Teaching Religions In Public School Essay

2099 words - 8 pages

Is there a way for teachers to include religion in the curriculum? If so, is there a way for you to include religion without offending anyone? America has always struggled with what to do about the concept of religion. This struggle can be noted in both politics and education. The debate over rather or not religion should be allowed in schools has been around for many years. This debate has also been to court numerous times, but now some Americans are stating that religion should be allowed back in schools. They propose that religion is necessary in learning and that religion should be taught. On the other hand, other Americans are stating that religion needs to stay out of public schools so that one religion does not get placed over another religion. The absence of religion in public schools seems to be fine with the public since many parents do not want their children to make religious choices that differ from their family tradition (Passe and Willox). Does this controversy makes it difficult for teachers to teach the required material in schools since religion can be involved in historic events?
Proponents of bringing religion back into the public school curriculum state that religion is needed in order for students to understand the Social Studies curriculum and current world events. Religion played a major role in the Crusades, the formation of Pakistan and India, and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute just to name a few. One reason for why religion needs to be involved in the teaching of the Crusades is because it focused solely on religion. The Crusades began with a goal to reach the Holy Land. In addition, the first Crusade focused only on ridding the Holy Land of Muslims (Edmonds). Likewise, these events lead proponents to argue that religion cannot be ignored because it is relevant in better understanding what happened.
The best way to handle religion in school is to teach it not preach it. In the world we live in today, religion cannot be ignored. This is especially the case when there are wars being fought because of religious disputes, such as the one in Afghanistan. According to Jeff Passe, professor in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina, and Lara Wilcox, Department of Culture, Curriculum, and Change also at the University of North Carolina, eliminating religion from the curriculum just “marginalizes those students who practice it” (220). Eliminating religion from the curriculum creates a misrepresentation of history and may also give students a false message that religions are irrelevant to human existence (Dever, Whitaker, and Byrnes, 220). Religion needs to be taught so that people can quit being illiterate and start respecting and understanding different religions around the world. In 2010, there was a national survey released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that asked 3,412 adults thirty-two questions on the Bible and other world’s religions (Prothero). The...

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