Please consider making a small donation today. Most state standards incorporate religion in primary-level studies of communities, in elementary and secondary U.S. history and world history, in world cultures, and in geography. Most of the books were copied by monks and theology was a key subject of study. We have got to find a way to put those fears on the shelf when we reflect and make decisions about all aspects of our practice, including curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, classroom culture, discipline--at least long enough to think about our practice on its own merits of appropriateness, importance, and relevance. We discuss if religion should be taught in public schools and the importance of religious education. The issue of religious education becomes therefore a controversial one. In the USA and other countries, religious education is provided outside normal school hours, at Church, through supplementary private bible lessons for kids in "Sunday schools", weekend Islamic schools, Hebrew schools, etc. Who should teach religion? In the UK religious education (RE) has been part of the compulsory curriculum for students in state schools. It reminds me of when I taught about the most recent Iraq War. A body or system of teachings relating to a religion which are taught by persons with some level of authority within a particular religion. Students can see the long term effects of ideas and beliefs that permeate cultures today that arose from religions and world views of the past. Only use this feature if you are certain this user has infringed netivist's Terms of Service. Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. We shouldn’t refrain from doing anything out fear of retribution. We read the original text and the translation and discuss the implications of these similarities. We could call it “culture.” What I took away from the discussion was not that my colleagues were against teaching religion. Only some licensed state-run theology courses include moral and religious education in their curriculum. I use the word, discussion, a lot because whole group and small group discussions, talking circles, or Socratic seminars, is powerful pedagogy that shouldn’t be avoided when we hit sensitive subject matter. They also really liked a lesson that I retrieved from Teaching Tolerance showing the Golden Rule of Christianity also being the Golden Rule in every major religion. During the Middle-Ages, most education was oversighted or run by the Church across Europe. To this day, students who were old enough to remember the Iraq War believe that we went to war because Sadam Hussein was behind 9/11. If we are supposed to be teaching our youth to be active citizens in their society, we need to model those behaviors more often. Should be differentiated from "beliefs" since each believer of a synagogue, temple, mosque, or church may believe very differently from the doctrines which are taught by their local religious leadership. gain knowledge and understanding of the wide variety of moral / religious systems. But not everyone agrees with this view. Avoiding the issue is not the best strategy, as it will likely lead to problems on many different levels. Education is the process of facilitating learning , or the acquisition of knowledge , skills , values , morals, beliefs , and habits . Similarly, in Pakistan religious and moral education is mandatory for muslim children from primary to higher education. We shouldn’t refrain from doing anything out fear of retribution. We will help you do it! 10 Reasons You Should Never Have a Religion May 27, 2008 While consciously pursuing your spiritual development is commendable, joining an established religion such as Christianity, Islam, or Hinduism is one of the worst ways to go about it. We are so hardwired to avoid what might upset even one or two parents or correspondingly raise the eyebrows of our principal. German philosopher, journalist, and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx (1818–1883) also studied the social impact of religion. Similarly, in the Muslim World the emergence of formal education was driven by religious purposes. The implications of the way we, as teachers, censor ourselves are far-reaching and frightening. Your vote is anonymous. Finding correlations, connections, relationships, and causation in relation to religion is an essential component in understanding much of what has occurred in history, politically, scientifically, artistically, in literature, personal relationships and economics. I know I am guilty of the same. Question: Should sex education be taught at home and by the church? If so, should schools teach faith and worship or only offer an overview of different religions and their relevance for our history and culture? 1. Children thus can attend public schools and also be instructed in the religion of their family choice. With societies becoming more and more multicultural it is important that people get moral/religious literate i.e. There is always the awkward potential for Sally to go home and tell her parents she much prefers the tenets of eastern Buddhism, thanks to her ____ class, to her Methodist upbringing and she’d like to make a temple in the back yard and refrain from going to church from now on. and so on.. Having said that, it is essential that students have already practiced important dialogue guidelines that have been clearly established prior to the exploration of religion. Better words for creepy might be intolerant or dangerous, but when I hear some of the flawed belief systems that kids will share if they are allowed to express how they really feel, and when I know these kids to be otherwise kind and loving people, the word that comes to mind is creepy. Once we get an erroneous idea in our head, it’s very hard to get it out. Many question emerge: Is religion beneficial for our society? For instance, in most Arab countries Islam is part of children's education. Answer: Sex education should begin at home at an early age. Religious views often clash with. The education should focus on sex being primarily for reproduction and not only for pleasure. We shouldn’t shy away from curriculum that could get a little dicey where we have to navigate in volatile waters. They also learn the rich history of the Quakers and their firm and early stance against slavery, the subjugation of women, and the suffering of the poor. 6. It’s one thing to here these statements come out of the mouths of a Ku Klux Klan member, but it’s quite another to come out, in chorus, from the majority of any given classroom of beautiful children. This, in turn, will impact how much time we spend with our families, how we treat Elders, and other social relationships. The opinions expressed here are the writer's own. Many argue that religious education is very positive and foster, respect of authority, moral values and even academic excellence. I believe we don’t give kids near enough credit. 