Greetings from the DAN Office and apologies for the absence of e-newsletters this year.  The DAN EO has been somewhat preoccupied with her new job description as mother to Scarlett Grace Kennedy Hill (born 11.2.2010)...but trusts you find something of interest herein to read over the holidays! 

Further details will be announced in early Term 3 2010

By now you should have received your copies of the 23rd issue of Dialogue Australasia journal. If you haven't, please contact the DAN EO


The letter accompanying your Dialogue journals contained details of your new password to access web resources.  The new password takes effect on 1 July 2010.
  • Films designed by Joe Jenkins for Religious, Philosophy and Values Education 
  • Classroom Activities, Teachers’ Notes and filmed pupil responses accompany each film
  • Age Range 14+
Check out segments from the following films designed to assist teachers in delivering dynamic lessons on Environmental Issues and Ethics:
By comparing the life of Earth to the life of a 45 year old woman Gaia takes us on a breathtaking journey from our very beginnings to our meteoric yet reckless rise to ascendancy {16 mins}
The Genesis injunction to have dominion over nature has been ruthlessly misinterpreted as injunction to dominate – at all costs {18 mins}
Stewards & Slayers
Today we live in an ethically contradictory world, a world in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. At the same time as modern thinkers are seeking to extend the circle of moral consideration to all living things, the human species inflicts more suffering on more creatures than at any time in history {21 mins}

The Rapture
Today’s ethical traditions know how to deal with genocide but these traditions collapse entirely when confronted with geocide – a haunting film about religious and scientific visions of the end time { 19 mins} 
All things are connected
Whereas indigenous peoples experience the natural world as a sacred web of interdependent phenomena, colonisation projects over the last 400 years have viewed nature as a resource to be exploited for human gain {16 mins}
Ethics Online also has films and clips to assist with the teaching of Sex & Ethics and War & Peace
Further information including sample excerpts, endorsements and order form: www.ethicsonline.co.uk

What does Simon Blackburn have to say about morality?  What does Anthony Grayling think about atheism?  Alain de Botton about the aesthetics of architecture?  Adrian Moore about infinity?  Will Kymlicka about minority rights?  From the hugely successful Philosophy Bites podcast series, 25 of these conversations are now in print.  The book (due out in August 2010) also includes a section on 'What is Philosophy?'  A great resource for the Philosophy Department, you can pre-order the book from Amazon.
Check out these new interviews on Philosophy Bites:
  • David Chambers on 'The Singularity' - the upward spiral of artificial intelligence looks set to produce machines which are cleverer and more powerful than humans.  What happens when machines themselves can create super-intelligent machines, a possibility referred to as 'The Singularity'?
  • Raymond Geuss on Realism and Utopianism in Political Philosophy
  • Ned Block on the philosophical problems of Consciousness
  • Galen Strawson on the Sense of Self

Also check out a range of conversations on ETHICS BITES
Primary Questions - a great new resource from The Wonder Project. Join in the excitement of seeing young pupils think for the first time about where the universe, the world and all that lives on the world came from. Let them play with words as they wonder about their existence and look at different worldview's explanations.  
The disc includes 6 lessons.  Each lesson has its own set of teachers notes, which includes an information table showing graded learning objecives, and listing how the lesson relates to cirricular goals; a one-page info sheet to help teachers get up to speed rapidly, and a two-page guide to running the lesson.
Check out The Wonder Project's range of other downloadable activities.
The Golden Rule  -  a great website from Scarboro Missions full of useful resources built around The Golden Rule.  Includes a poster (depicting The Golden Rule - scripturally and symbolically – in 13 religions), Golden Rule meditation exercises, Making the connection between the Golden Rule and the emerging Global Ethic and much more...
Science & Spirit Course
You may be interested in checking out a new experimental teaching course from Michael Cocks of the Science & Spirit Resource Group in NZ that addresses questions such as Is there a non-physical aspect to reality?  Are paranormal phenomena such as ESP, Clairvoyance, NDEs, Out of the Body Experiences and so on a reality? Is there an afterlife? Do we live in a Mentalist or a Materialist universe? 
Drawing heavily on Kelly & Kelly’s Irreducible Mind, a Psychology for the 21st Century, 2007 and Dr Craig Hogan's Your Eternal Self, 2008, this course approaches RE from the point of view of studies in mind and consciousness and challenges students to examine their preconceptions about the material covered.  Check out the following sample lessons:
For more information or to order the course, contact Michael Cocks 
Global Citizenship - Student Film
Reflection is a film based on the winning concept from the Global Student Forum 2009 (UK). The winning Sixth Formers were shocked to learn that about 9 million children die before their fifth birthday - most from entirely preventable causes. The girls wanted to make a film to show how our ordinary daily actions impact children in developing countries.  Reflection contrasts the morning routines of two girls - one in a rich suburb in the UK and one in a poor area of Africa - and should be a good catalyst for classroom discussion about the impact we all make on the lives of other people in this globally interconnected world.
Shortcuts....to bits and pieces of interest...
*  'I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual....' - sound familiar?  The Christian Research Association is about to publish the results of a major survey into changing patterns of belief in Australia. Researchers quizzed 1718 people, and the results were compared with similar surveys conducted in 1993 and 1999. One of its key findings is that while there's a marked decline in adherence to institutional religion, more people are saying they are, nevertheless, 'spiritual'. This must have implications for how we approach RE...LISTEN to Hugh Mackay discuss this phenomena as well as general trends and contradictions in belief in this country, the value of progressive thinking in religious institutions, and how both atheism and fundamentalism challenge contemporary religion.

