History KS3 / GCSE: An introduction to Confucianism

This short film offers a look at Confucian beliefs about social hierarchy and the place of women.

Dr Amanda Foreman discusses these beliefs as they are described in the Confucian Classics, a series of texts upon which Confucianism is based.

She shows how the Classics provides teachings governing all aspects of state and individual behaviour.

She highlights the contrast between the roles of men (in business, government, culture and education), and the roles of women (wife and mother, obedient to her father, husband and grown-up son).

This short film is from the BBC Two series, The Ascent of Woman.

Teacher Notes

You could use this short film as a stimulus for a class debate on the role of women in religion.

After watching the video, introduce the motion 'This House believes that women in religion have different, but equal, roles to men'.

With a partner, get the students to come up with two arguments for and two arguments against this motion from what they saw in the video.

After a brief class discussion, split the class into proposition and opposition and allow them to research the role of women in a number of religions to inform their arguments for the debate.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Fourth Level and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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