ERIC Number: EJ759505
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May-11
Reference Count: N/A
The Great Divide
Robelen, Erik W.
Education Week, v24 n36 p31-35 May 2005
Steps away from where a concrete wall once divided this city east from west, a group of Muslim 1st graders at E.O. Plauen Elementary School sing a phrase that is unfamiliar to most German ears. Though the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches have long provided voluntary religion classes in Berlin schools, only recently have the courts allowed an Islamic organization to enter the schools. Many German people remain suspicious of the Muslim group that waged the 20-year legal battle to offer the classes. The Islamic Federation of Berlin, in their eyes, promotes a radical form of Islam--one that discourages integration into German society--and has no business molding young minds. Distrust of that group is emblematic of a broader problem, in society and in the schools. The Wall, in fact, may have crumbled, but a divide of another kind seems to be growing here. In this article, the author discusses how the tensions over the nation's immigrant population have provoked another kind of rift that is evident in German schools.
Descriptors: Grade 1, Muslims, German, Immigrants, Court Litigation, Religious Conflict, Phenomenology, Religious Cultural Groups, Religious Education, Culture Conflict, Foreign Countries, Integration Readiness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany (Berlin)