Blog Post

Religion In Education

    Religion seems to be avoided in schools, educators are reluctant to raising the topic of religion in the classroom.  Understandably they worry about offending students, or favoring a belief for that matter. Addressing religion in schools is essential to learning, and can adequately provide students with a diverse connection to the world. It is legal to discuss and teach students about religion in an unbiased and academically correct way. Therefore it is the educator’s choice whether to do so or not. Religion is an important factor in education for various reasons. Including religion in education will help decrease the amount of religiously motivated hate crimes. Along with making the student body more diverse, and enhancing the students education. Students have a First Amendment right to religious expression in school and should be able to exercise that right.

Religiously motivated hate crimes are on the rise, therefore to decrease this we should be teaching students about religion during school hours. Research shows that the percentage of hate crimes led by religion bias was about three times higher in 2012 than in 2004. Many of the violent hate crime leaders are school age. If educators encourage students to understand and respect people of different religious beliefs, it will immensely help lower the percentage of these hate crimes. Without teaching religion in schools some children feel that crime is acceptable, along with acting out because they aren’t taught any better.

Today, our student bodies are much more diverse. Which means that students are going to come across students of different race, culture, and religions. Students need to learn how to be able to accept these differences, and not be judgmental. To ensure that students of less familiar cultures and religious backgrounds feel included and accepted in their learning environment, teachers need to begin providing different types of opportunities for all of the students to share unique features about themselves. As their classmates become more educated about these differences, the likelihood of exclusivity and bullying will largely decrease.

Religious literacy is key to a well-rounded education; this will enhance the student’s education by teaching them more knowledge about different religions around the world. If students are going to function as global citizens, and be members of society; they will need to understand religion's impact on history, politics, society, and culture. Students should know basic religious facts and should be able to recognize the diversity that exists in each belief system that surrounds them. Students will also be encountering different types of people throughout their lives, and they are going to need to know how to deal with it and accept it.

Students have a First Amendment right to religious expression in school. With that being said, the U.S. Constitution contains two different types of clauses, known as the religion clauses. They are there to inform the relationship between religion and public schools. As government employees, public school teachers and administrators must follow these two clauses and are required to be neutral about religion while educating their students. Students have the right to believe in what they’d like to believe, and say what they want to say. Students are allowed to express how they feel, and they do indeed have the right to religious expression.

Students who are taught about religion seem to have a better grasp on reality. Allowing them to have a better concept about what is going on in the world around us dealing with different religions, cultures, and values. Along with being more open minded about other peoples beliefs, instead of just focusing on their own and acknowledging others. Religious education is easily ignored when it comes to teaching it in schools. People feel that religion does not need to be discussed. That it is better to just keep to themselves, in fear that it could offend someone and their own beliefs. When religion is brought up in education we seem to ignore it, and not appreciate it the way that we should. Religion gets merged in with citizenship and social studies, instead of talking about it separately. Students should be taught about religion. It can teach them valuable ways of thinking, which can help them throughout life.  Religion is a key concept and helps broaden people’s knowledge about the world around us. There are so many different types of religions, which is why it is necessary for us to have an understanding and idea of the other religions that people are apart of and value. 

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12 comments

I did my research on ADD/ADHD and how it effects kids in the classroom. what i found from my research is that on average kids with ADD/ADHD have lower average grades, more failed grades, more explosions, increased dropout reates, doesn't pay attention to details, makes carless mistakes, frequently losses or misplaces homework books or toys, gets bored with tasks before there done, has difficulty remembering things, appears to not listen when being spoken to, and a lower rate of college graduation. 

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I couldn't agree more about students needing religious literacy. Far from mandating a belief system, having a working knowledge of the components of religion and spirituality ensures students become sensitive global citizens. At the same time, having religious literacy allows young adults to connect with their own conscience in an informed and critical way

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I couldn't agree more! I feel religion is extremely important. Todays society is filled with an abundant of different beliefs. Many are ignorant of others beliefs and form their own judgments on religion without being educated. Religion in schools can offer that education. Having open discussions of religion in the classroom can allow students to be open minded. I agree that it is important for students to learn the diversity of todays society and religon is part of that diversity!

Due to the lack of knowlege, I have personally witnessed the downfalls of not allowing religion in schools. I have been bullied because of my beliefs when I feel that it could have been easily been prevented if students understood other religions. I feel that teaching religion in schools can enable students to have an open mind to others beliefs. That doesn't mean that students have to practice the same religion but knowledge of religon can encourage discussion and creativity between students. It is too often that students are bullied and misunderstood by other students due to the fact that that the bullies don't understand a students beliefs.

For many years I had no knowlege of the muslim religion. Due to their lack of knowlege, many students see all practicing muslims as "terrorists" and they are lumped into all one group. Until students are encouraged to discuss these things, this will never change.

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I concur; religion is a very important topic in today’s world. Students need to get a grasp on each religion in order to understand the different views people have. It is very important to educated students on the matter, but it must be done in the correct way, like you stated with the two clauses. The only religion related material I was taught in school referred to the renaissance period, which is far from the world today. With religions such as Islam and Buddhism on the rise, students need to be educated in order to understand each other and prevent violence. Hate crimes are a major problem, and in most cases the problem is related to religion. I’ve seen countless stories headlining the news with violence relating to different religious viewpoints, would knowledge about the different religious viewpoints prevent all of this? Probably not, however, in certain circumstances a prior knowledge about the beliefs and similarities in each region could prevent someone from being ridiculed or hurt. Hate crimes will most likely never be permanently eliminated due the nature of some humans, but other issues such as bullying in American schools. Bullying victims commonly include students different from the rest of the student body; for example, a Jewish student is a Christian populated school. If religion were apart of the curriculum, students would be aware of the Jewish students beliefs, hopefully preventing the bullying and singling out. The teaching of different religious backgrounds and beliefs should be present in both public and private schools to prevent not only hate crimes, but other common problems we see today. 

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Religious education is not as much a part of the regular education system as it could be. Students often know very little about religions other than their own. This can lead to misjudgment about others and their religious activities based on this lack of knowledge. Today, religious education is conducted primarily within the private school system. In public schools, teachers that discuss religion most likely would face a backlash from parents. One primary difficulty with religious eduction is the wide range of religions that exist and the difficulty of covering all of them. In addition, many people do not subscribe to religion at all and object to any discussion of religion in schools. Yet, just as our country is built on a broad diversity of nationalities which we celebrate, we are restricted within our education system from teaching about our religious diversity. Students who have learned more about varying religions can benefit from this broader knowledge and contribute to an understanding of others. They will understand more of what is happening around the world, the country, and in their own homes. Education currently strays away from religion because they don't want to cross the line of being biased and cause issues for the students or their parents. It is very possible that a broader understanding of religion may help prevent crimes that are religious or hate in nature. Religious education won’t solve all of the issues, and may even cause some. Helping students learn more about religion can be good and bad because it can change the student’s perspective on one hand, and lead to negative opinions on another. While I believe religion should be taught more in our education system, there has to be a more definite line to what you can, and cannot be taught to students about religion.

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I agree that religion needs to be taught more in school. We are continually being surrounded by diverse people with different religions, but yet we know little about it. I have a sort of unique perspective on this because for grade school I went to public school and in high school I went to a catholic school. At my grade school nobody talked about religion especially teachers because they are supposed to be unbiased. We tried to incorporate it a couple of times, but it failed because the principal was worried about it. When I went to high school we had to have religion classes which was a first for me. We had to attend mass (church service) once every two or three weeks. I gained a whole new perspective not only on my religion and faith, but the catholic religion. Coming into high school I had misconceptions on Catholicism and what they did, but by them incorporating it into the education system I gained a better understanding of it. My friends and I grasped a better understanding of our faith and you don’t have to believe in the religion or agree with it, but it’s just good to learn about it so you can see a different view. Students can understand more of what is happening around the world and contribute to discussions about it. The public education system may not agree with this addition at first and there may be conflict, but down the line I think it would be beneficial to learn about each other’s beliefs. So yeah in the future I agree that religion should be taught in school. 

