ERIC Number: EJ712161
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 9
Teaching about Religion in Elementary School: The Experience of One Texas District
Ayers, Samuel J.; Reid, Shelly
Social Studies, v96 n1 p14 Jan-Feb 2005
The mere mention of the terms religion and public education in the same sentence has both educators and parents gasping aloud. Moreover, although most state adopted sixth-grade textbooks contain a fair amount of content on the world's religions, but it is also true that many social studies teachers choose to omit that content. Black (2003, 4) reports that "many teachers... prefer to gloss over, if not wholly ignore, this component of their curriculum." Given the attention surrounding the issue, can we blame them? Actually, we can. The very faces of Europe and Africa were changed as Muslims and Christians battled over lands during the Middle Ages. Countries such as India have entire social systems based on religious beliefs. Holidays in Italy and Mexico are celebrated to honor various saints in the Catholic Church. For many years, a national church, the Anglican Church in England, was too much for many in England to bear, causing many to find religious freedom elsewhere. Students should understand the religious ideas associated with such topics as nationalism, imperialism, anti-colonialism, slavery and antislavery, freedom of conscience, capitalism, and environmentalism. Teaching about world religions also can help students better understand those and many other contemporary issues. A list of 31 resources for teachers are included.
Descriptors: Religion, Religion Studies, Public Education, Elementary Education, Social Studies, Educational Change, Curriculum Development, Teaching Methods
Springer-Verlag New York, LLC., Journal Fulfillment, P.O. Box 2485, Secaucus, NJ 07096. Tel: 800-777-4643 (Toll Free); Fax: 201-348-4505; Web site: http://www.springeronline.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas