Atheist Ireland launched an important new initiative yesterday in which they will be “financing, developing, designing and piloting Ireland’s first primary school course about atheism.”
As it stands, the grade levels that Americans would consider “elementary” already teach kids about religion. (Most schools are denominational, after all.) But atheism isn’t mentioned in the curriculum and it’s barely touched upon even when the kids get older.
This project will help fill that void:
The initial project will involve a set of ten lessons for one age grouping, to be decided (either Junior and Senior Infants; or 1st/2nd class; or 3rd/4th class; or 5th/6th class). Ultimately we would like to develop it into four sets of ten lessons, one for each of those four age groups.
The lessons will be 30-40 minutes in length. Professionals will be employed to write lessons, and a co-ordinator will be employed to manage the project.
Our lessons about atheism will be based on the Toledo guiding principles and will be taught in an objective, critical and pluralist manner. They will teach about atheism, not teach atheism.
We also hope to make course material available for parents whose children are in denominational schools, and who want material for their child to study while they are opted out of the Religious Education / Faith Formation classes.
More details can be found at the AI website.