Spaces of Significance
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Spaces of Significance
Places of religious and spiritual significance in the local community, including the special relationship of Aboriginal people to the land .
Curated by Esther Kim
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Watch now: Religion and Social Media | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | PBS Video

Do Facebook and Twitter deepen or weaken the bonds of faith communities?
Esther Kim's insight:

This video investigates the relationship between religion and social media. With the exponential growth of technology globalization is ever more possible. It has been likened to the introduction of the printing press and its ability to make content accessible for everyone. No longer confined by space or location, online access to worship service allows people to connect to the community from across the world. For example, individuals from Japan were streaming live to the United States. People in prison are no longer restricted by their confinement but are able to tune into religious services connect irrespective to their location. This use of online content is being widely used by all religions as creative ways to connect and to reach out to new audiences. This practice has become fundamental in changing demographics of religions. Through social media, religious figures are able to connect with individuals as well as providing a safe place to connect due to the capability of remaining anonymous.

 

Grasping onto this theme, students are able to connect with different perspectives and understandings of religion across the world. Using a video to introduce the religion or to even ask questions to various religious figures. As a class we could ‘follow’ a religious leader on twitter for example, The Dalai Lama (https://twitter.com/DalaiLama). Extending from this, using Google Maps to explore other religious sites across the world will allow students to be able to perceive religious places in a historical context. For example, Buddhist temples in Australia are young in comparison to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. In doing so students will be able to timeline various places of religious significance within the global community.

Another possibility is to create a relationship with a similar class in a different country and to share ideas and information with each other and to see similarities and/or differences. 

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Religion in Australia mapped | Australian Census Stats

Religion in Australia mapped | Australian Census Stats | Spaces of Significance | Scoop.it
Esther Kim's insight:

This website is an interactive map that allows the reader to view the religious landscape of Australia. It can be classified into States, suburbs or religions to observe particular concentrations of certain religions. There are many parts of Australia without a classification as there is no religion dominant enough.

 

This website provides useful sources as it takes statistics from the ABS and makes it relevant and understandable for young students. Through the use of pie charts, column graphs and interactive maps, it help students learn visually. Through this website we are able to locate statistics State by State or by local suburbs, observe the hotspots for specific religions as recognize the growth of religions in particular areas.

 

It also demonstrates visually the trend of religious affiliation over a ten-year period, from 2001 to 2011. The interesting trend that can be observed here is the growth of non-religious responses. Although addressing the diverse religious affiliation of individuals is important, it is equally crucial to ensure that studies in the class are inclusive of those who are non-religious.

 

Possible tasks surrounding this source are asking students to associate suburbs to religions and to rank what they perceive to be the most popular religion in their suburb, state, country and in the world. Next, students are to conduct a poll in their class, school and local community and compare their results with their earlier estimates and then compare their findings with the national census. This will help students identify major community religions in their mirco and macro communities.

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Australia For Everyone: Aboriginal Sites - Sydney, NSW

Australia For Everyone: Aboriginal Sites - Sydney, NSW | Spaces of Significance | Scoop.it
Australian aboriginal art and culture sites - Sydney New South Wales
Esther Kim's insight:

This website is an independent travel guide to Australia. It locates and classifies various significant Aboriginal sites according to State or Territory.

 

This website acknowledges the deep spiritual connection between the Aboriginal people and the land. Despite this spiritual significance, visible artefacts such as sandstone carvings or cave paintings in the Sydney metropolitan area were destroyed to give way for land clearing and development. Consequently, National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974 was drafted to allocate responsibility for the proper care, preservation and protection of any Aboriginal object or Aboriginal place on any land reserved under this Act in NSW to the Director-General.

The website lists various sites in and around Sydney which have been recorded as containing Aboriginal artefacts, evidence of occupation by the indigenous people of the Sydney region. Many of which offer easy access to visitors. However many have been destroyed hereafter due to poor preservation and vandalism.

 

This is a useful website to point out that Aboriginal spiritual significance is not isolated to popular tourist locations such as Uluru or the Three sisters, but is deeply rooted in all the land. As a teaching resource, we are able to challenge our students to consider our local area and research the Aboriginal spiritual significance or connection to the land. We can also consider ways of acknowledging and promoting awareness of Aboriginal significance to the community. This will help students to acknowledge and respect the culture and history of the Aboriginal people. If possible, research the history of the local community and scout an indigenous person to educate the students of Aboriginal spirituality.

 

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Mapping Faith and Place — University of Leicester

Mapping Faith and Place — University of Leicester | Spaces of Significance | Scoop.it
Esther Kim's insight:

This website is a Research project which maps faith and place in Leicester. It explores the way traditions of worship are perceived and valued in a multicultural society in the 21st Century. By working in partnership with local religious institutions, the project was able to see the links between tradition and the transformation of the diversity of faith in the community.

The website provides two resources which display their research findings. The first is a map which displays current and former places of worship within the city of Leicester. You are able to see an overview of the city as well as further details on specific sites. You are able to observe the cluster of religious places of significance as well as the historical growth.

The other resources is the Leicester Faith Trail. Being one of the most diverse cities in Europe, this Faith Trail introduces the history and beliefs different ethnic and religious communities in Leicester. There is a Trail map as well as a downloadable pdf informational booklet. The booklet provides an overview of the religion, as well as the religion in Leicester and specifically the place of significance with its contact details. This is a practical way in locating prominent places of religious significance and making it accessible for people to visit and learn.

 

If students are able to model this project and construct their own in their local community it would raise awareness for the students of the diverse religious spaces. Adding to this, locating their own place of worship as well as their home will help students comprehend the diversity and locality of religious sites. 

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URI Kids :: World Religions

URI Kids :: World Religions | Spaces of Significance | Scoop.it
URI launches it's first website for kids - and interactive learning tool about world religions
Esther Kim's insight:

URI is the United Religions Initiative which aspires to create cultures of peace by usuing people of different faith to work together for make the world a better place. The website presents a simple, straight forward information about the world's five major religions and the spiritual traditions.

Not only does it address the basic beliefs and celebrations of the religion, it also addresses the different sacred spaces of the religions. It is presented in a straightforward way to help young children grasp the complexities of religion.

The website describes the different places of religious significance such as temples synagogues, mosques and churches, as well as its appearance and the rituals that might practiced. 

 

Using this website to educate the diversity of religious affiliation, it can be useful in investigating the diversity of the school community. By categorizing the students into their religious beliefs, we are able to observe the whether the statistics on religion is true for their community, as well as observing the ethnic diversity in a specific religion. In doing so we are able to unite students to one another in shared histories through religious unity. In groups students might be asked to present a typical religious day or event to the class.  

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