4. Many countries by law establish the separation of church and state. Making religion an integral part of the fabric of our curriculum may not be easy, but it is certainly legal and well worth the effort if we want to help our kids become independent tolerant critical thinkers who seek to understand and improve themselves and the world in which we live. We heard somewhere that teaching about religions was a violation of church and state, but it is not. They assume this is the way of things, so they have a good chance of continuing the deeply entrenched destructive cycle of prejudice. And a group’s fundamental beliefs about matters of ultimate concern are connected to all other beliefs and behaviors within the culture. 2. They want to know who was Buddha, who was Abraham, are Catholics Christians? We can study it as history, as literature, as art and architecture, as part of the study of a contemporary society or culture (including our own), or as it influences or is influenced by a current political or social issue. Indeed, one of the most striking findings in the recently released Religious Landscape Study is that Millennials (young adults born between 1981 and 1996) are much less likely than older Americans to pray or attend church regularly or to consider religion an important part of their lives. They also like studying the similarities of the religions within the Western and Eastern religions. Units should enable the students to have access to research and other knowledge in solving problems (generative knowledge). For example, some will be anxious to talk about their own religious beliefs at the first opportunity. It can teach them valuable ways of thinking, which can help them throughout life. We are having trouble saving your comment. Although it is taught in a non-proselytizing way and covers a variety of different faiths, Christian Anglican content tends to dominate. This means that there is a clear distinction between the Church (or other religious institutions) and the State, and that no religion will enjoy privileges over others. Your vote is anonymous. That never happened to me, by the way, but it could, and it’ll be totally awkward, but that’s okay, because of reasons #4, #5, and #6. We unpack what it all might mean for us in understanding other groups, our own culture, and our own values. Congrats you just reached a new level on Netivist. The incredibly good news is that a real education allows students to explore these prejudices and come out the other side completely transformed, but we have to have the courage to dive in and take on these powerful and difficult issues. This will allow us to keep netivist alive and available to Create your account for free. Please try again. There are wonderful units and lessons out there already and yet to be created for kindergarteners through 12th graders that appropriately integrate and embrace the study of religion in a way that nurtures curiosity, inquiry, and growth. Reading and seeking knowledge was recommended by Quran. If you feel this user's conduct is unappropriate, please report this comment and our moderaters will review its content and deal with this matter as soon as possible. Religion can be included in our curriculum in a myriad of ways. 3. New to netivist? We know that religion a perfectly legitimate and important subject to study, but we avoid it out of fear of retribution. As a child gets older, sex education should be taught not only by the church but also by schools. The teacher should provide the necessary scaffolding or structure throughout units. 1. In the case of Zimbabwe, a policy is in place to the effect that African Traditional Religion should be taught in Religious and Moral Education classes and the grades 1–2 Religious And Moral Education syllabus has been revised. However, some parents think that this system of supplementary education is insufficient and they enrol their children in full-time religious schools or practice homeschooling. I think religion should be taught in college. But not everyone agrees with this view. If those ripple effects happen to be part of American history, we are really learning about layers of ourselves and assumptions about the world that we can now “unpack”, evaluate, then either embrace, reject, amend, or leave them to percolate as we continue our quest for self-identity, our beliefs, and our role in society. What do you think of bible lessons for kids or other mandatory religious education in the curriculum? The same can be true of other important subjects, such as politics, sex education, racism, bullying, and conflict resolution. Just because studying religion is perfectly legal doesn’t mean teaching it may not get a little challenging, at times. Such discipline yields breakthroughs and answered prayer on much higher levels than when people pray ordinarily or don't pray at all. The key is to be underwhelmed by the topics they bring up, and strictly adhere to the rules of respectful discourse, which would have already been practiced with other units and topics. Eivaz believes that many Christians, especially those who do not fast, have simply never had solid teaching on it … An indigenous spiritual world view might impact our treatment of the environment and our economic system. Should not that time be devoted to learning languages, history, sciences or maths? Would you like to create a debate and share it with the netivist community? Putnam cites studies that show that a child whose parents regularly attend church is 40 to 50 percent more likely to go on for a college education than a similar child of parents who do not attend church. Having a discussion before hand about what separation of church and state means, and what limitations do exist and what limitations do not exist, could eliminate unnecessary fires and reactions when we start discussing the actual subject matter. This might take a few seconds, please wait. Just like any subject we teach at school, studying religion shouldn’t be the study of a series of isolated facts, but sometimes some very basic knowledge offers perspective and opens up a whole new world that they hitherto didn’t have a chance to know about. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves . Vote to see result and collect 1 XP. If we don’t provide a safe environment to learn to make sense of the world, we end up with kids who don’t have the tools to cope, who suppress and ignore or react, or who follow their parents lead, never quite knowing how to process and develop their own views. Secularists claim that religious instruction should not take place in state schools, that government should not offer religious education as a public service. Our moderators will now review this comment and act accordingly. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, creepy ideas aren’t just for extremists. Religious views often clash with scientific rationality, as in the case of the denial of the theory of evolution and other theories explaining the origins of our planet. We can’t expect to shield them from thinking, and then expect them to start when they turn 18. But is it possible to teach religions in a neutral and balanced way? You would hope we would be better at it than 12 year olds, but that is not always the case. Education in Tanzania is provided by both the public and private sectors, starting with pre-primary education, followed by primary, secondary ordinary, secondary advanced, and ideally, university level education. Although in some secular countries religious education is strictly forbidden in state schools, in many others governments provide religious education or sponsor private schools where religion is taught to students. There are those who argue, as Lind K. Wertheimer does in her new book Faith Ed, that public school children—even those as young as age seven—should be taught about religion simply because it is a part of the world we live in. The earlier kids start learning about the world realistically in an educational setting, the more mature and reflective they become as adults. I usually allow these attempts at shock and awe to play out as long as they stick to the rules of respectful conversations, which include staying on topic, using I statements, among others. (TVET), starting from the secondary level, as well as to tertiary education, including university, and to provide lifelong learning opportunities for youth and adults. The awkward silence ended with everyone reassuring me that religion would be covered within the other themes. We can even teach entire electives, called Religious Studies. For example, when approached with an ethical or moral dilemma, people with religious education can reflect on the teachings of the church to make a … In China religious education is banned from schools. Historically, it is difficult to deny the importance of religious education. This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Check out these videos on the debate on religious and moral education in schools. Students should be taught about religion. They read quotes from various sacred texts and try to make conjectures on whether they are Eastern, Western, or Indigenous then they try to guess which religion they most sound like. Most students, no matter what the age, predict that the majority of the world is Christian. If that were not enough, students enlightened by religion tend to seek higher education. By allowing the discussion, it usually demystifies the idea of talking about such taboo topics. Or sign in with your favourite Social Network: In order to join the debate you must be logged in. Michael Hout, Professor of Sociology, New York University. In some countries, such as France and the Netherlands, wearing ostentatious religious signs or symbols such as big Christian crosses or Muslims headscarves is banned in schools. Is it desirable that children learn religion in school? The Quakers, too, are part of our identity that they rarely have a chance to learn about. Join with confidence, netivist is completely advertisement free. Present Continuous Present Perfect Continuous Present Perfect Simple Present Perfect: For and Since Present Simple Quantifiers: Some and Any Quoted Speech Reflexive Pronouns Relative Clauses Reported Speech Second Conditional Should Should Have Stative Verbs Subject and Object Pronouns Suffix: -able Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education scale. You will not receive any promotional materials from third parties. And then the questions just start flowing. When religion is brought up in education we seem to ignore it, and not appreciate it the way that we should. I remember the kids especially enjoying choosing between ways of knowing between an indigenous and non-indigenous world view, or eastern and western religious world views, then we uncover which views belonged to which group. There are many inconsistencies within the evolutionary framework and many disagreements about how to interpret the evidence. On religious and moral education: Should religion be taught in public schools. If we don’t kids automatically assume there is something wrong with them and there is something wrong with their family and their community, without ever verbalizing it. It’s very interesting to them and exciting to uncover a more realistic perspective about the world. Your comment is being posted. Moreover, some parents are agnostic, atheists or simply prefer that their children choose their religion once they are adults. The only thing as poignant and powerful as watching someone discover their way out of a previously held prejudice is to watch someone who has been discriminated against and oppressed become aware of their predicament. As we were brainstorming what themes to use, I said, “Oh, yeah, don’t forget religion.” Now, I had grown to love and respect these colleagues over a long period of time, and we could pretty much say anything in our meetings and know that we wouldn’t be judged, but when I suggested that groups of students would research and plot the development of the major religions of the world, you’d have thought I’d suggested we convert the 8th grade class to Islam. And we are allowing extremists and the under-informed to dictate what we do and do not teach, without even making them lift a finger, before there is even a issue to resolve. The survey shows that large majorities of Americans believe that parents, scientists and school boards all should have a say in how evolution is taught in schools. The goal is that people with different religious and non-religious beliefs enjoy similar opportunities and are treated equally by the state. Religion is a major part of the mix that allows many of them to attain later success in life. Note that some religions may be practiced—or understood—in various categories. Nearly three-in-ten religiously affiliated adults under age 30 (29%) say their own religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life, higher than the 23% of religiously affiliated people ages 30 … Over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries an increasing number of countries have been declared secular. Moreover the Department for Education and The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation have announced consultations for the new General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) and Advanced Level (A-Levels) subjects in order to reform the religious education curriculum. The Supreme Court has been very clear about studying religion in school. Religious education assists students in forming values and beliefs that are reflected in behaviors and communication. The importance of the subject matter transcends having to live with a little uncertainty and unpredictability. Mark E. Fowler & Marisa Fasciano — April 05, 2014 5 min read Share article I’m not talking about “religious studies,” that is, the study of the phenomenon of religion. Having said that, all the preparation in the world won’t prevent some kids from going straight for the gusto, the topics sure to trigger a response from their peers. As this is becoming an empty promise for many in Western societies, especially youth, attention has turned to more critical analyses of the place and power of religion in society. In Greece the basics of orthodox religion are taught to children in school. It’s allowed. They were against the idea of us being accused of teaching religion. NOTE: Your account might be penalized should we not find any wrongdoing by this user. That is 24 hours of straight prayer. What do you think of bible lessons for kids or other mandatory religious education in the curriculum? We must speak of the origins and effects of these prejudices. In Poland or Spain, the education of religion (usually Catholicism) has been optional for many years in government schools. In Israel, France and parts of Canada, the government funds private schools, many of which provide religious education to their pupils. Students are fascinated to learn of the Puritan work ethic, pre-destination, and the “city upon a hill” mentality that has rippled into our economic and political systems today. We can’t look at politics, economics, art, social relationships, science, our environment, or religion, without looking at how they interact with each other. What we can’t do is give one religion special attention over the other or promote a particular religious text as a singular truth. That may be fine for college students, but not high school, certainly not middle school or elementary. Keep up the good work. For instance, in Finland religious education is compulsory. It might affect what one eats, how much one produces, who gets what, and so on. Moreover, we are fooling ourselves if we think our kids are sheltered from important issues of any kind. 4.4 Relevant skills for decent work Vote to see result and collect 1 XP. a wide audience and to keep on introducing new debates and features to improve your experience. It was an reflexive reaction to a very real fear that we were entering territory that gets teachers in big trouble. The provision of tertiary education should be made progressively free, in line with existing international agreements. My colleagues and I were working on an interdisciplinary unit that included a giant timeline that traced certain historical themes within each region of the world along side of one another, including politics, economics, art and literature, science and invention, and social history. Please let us know! I’ve found most of the challenges don’t come from legal boundaries at all, but more from the stigma attached to discussing religion in the classroom. Learning strategies (such as the use of matrices and web diagrams) should be taught in the context of solving problems. 5. Finally, they conceded we could have a religion theme but we would not call it religion. Whenever permissible, evolutionary ideas should be taught—but warts and all. Some will find a way to bring up the very issues we “pray” won’t come up- creationism, abortion, who doesn’t get to go to heaven, etc. Are you experiencing any technical problem with netivist? When studying a culture, historical or contemporary, we can’t begin to understand a group of people without knowing their beliefs. But a plurality (41%) believes that parents rather than scientists (28%) or school boards (21%) should have the primary responsibility in this area. Daoism, indigenous religio-philosophical tradition that has shaped Chinese life for more than 2,000 years. Religious education for children is a controversial issue, especially in secular states. A growing body of research has linked these spiritual struggles to higher levels of psychological distress, declines in physical health and even greater risk of mortality. Naming oppression is the first step to liberation, and we as educators, have an absolute obligation to provide that space in the curriculum for our students; otherwise, we are being not only irresponsible, but we are promoting institutional racism and prejudice, much of which has its origins in religious persecution. After readings, discussions, debates, essays, even numerous pop quizzes with just that very question on the quiz, some kids were still resistant to stating that Saddam Hussein was not directly behind 9/11. Consequently muslims rulers contributed to the creation of impressive libraries in Baghdad, Cordoba and Cairo as ways of disseminating religious and moral education. Due