ERIC Number: EJ803488
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Genuine Religious Tolerance: Is It a Thing of the Past in Public Schools?
Wagner, Paul A.; Benavente-McEnery, Lillian
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v39 n3 p327-350 Jul 2008
The so-called Culture Wars have made the issue of religious tolerance in schools more confusing than ever. Where once free speech trumped nearly every concern in these wars in the public schools, there is now great concern about whether messages put out are politically correct. The preoccupation teachers now have with avoiding speech or themes likely to get them into trouble has led to a new form of censorship. The authors explain that free speech in the educational forum requires respect for every earnest attempt to get at a legitimate truth claim. In matters religious, this epistemic openness is no longer respected. The argument below does not encourage teachers to engage in debate among students in matters religious, or even to encourage it. Nor are the arguments below aimed at introducing religious discourse as a means of developing skills of critical thinking as the feminist, moral philosopher Nel Noddings has previously recommended. The argument simply concludes with the modest recommendation that teachers be more conscientious about indirectly censoring or trivializing student religious speculations.
Descriptors: Public Schools, Religion, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Political Issues, Social Change, Religious Factors, Freedom of Speech, Censorship, Political Attitudes, Teaching Conditions, Educational Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A