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Well for me, having gone through a relgious based school since 3rd grade. I find that religion being forced on someone is something more so of an issue that a promotion of what they are trying to teach. In my years of religion, I find that having the option to do something religious and study something of that sort on your own is an amazing thing. But when it all comes down to it and you find yourself having the idea of "God" or whomever forced down your throat, I think we can all find it agreeable that thats where we should maybe draw the line. Although my views are very opinionated, they are based solely on experience and only go forth to help others. I do believe that offering a religious class in public school systems would be a very good thing and should be something that we promote. Relgion is somethin that we should study, but not be taught to believe leaving us the choice to believe it or not. I mean that is the whole idea of faith isnt it? 

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There are many ways to go about this, but in my personal opinion forcing a religion upon someone (in most cases) makes that individual veer away from that spiritual idea and lose interest. You make a lot of excellent points like addressing that it may offend a student, which is true. But I still believe that religion should be involved within schools. Not to take it to an extremist standpoint and make each classroom into your next church service, but to show respect to our nation which was in fact found under God by our Founding Fathers. We seem to even veer away from our own Pledge of Allegiance now a days. But religion is a complicated thought, and with so many various types out there it is hard to implement it into our school system due to the matter of angering people. I have had many instances to where we could add religious programs into our public school systems such as Bible schools and optional religion classes, but many people disagreed and those idea were terminated. These programs should be allowed so that people who wish to gain further knowledge on these values should be able to.

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I think that this topic is very interesting because there has alway been a problem of religion being taught in school. I believe,just as you said, that religion should be taught in schools because it makes people more cultured. From a personal stand point i know this is a fact. When i went to school i was fortunate enough to learn about religion and not just one religion but i was taught about all religions both in my public school and my catholic and private schools i went to. I think this was because my schools were located in an upscale area of manhattan rather than in a poor neighborhood where the education was lacking. From learning all these religions i was able to treat every one of different cultures with respect and observe their relgiion with respect without judging them in a negative way. Also some of my friends that i know were not taught religion in school  they tend to be ignorant to wards other religion, but it is not their fault it is just because they were not taught better. So how would they know. I believe religion being taught in school is the right way to go.

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Religion is a good topic to discuss in class but it has to be manage equally. I come from a country where religion is a school subject, but doesn't necessarely helps to study it since it's a big topic. It has so many ways to see religion since there is not just one. It's quiet problematic if you try to instruct this to kids, since you have to at least see the fundations in which each religion was stablished, the person who created this, and so the history up to modern days. I am not saying that it shouldn't be thaugh but like I said it has to be more than just one class. For example if you want to study religion in a high school it would be a couple of religions per year. Do not know if that would cover all of them. Leaving some people behind, and of course it would lead to some people feeling discriminated. Religion could be easily explain in college since you can go for a history degree in religion and any religion texts. But let's not forget that many religion topics even if they were to be teach in class, we would have parents that would be offended if their kids were to take those classes bringing another problem like why would they have to teach my kid this nonsense? By making some people believe that their religion is the true religion and educating their kinds into the same lessons. So I would like to see if before educating kids about religion it would be better to start from their parents and see if they were to approve something like this.

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I completely agree with your point of view on religion being taught in school. As a Muslim who has been in NYS education system for 11 years, I have faced a lot of discrimination and bullying based on my religion. Students were not well educated on Islam or any other religion in fact. They knew little to nothing based on the religions we did learn in World History class. Everything was textbook based and some information was even false or misinterpreted within these text. I believe it is crucial that student’s take at least two semesters of classes based on religions of the world so they can understand the beliefs that their friends or peers in the class follow. Religion is used to explain a lot of violence without proper interpretation within the media, if students were able to learn about religion in classrooms, they will be able to interpret the events based on what they have learned rather than believing everything the media states. You have made a strong argument and I truly did not think about this before I read this blog.

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... that people are part of (instead of : apart of)

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