*  READ Matthew Wills' Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Report, 'Methods to improve the quality and rigour of secondary education in the area of Philosophy and Ethics, with a particular focus on US Ethics Bowls'.  There is a selection of useful resources and links on pp 47-48.
LISTEN to Reza Aslan discuss Terrorism and his recent book, How to Win a Cosmic War where he argues that conflicts between Islamic regimes and western powers are no longer about defending borders, but about fighting for God, and seeking to propagate their religious ideas. This is just one of many great video resources available on ABC 1 Big Ideas.
*  Comics and Religion - I recently received an enquiry from a DAN member curious to know if there were any comic book versions of the Bible (thanks SR!)  My initial bemusement was checked when I heard a fascinating programme on Encounter discussing the connection between religion and comic books. Read a transcript of the interview which contains links to comic versions of the Torah, Bible, 99 attributes of Allah and more.... and check out the comic book version of the programme.  Why not set your students the challenge of reanimating old truths in a fresh, comic style way? 
If you've not already seen this educational resource for secondary students (that featured recently on ABC Compass), check out Challenge, Change, Faith:  Catholic Australia and the Second Vatican Council.  The documentary - developed in consultation with the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne - is segmented into 3 x 15 minute classroom friendly chapters and each DVD contains teaching notes, fact sheets, document extracts and background information.
*  Ethics in Schools - Encounter Report.  With a series of controversial ethics classes currently being trialed in NSW public schools (as an alternative for students who have opted out of Special Religious Education), this report asks: how does religion affect our ability to think ethically for ourselves? And what can the collected wisdom of the world's religions teach us about living good lives?  Phil Cam and Terry Lovat join the debate...
*  The Trials of Galileo - Nearly 400 years after being tried by the Roman Catholic Inquisition, Galileo again faces charges of heresy. Leading scientists, scholars, barristers, politicians and churchmen take part in a unique performance event staged by the University of NSW and filmed by Compass. Galileo was found guilty of supporting the Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not vice versa. His trial was considered the defining moment in the relationship between religion and science, authority and free thought. How will Galileo be judged 400 years later?  Why not put Galileo on trial in your classroom?
Christianity - A History.  This provocative eight-part series explores the history and global impact of Christianity through the personal views of leading British figures.  The series, which includes chapters Jesus the Jew, Rome, Dark Ages, Crusades, Reformation, God and the Scientists and The Future of Christianity - featured on Compass but is a UK Channel 4 production.  No longer available to view online, you can order the series.  Check out the downloadable booklet that accompanied the project.
What's On
Click on the links for more information about the following Professional Development Opportunities and Events, or see the What's On section of the DAN website.
* WOMBAT EDUCATION Seminars with Peter Vardy in Australian & NZ Venues

For more information and bookings:  www.wombateducation.net

14 June – 20 August:  Tomorrow’s World (Student Seminar)
19 July – 13 August Teaching Islam Today (Teacher In-Service)
10 – 21 August Teaching RE and Values through the Movies (Teacher In-Service)
* 2010 Public Lectures & Teaching Seminars, Centre for Ethics, Newington College, Sydney
28 July – Ethics in the 21st Century with Dr Peter Vardy & Dr Jeremy Hall
4 August – Ethics & the World of Shifting Images:  How art, media and fashion create a sense of self with Dr Rod Pattenden
20 September – Challenges Facing RE Educators Today:  Sharing Stories and Solutions with Dr Felicity McCutcheon
20 October – Ethics & the All Seeing Media with Dr Tanveer Ahmed

Contact the DAN Executive Officer

T|  08 9367 8903
A|  34 Douglas Ave  SOUTH PERTH WA 6151