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Proposed Educational Methods for Consolidation of Religious Knowledge
چاپ ارسال به دوست
Mobedyar Dr. Rashin Jahangiri   
۰۶ دي ۱۳۹۲
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Proposed Educational Methods for Consolidation of Religious Knowledge
Approach to Strengthening Beliefs among Our Young Generation

Introduction:

With the advancement of Scientific knowledge, there is a universal need to apply modernized educational techniques which embody relevant new findings in  that field. Likewise, in order to increase a students' interest in educational and, especially, Religious knowledge acquirement and with a view to provide dynamic teaching methods based on scientific teaching resources, teachers' familiarity with these methods is necessary. Considering that Zoroastrian students are being trained with a view to enhance the future of our Religious Community and serve, well, the public society; practice of the following methods may be considered as useful or, even, as matters of necessity in the matters of Zoroastrian religious education. It is hoped that they can create favorable grounds to motivate students for a logical manner of learning and instill a constructive knowledge of the Zoroastrian Religion, forming and strengthening logical thinking and a sense of belonging (religious faith) in them.

This essay introduces some innovative educational methods, in the realm of the knowledge of Zoroastrian religion instruction, as practiced in Iran within recent years. At the end, conclusions will be made and suggestions will be set forth.

 Presentation of the Problem:

Currently, the world faces a plethora of problems and new issues which keep getting complicated, further, day by day. Being trapped in this troublesome life, the ability of parents and teachers, in the matters of correctly bringing up and preserving the identity of children and of the future generations is declining. But, why, in fact, such problems have gripped the life of modern human beings? And what would be the ways to prevent and resolve such problems in the well-reputed Zoroastrian community, in particular?

Understanding the Causes:

1. Lack of accurate knowledge about the vulnerable strata of the society 2.  Incorrect modeling 3. Lack of attention to the golden bond made between the parents (especially the mother) and the child. 4. Negligence in preserving the family structure. 5. Lack of recognition of the talents and creativity as well as negligence in their development 6. Lack of interest in learning 7- Negligence to impart moral education 8. Negligence in the realization of responsibilities 9. Negligence to develop honesty.

Proposed Solutions:

The Overall Objective of the Avesta Teaching in the Curriculum of the Primary School

The Cognitive Dimension:

1-      Gradual introduction to the standard and criterion-based recitation of Avesta.   2- Expanding the scope of symbols and meanings. 3- Introducing and Training of the basic Avestan script (Din-Dabireh script). 4- Developing the ability for correct pronounciation of the Avestaic recitation  by using texts derived from Avestan scripts, and 5- Understanding and enhancing the original Zoroastrian beliefs and familiarity with social and individual life skills based on religious knowledge.

The Effective Dimensions:

Create, nurture and strengthen the interest and positive attitude towards:

A)    The cultural, national and ethical principles, - to express feelings and thoughts in the form of speaking and writing - and admiration of the beauty of the script's calligraphy.

B)    Sensitizing children's emotions towards religion and beliefs.

Understanding these Methods:

Cooperative Learning:

This is an educational template or framework formed by the teacher for the heterogeneous student groups. The ultimate goal of its application is to achieve higher mental activities and establishment of positive accompaniment, individual responsibility, face to face interaction, social skills, and group processing. This has been made possible by designing exercises in the Avesta books at the primary school level to provide cooperative and group training.

Role Playing:

The teacher together with two or more students acts out a theme in the form of a theatre. The acting does not require any special skills in performance. Having a good script is a requirement of this procedure. This method of education has been included in primary school textbooks by developing a series of Din-Dabareh calligraphy instruction lessons called stories of "Religion script alphabet".

Group Discussion:

Because of the difficulty in implementation, this method can better be utilized at higher levels which is mostly in the form of dialogue sessions among the students under the guidance of a teacher. In the lower level Avesta school textbooks, in the form of an exercise called ‘Tell Your Friends", students are mentally prepared for acceptance of this approach for their consecutive years.

Renovation Pattern Method:

This is used to help break the previous mental backgrounds, and to find a suitable way for a fresh look towards a theme. In the Avesta teaching book of the primary school, this method is mainly used to create educational images from Din-Dabireh letters and their creative process in the form of characterization and storytelling for instruction of the Avestan script. The main goal is to learn letters more effectively with less  burden on the memory.

Deductive Thinking Pattern:

After students learn a set of knowledge in a particular field, like manners of attending holy shrines and learning to do the praying from the teacher (as specified in the textbook of Avesta instruction), they can organize them in the brain, and thus become capable of connecting the salient points to each other, and apply and generalize their learning to new situations. Thereby they predict, form hypothesis and explain unfamiliar phenomena.

Brain Storming:

The purpose of modern education is to improve the ability of all learners to solve problems creatively and raise children who are value-laden and value-based.  In this way, a very creative way to solve the problems is boosted.

The newly developed Avesta for the Iranian school textbooks, still in their pilot phase, of each course and its subsections, embody new teaching methods of the modern educational system for one or more of the levels. Holding the belief that it is necessary but not sufficient to exercise a just and reasonable change in previous teaching methods consistent with the modern methods of instruction, in the form of books and learning tools.  Other influential factors include motivating influential individuals of the society for their ideas and constructive solutions, creating culturally appropriate contexts for acceptance of the nature of change, the positive effects of a constructive change and finally development of the highly qualified and skilled educational staff. Qualitative and quantitative improvements for the educational system, using modern and updated technology are among other factors that require all-inclusive efforts for their improvement.

It is hoped that Zoroastrians, worldwide, who are responsible for the education of the next generations of this great society, emphasize on the correct implementation of new methods and will choose the best educational systems of their respective country while sparing no efforts on dynamic and reliable instruction of the tenets of the Zoroastrian religion, all over.

EidoonBaad, EidoonTarajBaad

(May it be so, indeed)

Mobedyar Dr. Rashin Jahangiri


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