Religion in the Classroom

Author: Jennifer Hauver James
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135053545
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Dilemmas surrounding the role for religious beliefs and experiences permeate the school lives of teachers and teacher educators. Inspired by the need for teachers and students to more fully understand such dilemmas, this book examines the relationship between religion and teaching/learning in a democratic society. Written for pre-service and in-service teachers, it will engage readers in thinking about how their own religious backgrounds affect their teaching; how students’ religious backgrounds influence their learning; how common experiences of school and classroom life privilege some religions at the expense of others; and how students can better understand diverse religious beliefs and interact with people from other backgrounds. The focus is specifically on classroom issues related to religious understandings and experiences of teachers and students, and the implications of those for developing democratic citizens. Grounded in both research and personal experience, each chapter provides thought-provoking evidence related to the role of religion in schools and society and asks readers to consider the consequences of varied ways of responding to the dilemmas posed.

Christian Privilege in U S Education

Author: Kevin J. Burke
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 131723247X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Using critical curriculum theory as its lens, this book explores the relationship between religion—specifically, Christianity and the Judeo-Christian ethos underlying it—and secular public education in the United States. Despite various 20th-century court decisions separating religion and education, the authors challenge that religion is in fact absent from public education, suggesting instead that it is in fact very much embedded in current public educational practices and discourses and in a variety of assumptions and perspectives underlying understandings of teaching, learning, and teacher preparation. The book reframes the discussion about religion and schooling, arguing that it remains in the language and metaphors of education, in the practices and routines of schooling, in conceptions of the "’child" and the "teacher" (and what happens between them in the spaces we call "learning," the "classroom," and "curriculum") as well as in assumptions about the role of schools emanating from such conceptions and in the current movement toward accountability, standardization, and testing. Christian Privilege in U.S. Education examines not whether Christianity has a place in public education but, rather, the very ways in which it is pervasive in a legally secular system of education even when religion is not a topic taught in school.

The Political Classroom

Author: Diana E. Hess
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317575024
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Helping students develop their ability to deliberate political questions is an essential component of democratic education, but introducing political issues into the classroom is pedagogically challenging and raises ethical dilemmas for teachers. Diana E. Hess and Paula McAvoy argue that teachers will make better professional judgments about these issues if they aim toward creating "political classrooms," which engage students in deliberations about questions that ask, "How should we live together?" Based on the findings from a large, mixed-method study about discussions of political issues within high school classrooms, The Political Classroom presents in-depth and engaging cases of teacher practice. Paying particular attention to how political polarization and social inequality affect classroom dynamics, Hess and McAvoy promote a coherent plan for providing students with a nonpartisan political education and for improving the quality of classroom deliberations.

The Charged Classroom

Author: Judith L. Pace
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317816625
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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At a time when debate over school reform commands unprecedented attention, Judith L. Pace argues we must grapple with the underlying challenges of classroom teaching and, at the same time, strive to realize the ideals of democratic education. Building on three qualitative studies in grades four through twelve, The Charged Classroom examines the deeply embedded tensions, escalating pressures, and exciting possibilities of the contemporary American public school classroom. Through detailed descriptions and analyses of social studies and English language arts classrooms, Pace disentangles how teachers and students navigate three charged arenas: academic expectations, discussion of provocative topics, and curricular demands. In each domain, democratic learning opportunities, such as promotion of positive student identity, dialogue across differences, and exploration of conflict, are both opened up and closed down. A passionate and persuasive call for education reform, the book offers crucial insights about the realities of teaching and key recommendations for advancing democratic education in a multicultural society.

Have a Little Faith

Author: Benjamin Justice
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022640059X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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It isn’t just in recent arguments over the teaching of intelligent design or reciting the pledge of allegiance that religion and education have butted heads: since their beginnings nearly two centuries ago, public schools have been embroiled in heated controversies over religion’s place in the education system of a pluralistic nation. In this book, Benjamin Justice and Colin Macleod take up this rich and significant history of conflict with renewed clarity and astonishing breadth. Moving from the American Revolution to the present—from the common schools of the nineteenth century to the charter schools of the twenty-first—they offer one of the most comprehensive assessments of religion and education in America that has ever been published. From Bible readings and school prayer to teaching evolution and cultivating religious tolerance, Justice and Macleod consider the key issues and colorful characters that have shaped the way American schools have attempted to negotiate religious pluralism in a politically legitimate fashion. While schools and educational policies have not always advanced tolerance and understanding, Justice and Macleod point to the many efforts Americans have made to find a place for religion in public schools that both acknowledges the importance of faith to so many citizens and respects democratic ideals that insist upon a reasonable separation of church and state. Finally, they apply the lessons of history and political philosophy to an analysis of three critical areas of religious controversy in public education today: student-led religious observances in extracurricular activities, the tensions between freedom of expression and the need for inclusive environments, and the shift from democratic control of schools to loosely regulated charter and voucher programs. Altogether Justice and Macleod show how the interpretation of educational history through the lens of contemporary democratic theory offers both a richer understanding of past disputes and new ways of addressing contemporary challenges.

