The Study of World Religions and the Public School Curriculum: A Problem or a Solution?

“The mere mention of the terms religion and public education in the same sentence has both educators and parents gasping aloud” (Ayers and Reid 14). The whole controversy of religion and public schools has a thick, impenetrable shell of arguments wrapped around it. People on both sides of the debate have been fighting for either position for a long time, and it seems as if no one is getting anywhere. One frequent question asked is, should world religion classes be added to the public school curriculum? According to Lewis M. Hopfe, “A knowledge of world religions is now essential to understanding people of various world cultures, their political systems, and the quest for world peace” ...

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do nothing to promote or favor any kind of religion; therefore, teaching a particular religion as truth is considered unconstitutional. There are a number of issues dealing with religion in schools, but teaching about world religions is a contemporary topic.
Only in the past ten years, textbook manufacturers have slowly integrated religious topics into history books. The information is not in depth by any means, but the major world religions are mentioned and briefly described. That is as far as we have made it with actually adding a world religion course to the curriculum, besides Modesto, which is the only school district in the nation to require all students to take a world religion course (Seward B1). This is actually a turnaround in the world of academia, because mentioning religious issues in text books is a big step in modern education. This turnaround started with the Equal Access Act of 1984 that allowed student-initiated religious clubs to meet after school; then in the ...

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bring their own religious perspectives into the classroom. Moreover, the subjects they teach may reflect their viewpoints on religious issues. Many teachers “lack knowledge about religions other than their own” and this might create stereotypical beliefs about other religions (Subedi 228). This kind of ignorance leads to teachers having biased viewpoints towards religions; as a result, they might favor lecturing about one religion in class and then spend less time lecturing about another religion.
Elaine McCreery, in another article about preparing teachers to teach religious education, says that “it became clear that many teachers in the study had ambivalent feelings about ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/7/2011 06:06:48 PM
Submitted By: wblack1126
Category: Religion
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3096
Pages: 12

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