Saturday, July 1, 2017

What should students know about religion? New guidance on teaching it in public schools. - The Washington Post

What should students know about religion? New guidance on teaching it in public schools. - The Washington Post:

What should students know about religion? New guidance on teaching it in public schools

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Try to guess when this was written:
“In this era of educational reform, the social studies curriculum has been a frequent target of critics representing every point on the political spectrum. While educators argue that history is neglected and traditional values are missing, others contend that the curriculum lacks social relevance and avoids significant public issues. Most agree, however, that religion is not adequately included in the social studies curriculum. They argue that teachers, administrators, school boards, and textbook publishers have tended to strip social studies courses of all but the most bland references to religion as a social force in the past and present. As a result, students are prevented from learning in school about one of the most significant factors in human societies from the prehistoric era to the world today.”
If you had said that it is current, you could be excused, as it reflects prevailing thinking, but, in fact, it was published in 1988, the start of a piece titled “Teaching About Religion in the Social Studies.”
Now, all these years later, the National Council for the Social Studies has attached a supplement to its College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standardsas noted here by Education Week.  The new section, which is described by its authors as “Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History,” joining sections that provide resources on teaching psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Why now? The introduction to the section — titled Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework — notes:
“Student inquiry into complex issues — including the dynamic relationships within a religion, between religions, and between religion and secularism — provides a unique environment to learn how to recognize and evaluate assumptions without undermining personal religious identity, to navigate diverse and shifting cultural values, to engage respectfully with diverse neighbors, and to resist common misunderstandings that have negative real-world consequences. These skills are invaluable in a society whose increasingly multicultural schools, workplaces, and local, national, and international public spheres all need What should students know about religion? New guidance on teaching it in public schools. - The Washington Post:


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