ERIC Number: EJ1087422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 85
A Call for More Religious Education in the Secondary Social Studies Curriculum of Western Canadian Provinces
Patrick, Margaretta L.
Curriculum Inquiry, v45 n2 p154-175 2015
The inclusion of religion in public education remains contentious in many countries, including Canada. As multiple religions fill the public sphere, some religious education is necessary if Canadians are to understand each other. Social studies is seen as an appropriate subject to include such education given its foci on diversity and citizenship. In this paper, I examine the degree to which the four western Canadian provinces address religious diversity in their social studies curricula. While religion is not absent from these curricula, the specific content expectations lack a sustained engagement with religious diversity. By contrast, European governments and intergovernmental organizations are considering whether religious education might facilitate peaceful coexistence in religiously plural societies. To emphasize this point, I highlight a recent European study entitled "Religion in Education: A Contribution to Dialogue or a Factor of Conflict in Transforming Societies of European Countries?" (REDCo). REDCo suggests there is a connection between the inclusion of some form of religious education in public education and a greater willingness of students to dialogue about important issues with people who hold a variety of religions and worldviews. Applying the relevant findings of REDCo to the western Canadian context, I conclude that the lack of religious education in social studies obstructs the implementation of a multicultural society by maintaining a secularist bias in public schools, contributing to the marginalization of religious minorities, failing to address the instrumentalization of religion and ignoring the connection between religious education and the promotion of citizenship.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Religious Education, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Public Education, Multicultural Education, Bias, Minority Groups, Models, Citizenship Education, Misconceptions, Curriculum Development, Inclusion
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada