentl (played by Barbra Streisand) showing her love of Talmudic study in a European Yeshiva. This lends itself well for showing how engaging Jewish learning can be – getting away from the stereotype of Judaism as “dead legalism.” Yes: it’s available on DVD!
More Resources Here
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