It helps kids develop psychologically. Turning freedom OF religion into freedom FROM religion. Religious conflict, between different religions or branches of the same faith, regularly plays a role in the news. School Report is brought to you by ©2020 Archant. Even in faith schools, which promote the tenets and values of a particular religion, pupils are encouraged to question rather than to accept passively any given creed. It improves morale. Many people wrongly view religion as a taboo subject, not to be discussed in America’s public schools. Of course, we are all, to some extent, the product of our environments, absorbing the views and traditions of our families, schools and communities. In teaching about the beliefs and traditions of other people, the subject promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice. Far from being self-regarding, segregated institutions that deepen division, faith schools encourage openness to others, emphasising that the thing we all have in common is our humanity, which is of infinite value. Beliefnet is a lifestyle website providing feature editorial content around the topics of inspiration, spirituality, health, wellness, love and family, news and entertainment. The Christian share of the population declined from nearly 80 to 71 percent between 2007 and 2014, and the percentage of people from other faiths and the unaffiliated rose, according to a Pew demographic study released this year. Faith is irrelevant in everyday life, they claim: keep it in church for the few who attend. Middle and high school world history teachers often get instruction about religion as part of history courses in college. Faith in schools and education in general may be under the microscope, but there should always be a place for religion in education, writes the Headteacher of Stonyhurst College. And at a Wichita, Kansas elementary school, students begin learning simple facts about three different world religions in first grade as per the Core Knowledge curriculum. Yet, the examples above are rare. But they tend to miss the rest of that ruling, which emphasized that teachers have always been allowed to teach about religion academically. Such tolerance is vital in a world that is increasingly fraught with extremism, division and hatred. The educators complained, and the school responded by posting a tiny “Happy Hanukkah” sign in the office and leaving “Merry Christmas” on the marquee. Too often, it is assumed that religious education is hijacked as a sinister means of indoctrination; of imposing a set of beliefs upon children. A young Sikh man recalled his first week in kindergarten and how his peers tore off his patka (the religious head covering he wore). … Some schools cling to old traditions of celebrating Christmas by holding Christmas concerts with sacred music and taping Christmas decorations to the classroom door. How can anyone understand what’s happening in the world without basic knowledge of world religions? In Wichita and in Malden, Massachusetts, I saw first grade teachers educating 6 and 7 year olds about religion with songs, arts and crafts, read-alouds, and other activities. In our diverse society, children need an understanding of other principal religions and other world views. Some universities and organizations offer continuing education programs and courses — and Wellesley, Modesto, and Core Knowledge schools also can serve as models. Typically, schools teach about religion briefly in secondary social studies. It promotes religious freedom. Children also need the opportunity to discuss challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, and what it is to be human, about death, about why people believe in God, and the difference between right and wrong. But for elementary teachers, it’s hit or miss depending on where they attend college. Here are seven reasons it’s time to start the instruction earlier — and make sure it goes deeper, Around the country, I heard numerous stories from children being bullied because of their faith. At the minimum, children realize the world has many religions. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Beliefnet’s Partners, From time to time you will also receive Special Offers from our partners. For more than a decade, most states have required world religion to be taught as part of social studies and geography standards. Teachers tell me that many students start middle or even high school not knowing that Catholics are Christians, too. Does it make a difference? Religion may be presented as part of a secular educational program. Without religious education, how can children acquire a knowledge of Christianity, the religion that has played such a central part in this country’s cultural heritage? Religious education emphasises respect for others, regardless of their beliefs, race or social status. Banning religion from schools is unconstitutional to religious students who want to practice or worship during the school day. Religious Freedom The constitution dictates that every person has the right to practice whatever religion they would like, at anytime and anywhere that they would like. List of Pros of Religion in Schools 1. But less than a third could answer this: What is the religion of most people in Indonesia? Any study of literature, history, or art is impoverished without an understanding of this context. Most didn’t know that Friday evening was the start of the Jewish Sabbath or that the Dalai Lama was a Buddhist. Insights, features and interviews from Britains best independent and boarding schools. High school students in Modesto, California take a world religions class in order to graduate — the only public high school with such a requirement. Education, however, is by definition about intellectual enlightenment, concerned with opening minds, not closing them. Religion 101: Students Can Benefit From Religion Classes As Long As Public Schools Teach Rather Than Preach. They take field trips to a mosque and Jewish temple. On a grander scale, the 2010 Pew survey on U.S. One teacher described how a child might recognize the Star of David in a nearby cemetery and understand that it’s there to remember a Jew. In recent years, public schools have been dealing with some serious issues, including school... 2. The answer: Muslim. Religious Knowledge shows that adults fared poorly on a quiz about the world’s religions. On the contrary – religious education is more important now than it has probably ever been. Teachers can get tips from guides on teaching about religion in the public schools by the First Amendment Center and the American Academy of Religion. It would be hard to teach Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter without talking about the Puritans or discuss Elie Wiesel’s Night without learning about Judaism and the Holocaust. The Constitution states that every individual has the right to practice whatever... 3. Allowing children religious freedom permits them to gain a level of spiritual enlightenment, and keeps them away from the temptations of peer pressure and gangs. One pair of educators ran into conflicts with their high school’s front office staff, who kept putting “Merry Christmas” on the outside marquee. A Muslim boy stood by his locker in fourth grade and a classmate said, “Hey, is there a bomb in your locker?”. One of the best ways to build religious tolerance in this country is by educating children about various perspectives on both belief and non-belief. Another student said high school peers asked her if her family belonged to a cult because they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. In a pluralist and diverse society, religion offers only segregation and ignorance. Recite these prayers during Ramadan to become closer to God. Improved Morals Public schools are dealing with some very heavy issues in the recent years.

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