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ERIC Number: EJ762399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
Teaching for Religious Literacy in Public Middle Schools
Bishop, Penny A.; Nash, Robert J.
Middle School Journal (J3), v38 n5 p20-31 May 2007
Talking about religion in public middle schools has moved from taboo to necessity during the past few years. Although some middle schoolers hold knowledge of their own religion, most remain uninformed about any of the world's religions, including, for many, their own. The purpose of this article is to make the case for religious literacy--the ability to understand the languages, meanings, and beliefs of the world's major and minor religions--as an important aspect of the middle school curriculum. By describing the diverse and changing religious world in which people live, the authors first put forth why a religiously literate population is critical. Next, they discuss young adolescents' developmental readiness for such an education. They then consider the issues pertaining to the separation of church and state, exploring the clear and crucial parameters of the First Amendment. Following this, they describe multiple strategies that can be helpful in teaching middle schoolers about religion in a non-biased manner, garnered from ongoing conversations with educators and from their own experience. They conclude with a call to middle grades educators to recognize the importance of teaching for religious literacy. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment