ERIC Number: ED363553
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Religion in the Social Studies Curriculum. ERIC Digest.
Risinger, C. Frederick
This document discusses several aspects of teaching about religion in the public schools. While religion is an important element in many areas of literature, art, and music, the social studies, especially history and civics, provide the best opportunity for including religion in the curriculum. Teaching about religion in public schools is examined from the standpoint of the Constitution's First Amendment clauses regarding freedom of religion, and the prohibition against promotion of religion by government. While the court decisions do not answer all the questions about the role of religion in the public schools, it is clear that the Supreme Court has not prohibited teaching and learning about religion in social studies courses. It is essential that students be taught about religion in human affairs, because many crises throughout the world require an understanding of religious ideas and their impact on history and contemporary thought. Such concepts as nationalism, imperialism, anticolonialism, slavery and antislavery, freedom of conscience, capitalism, and environmentalism are tied inextricably to religion. Within the past decade, several state agencies and local school districts have created mandates and issued guidelines regarding teaching about religion. Professional educational organizations have provided leadership and support for teachers who want to increase and improve instruction about religion. An example of guidelines is included. Instructional strategies for teaching about religion include natural inclusion, fairness and balance, respect for differences, use of religious scriptures, role playing, rights, responsibilities, and respect. A list of references and resources is included. (DK)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Bloomington, IN.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment; United States Constitution