On the other hand, 36 percent would like to see a merging of cultures. After-session pack: A PDF with activities and lessons. Classroom Management – Becoming A Better Leader For Learning. E-mail. Diversity recognizes the differences between people and includes different factors, such as religion, political orientation, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, language, socio-economic status, and family structure. A modern Muslim in Saudi Arabia likely experiences Islam in a far different way than one in Indonesia, a fact that students miss when they are simply memorizing the “Five Pillars.”. Look to Modesto, California’s, required world religions course for high school students as a model on how to teach students to talk about religion in the classroom. Yet misconceptions and misinformation can quickly become the norm if educators do not address differences within a classroom. This is a particularly rich historical moment in the life of the American religious landscape and the varied sociocultural responses to sexuality. Further, this can alienate students on a personal level. Protocols such as the “Accountable Talk” guide used in my school can help kids find the words to have hard conversations. Inclusion of study about religion is important in order for students to be properly educated about his-tory and cultures. But the truth is it’s both legal and important to teach about religion and the diversity of religious and nonreligious worldviews. Yet misconceptions and misinformation can quickly become the norm if educators do not address differences within a classroom. Diverse schools feature differences in ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, reading level, athletic ability, background, gender, personality, and much more. Another difference comes in the fact that girls are more often praised for good behavior, whereas boys are criticized more for bad behavior in the classroom. Follow-up blog: Families Have Much to Share. In a classroom setting, diversity can present itself in a number of different ways: multicultural students, different learning styles, distinct personalities, etc. , The Courts and the Definition of Religion: Preserving the Status Quo Through Exclusion, in Defining Religion: Investigating the Boundaries Between the Sacred and Secular 203, 210 (Greil, Arthur L. & Bromley, David G. These … Too often the notion of “Separation of Church and State” is used to erect unnecessary walls between fellow citizens. He graduated from Amherst College in 2009 and has completed the Teacher Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Challenging students to consider different perspectives can also teach them how to interact with their peers on a social level, and equip them with skills they’ll use for the rest of their life. Confronting Students’ Assumptions. In your classroom, you should address the differences in religion like you would in addressing any other topic - rationally and with an open mind. Pluralists like Diana Eck demonstrate that dialogue with religious “others” can not only enhance spiritual self-awareness, but also generate the collective wisdom needed to address global problems, from poverty and racism, to HIV/AIDS and hunger, to war and environmental destruction (2003). Challenging students to consider different perspectives can also teach them how to interact with their peers on a social level, and equip them with skills they’ll use for the rest of their life. The effort requires collaboration among scholars of religion, educators, and members of the faith communities to realize the potential in the new structures for teaching world history and geography in multidisciplinary, skill-based … "Silence about religion also denies students the promise of a good education. That may sound complicated, but Fostering a Culture of Respect offers suggestions on how to do just that. Furthermore, teachers must responsibly discuss religious life and current shifts in religious practices in conjunction with addressing sexuality related concerns. However, not all students that come from various diverse backgrounds feel included or accepted. Not only is discussing religion in public schools allowed, it is actually mandated by my curriculum. Further, teachers can remember that the Establishment Clause, though it places some limits on teacher practice, places almost none on students. It improves academic outcomes Some may be working independently, while others are engaged in learning with their peers, and still others are being introduced to new subject matter by the teacher. Complicating discussion of sexuality within a religion or theological classroom are silences and taboos about the topic that contrast sharply with public debate about religion and sexuality in US media and politics. Comments are visible to subscribers only. What a boring world it would be if everyone were the same. Have a Chat . You CAN Teach About Religion in Public School! I would like to offer the following advice from my experience as a classroom teacher: 1. This is one of the many ways in which classroom settings are the perfect place for students to learn invaluable lessons. children to become aware of what is important to a particular religion is an important step toward understanding the people that believe in that religion” (p. 196). While I was attending a professional development workshop for nearly two-hundred teachers several weeks ago, a particularly confusing comment caught my attention. Up to this point, it seems that highlighting differences between groups of students who are more or less familiar with a task through hand raising leads to the disadvantaged students performing even worse. “No religion talk, please,” seemed to be the assumption—apparently even when it comes to addressing bullying. Tanenbaum and Teaching Tolerance created a series of webinars about the importance of including religious diversity in classroom content. I was shocked by the two hundred teachers nodding along as if this comment itself were so obviously factual. High school students will soon enter a wider world where they will engage with individuals from vastly different religious and cultural backgrounds. Teachers tend to praise girls for “good” behavior, regardless of its relevance to content or to the lesson at hand, and tend to criticize boys for “bad” or inappropriate behavior (Golombok & Fivush, 1994). In these types of bullying situations, the act may have more to do with negative attitudes and stereotypes about how someone expresses their beliefs and have less to do beliefs themselves. For this reason, another subculture in the school is the classroom where one teacher’s preferences may not be shared by his/her colleagues. Teaching Tolerance and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding teamed up to offer educators a free webinar series: Religious Diversity in the Classroom.The five-part series and accompanying resources (described in detail below) examine how awareness of religious diversity affects global citizenship, and how teaching about religion across grade levels and … Teach your classroom what diversity means and how it is manifested in their own classroom. 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