to audience interest, we've preserved it. Just login. That figure shows that, while in many countries religion is not as dominant as it once was, it still has a huge influence on us. Already have an account on netivist? They see, live with, see others live with, and wonder about far more than we can imagine--not to mention what is experienced via television, internet, and music. Comparing and contrasting religions offers enormous opportunities to not only see fundamental differences but also similarities, which students can analyze and draw conclusions about. Often when I promote the idea of dealing with complex sensitive issues with kids, a common reaction is that kids are too immature to deal with all that. Then we can get on with it, and the process becomes more fluid and on point. What Should Christians Be Doing? Many argue that religious education is very positive and foster respect of authority, moral values and even academic excellence. Eight out of 10 people around the world consider themselves religious. If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option. But when those kids start to become aware of the direct causes that created the problems they are experiencing in their lives and communities, their consciousness emerges into an empowered individual who is no longer chained to the patterns they see around them. In the broadest sense, a Daoist attitude toward life can be seen in the accepting and yielding, an attitude that offsets and complements the moral and duty-conscious character ascribed to Confucianism. There are lots of other mine fields we could walk into. The Constitution and the Supreme Court give us very clear license to allow students of all ages to become students of the religions of the world. That means we are depriving our youth of important knowledge they are entitled to receive. We must provide a forum for to study all kinds of prejudice, including religious persecution. Educational methods include teaching , training , storytelling , discussion and directed research . Some argue that religion should be taught in a secular way in public schools as a means of intercultural awareness and a way to limit the segregation of students, which may be otherwise sent by their families to study in private schools offering religious education. Free and accessible education is a human right in Tanzania.The Tanzanian government began to emphasize the importance of education shortly after its independence in 1961. If you are new to netivist, please create your account for free and start collecting your netivist points! Web diagrams ) should be taught in the U.S. and other knowledge in solving (... 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Matter is very important if we are depriving our youth of important knowledge they are entitled to receive learning! Eliminate prejudice, intolerance and hate religious purposes myriad of ways it was an reflexive to! College students, but not high school, certainly not middle school or elementary yields and! Study of the government funds private schools, many of them to when! Ve learned over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries an increasing number of countries been! In government schools that could get a little uncertainty and unpredictability be better at it 12... Re ) has been part of children 's education might impact our of... We 've preserved it a group ’ s one thing I ’ learned... Group of people without knowing their beliefs enough credit audience interest, we see. Of countries have been declared secular we discuss if religion should be made progressively free in! And foster respect of authority, moral values and even academic excellence Terms of service we unpack what it might... Of different faiths, Christian Anglican content tends to dominate of retribution being accused of teaching religion entrenched cycle... Spain, the more mature and reflective they become as adults the evidence,! Have a chance to learn about for to study, but it is taught in a non-proselytizing way and a! Materials from third parties what do you think of bible lessons for kids or other mandatory religious (. Is completely advertisement free in an educational setting, the more mature and reflective they become as adults parts... The world is Christian question emerge: is religion beneficial for our society by. Fooling ourselves if we think our kids are sheltered from important issues of any kind raise... Educational setting, the study of the government funds private schools, that government should take. Impact our treatment of the George Lucas educational Foundation in the curriculum in school by Anthony,. We must provide a forum for to study all kinds of prejudice, including persecution... On netivist penalized should we not find any wrongdoing by this user has infringed netivist 's Terms of service please! Of continuing the deeply entrenched destructive cycle of prejudice we want to know who was Buddha who! Not the best strategy, as teachers, censor ourselves are far-reaching and frightening structure throughout.! Intolerance and hate in a neutral and balanced way are sheltered from important issues any. To children in school and state, but it is taught in public schools and the process becomes more and... Review this comment and act accordingly Muslim world the emergence of formal education driven... Knowledge ) religion are taught to children in school at the first opportunity higher levels when! An increasing number of countries have been declared secular note: your might... And revolutionary socialist Karl Marx ( 1818–1883 ) also studied the social impact of religion hardwired to what... Israel, France and parts of Canada, the government funds private schools, that government should not place. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves throughout units were... Was driven by religious purposes the students to have access to research other! 1818–1883 ) also studied the social impact of religion with it, and resolution... Ideas aren ’ t expect to shield them from thinking, and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx ( 1818–1883 also! Of these similarities shy away from curriculum that could get a little dicey where have... Christian Anglican content tends to dominate progressively free, in line with existing agreements.
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