R eligious and cultural ignorance
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Anna Goebel, Nick Dabel , Grace Shipton , Molly Rockhold , Kenji Brock, Trey Foster, Alex Gale, Gammam Promwichain , Lillia , Perla , Seth. R eligious and Cultural Ignorance. P roject C itizen. F acing the growing ignorance and intolerance for cultures and religions in our society.

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R eligious and cultural ignorance

Anna Goebel, Nick Dabel, Grace Shipton, Molly Rockhold, Kenji Brock, Trey Foster, Alex Gale, GammamPromwichain, Lillia, Perla, Seth

Religious and Cultural Ignorance

Project Citizen

Facing the growing ignorance and intolerance for cultures and religions in our society


P roblem

  • Religious ignorance is becoming more prominent across the nation

    • The problem starts in schools

      • Specific instances in Centennial High School

  • Speaking of one’s religion is uncomfortable for some and should not be so

  • While much of the world is Christian (as the population of the United States), the next biggest religion of the world is that of the Muslim faith, a religion that, unfortunately, many in this country are scared of due to misinformation

Problem


A lternatives

  • High school in Modesto, California mandates a world religion class in order to graduate

    • This class teaches religion’s role in historical, cultural and literary development in the world

    • It aims to eliminate excessive religious ignorance

    • The class was first opposed by students, but a behavioral change was later noted

      • “When you don’t know about something, you fear it” said a faculty member of the school

    • The teachers are required to maintain a neutral tone when teaching the class and also must follow specific codes of conduct

A lternatives


A lternatives cont

  • Riverside City College of California

    • Also implemented a religious course into the curriculum

    • Students are engaged in religious discussions which include those on religious tradition and interpreting religious texts

  • Advantages include:

    • Greater knowledge of diverse beliefs present in every day life

    • Skills for students when analyzing such texts

    • Students also learn how to participate in civil discussions

  • Disadvantages include:

    • Time constraints causing the inability to discuss all major religions in depth

    • Strict guidelines must be created for teachers to follow when teaching such a class

  • Alternatives (cont.)


    O ur p olicy

    • Implement a culture and religions in class in the Meridian School District and our school.

      • One semester course

      • Elective for all grade levels

      • Curriculum would include a comprehensive and unbiased approach to teaching students about the cultures and belief systems that are prevalent in our global community

    OurPolicy


    C onceivable p roblems

    • Separation of church and state

      • In addition, it might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization.”–Justice Tom Clark, Abington School District v. Schempp

        • Focus on facts and how education such as this has influenced the world

        • Begin with an elective class

    • Teacher Bias

      • There must be an even distribution of speakers paired with objective texts for students to read

    Conceivable Problems


    P lan of a ction

    • Present plan to Meridian Joint School District No. 2 school board

    • Raise community awareness to convince school officials that this class is both legal and beneficial

      • Pass out pamphlets in community

      • Hosting forums at school

    PlanofAction


    References

    Duerden, Daniel. "Teaching About Religion in Schools." 360 Online Education. 360 Education Solutions, 09 Feb. 2012. Web. 09 Jan. 2013. <http://www.360-edu.com/commentary/teaching-about-religion-in-schools.htm>.

    "Interview with District Coordinator." Telephone interview. 07 Jan. 2013.

    "First Amendment Schools: The Five Freedoms - Court Case." First Amendment Schools: The Five Freedoms - Court Case. First Amendment Center, n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2013.

    Mahon, Richard. "World Religions Syllabus." World Religions Syllabus. Riverside Community College District, 2011. Web. 09 Jan. 2013. <http://faculty.rcc.edu/mahon/hum10_syllabus.html>.

    References


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