Democratic Dilemmas of Teaching Service Learning

Author: Christine M. Cress
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
ISBN: 9781579226008
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A college student wants to lead a campaign to ban a young adult novel from his child’s elementary school as his service-learning project in a children’s literature course. Believing the book is offensive to religious sensibilities, he sees his campaign as a service to children and the community. Viewing such a ban as limiting freedom of speech and access to information, the student’s professor questions whether leading a ban qualifies as a service project. If the goal of service is to promote more vital democratic communities, what should the student do? What should the professor do? How do they untangle competing democratic values? How do they make a decision about action? This book addresses the teaching dilemmas, such as the above, that instructors and students encounter in service-learning courses. Recognizing that teaching, in general, and service-learning, in particular, are inherently political, this book faces up to the resulting predicaments that inevitably arise in the classroom. By framing them as a vital and productive part of the process of teaching and learning for political engagement, this book offers the reader new ways to think about and address seemingly intractable ideological issues. Faculty encounter many challenges when teaching service learning courses. These may arise from students’ resistance to the idea of serving; their lack of responsibility, wasting clients’ and community agencies’ time and money; the misalignment of community partner expectations with academic goals; or faculty uncertainty about when to guide students’ experiences and when direct intervention is necessary. In over twenty chapters of case studies, faculty scholars from disciplines as varied as computer science, engineering, English, history, and sociology take readers on their and their students’ intellectual journeys, sharing their messy, unpredictable and often inspiring accounts of democratic tensions and trials inherent in teaching service-learning. Using real incidents – and describing the resources and classroom activities they employ – they explore the democratic intersections of various political beliefs along with race/ethnicity, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and other lived differences and likenesses that students and faculty experience in their service-learning classroom and extended community. They share their struggles of how to communicate and interact across the divide of viewpoints and experiences within an egalitarian and inclusive environment all the while managing interpersonal tensions and conflicts among diverse people in complex, value-laden situations. The experienced contributors to this book offer pedagogical strategies for constructing service-learning courses, and non-prescriptive approaches to dilemmas for which there can be no definitive solutions.

Tocqueville in Arabia

Author: Joshua Mitchell
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022608745X
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Arab Spring, with its calls for sweeping political change, marked the most profound popular uprising in the Middle East for generations. But if the nascent democracies born of these protests are to succeed in the absence of a strong democratic tradition, their success will depend in part on an understanding of how Middle Easterners view themselves, their allegiances to family and religion, and their relationship with the wider world in which they are increasingly integrated. Many of these same questions were raised by Alexis de Tocqueville during his 1831 tour of America, itself then a rising democracy. Joshua Mitchell spent years teaching Tocqueville’s classic account, Democracy in America, in America and the Arab Gulf and, with Tocqueville in Arabia, he offers a profound personal take. One of the reasons for the book’s widespread popularity in the region is that its commentary on the challenges of democracy and the seemingly contradictory concepts of equality and individuality continue to speak to current debates. While Mitchell’s American students tended to value the individualism of commercial self-interest, his Middle Eastern students had grave doubts about individualism and a deep suspicion for capitalism, which they saw as risking the destruction of long-held loyalties and obligations. When asked about suffering, American students answered in psychological or sociological terms, while Middle Eastern students understood it in terms of religion. Mitchell describes modern democratic man as becoming what Tocqueville predicted: a “distinct kind of humanity” that would be increasingly isolated and alone. Whatever their differences, students in both worlds were grappling with a sense of disconnectedness that social media does little to remedy. We live in a time rife with mutual misunderstandings between America and the Middle East, and Tocqueville in Arabia offers a guide to the present, troubled times, leavened by the author’s hopes about the future.

Controversy in the Classroom

Author: Diana E. Hess
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135897344
Format: PDF, Docs
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In a conservative educational climate that is dominated by policies like No Child Left Behind, one of the most serious effects has been for educators to worry about the politics of what they are teaching and how they are teaching it. As a result, many dedicated teachers choose to avoid controversial issues altogether in preference for "safe" knowledge and "safe" teaching practices. Diana Hess interrupts this dangerous trend by providing readers a spirited and detailed argument for why curricula and teaching based on controversial issues are truly crucial at this time. Through rich empirical research from real classrooms throughout the nation, she demonstrates why schools have the potential to be particularly powerful sites for democratic education and why this form of education must include sustained attention to authentic and controversial political issues that animate political communities. The purposeful inclusion of controversial issues in the school curriculum, when done wisely and well, can communicate by example the essence of what makes communities democratic while simultaneously building the skills and dispositions that young people will need to live in and improve such communities.

Israel s Higher Law

Author: Steven V. Mazie
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739114858
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Israel's Higher Law, Steven V. Mazie sheds new light on the relationship between liberalism and religion through a detailed assessment of the Jewish state. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Israeli citizens, this compelling work scrutinizes the ways in which Israelis conceptualize and debate their polity's religion-state arrangement.

Way of Love

Author: Norman Wirzba
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062385844
Format: PDF, ePub
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The pioneering scholar and author of Food and Faith and Living the Sabbath asserts that Christianity has slid off its rightful foundation, arguing that the faith only makes sense and can only be expressed in a healthy way if it seen as based on love, with a mission of training others in the way of love. It’s often said that God is love, yet his message of compassion and caring for others is often overshadowed by the battles dividing us politically, culturally, and religiously. Why does Christianity matter if it isn’t about love? asks Duke University professor of Theology and Ecology Norman Wirzba. The Way of Love invites readers to experience Christianity that is centered on love. Extensive theological training cannot replace the way of love that transforms and connects each of us to God and the faith, Wirzba contends. Interweaving illuminating testimonials, historical references, and Scripture, he reveals how love allows us to move into the fullness of life; when we do not love we lose our faith. “To fail to love,” he reminds us, “is to lose God.”