Have a Chat . Further, teachers can remember that the Establishment Clause, though it places some limits on teacher practice, places almost none on students. This webinar, designed for high school educators of all subjects, offers practical suggestions for teaching about religious diversity in ways that reduce prejudice, promote mutual respect and help students prepare for college and career. Copy this URL to link to this … High school students will soon enter a wider world where they will engage with individuals from vastly different religious and cultural backgrounds. Most Helpline members tend toward this direction, invoking the good-old “don’t talk about politics, religion, or money” rule that applies to family holiday dinners and often, depending on district policies, the classroom. If you want this website to work, you must enable javascript. Enter recipient e-mail address(es): Separate up to five addresses with commas (,) Enter your name: Subject: E-mail Message: Cancel. Diverse schools feature differences in ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, reading level, athletic ability, background, gender, personality, and much more. How do you help students of all religions—or no religion—feel safe, supported and accepted? Permalink. Then highlight how each of those students adds something valuable and unique to the classroom. Very little research has investigated bullying based on religious differences. Acknowledging these differences and creating a safe space for discussion helps promote understanding in the classroom and beyond. Classroom materials available in the Resource List within the webinar. , 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. The facilitator discussed how to manage such a situation, and then concluded by reminding us all that, “the religious aspect of the bullying should not be something we address head on. To some, religion and the classroom are a toxic mix to be avoided at all cost. Applications for Middle Level Educators offers recommendations on how to implement lesson plans that enable students to express their own identities while learning about diverse religious and nonreligious beliefs and how to use a variety of resources to explore common themes among different religious traditions. By Jen Johnson: jennifer@equaliteach.co.uk As teachers, many of us have been there – delivering a wonderful lesson in which the learning objectives are beautifully fulfilled, the differentiation has worked like a dream…but then … Educators should give particular consideration to three key complex realities about religion as they seek to prepare global-ready citizens. How to Address Religious Bullying at School . Equality can deal with gender or race issues and, while it can be uncomfortable to address, teachers must promote equality in the classroom … Religion is an intrinsic element of our cultural mind-sets that implicitly impacts how we communicate, not only at work but also in the classroom. 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. 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.”. Train students how to talk about religion in the classroom. Religions, in this closed discussion, become fact-bundles. Further, this can alienate students on a personal level. Each webinar will offer a variety of helpful tools and an after … Not only is discussing religion in public schools allowed, it is actually mandated by my curriculum. 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 … First, it is imperative to establish a safe environment … 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). Every effort should be made to obtain accurate information about different religions. “No religion talk, please,” seemed to be the assumption—apparently even when it comes to addressing bullying. For example, we’ve written … In a classroom setting, diversity can present itself in a number of different ways: multicultural students, different learning styles, distinct personalities, etc. In a research paper that went to press at the very end of 2016 (2), Sébastien Goudeau and Jean-Claude Croizet begin to address these questions. Supporting Learner Differences in the Classroom . I would like to offer the following advice from my experience as a classroom teacher: 1. The opportunity to learn from each other is lost and methods usually rejected by good instructors—teacher-centered, rote fact-regurgitation-become the norm. Other differences can be a challenge to the individual (the “disadvantaged” or “differently abled” student), especially in situations that highlight the challenge because of the emphasis on certain information-processing strategies. Discussing Diverse Religions in the Classroom Religion can be a complex and even contentious issue and therefore needs to be approached carefully in the classroom. This is one of the many ways in which classroom settings are the perfect place for students to learn invaluable lessons. Also, as you encourage students to learn about their diverse backgrounds, remember to take the time to highlight what’s offensive and the distinction between cultural celebration and appropriation. This is not only a misreading of the law, it warps educational practice. 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 blogs: A three-part series that responds to participants' questions and comments. The impact of this is deeply felt. Share; Permalink. Diversity in the classroom teaches students to appreciate different perspectives and draw stronger conclusions. Follow-up blogs: A four-part series that responds to participants' questions and comments. If religion is the one area of the curriculum that teachers are afraid to teach using inquiry and discussion, it will be the one that students will feel is boring or unimportant. Diversity in the classroom may encompass age, learning styles, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Strong EdD programs teach educators to value the unique aspects of what makes each student different, and helps them embrace those differences in the classroom. Students are told to memorize these, not to discuss their validity or question their effect on societies. On the other hand, 36 percent would like to see a merging of cultures. Religious Differences in the Classroom. A transcription for this webinar can be found here. 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. Special training may be required to prepare teachers to discuss religion in an appropriate manner. Applications for Elementary Educators offers recommendations on how to teach about religion and religious differences through critical literacy strategies and developmentally appropriate lesson plans and classroom activities—all while promoting empathy and respectful curiosity among students. "Silence about religion also denies students the promise of a good education. Gender differences also occur in the realm of classroom behavior. Discussion of religion in the classroom may alienate those students who are being raised with no religious faith. . In my opinion, teachers can be proactive in the process of talking about race and ethnicity in the classroom. Yet misconceptions and misinformation can quickly become the norm if educators do not address differences within a classroom. This is part of why I am surprised at the “folk understandings” teachers have about religion. Thus, allowing students a space to discuss their own beliefs is not just legal but, considering nearly all research on adolescent development, advisable. Educators seek to create an inclusive classroom … These … With the increase in cultural diversity, we also see a rise in religious diversity, the A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center ©1991-2020. Discussion of religion in the classroom may alienate those students who are being raised with no religious faith. Or, are they further widening the gap? Different backgrounds, cultures, and religions are interwoven into the average American class. This is a common and realistic concern. For example, we’ve written about religious … Questions like “How has Christianity shaped the politics of abortion in the U.S.?” and “Did Christians and Muslims have more differences or commonalities during the Crusades?” are two examples of questions I have asked to high school students that have generated hearty and respectful debate and a deeper understanding of human similarities and differences. Get students to prepare an activity or presentation that helps others understand their culture or religion, and how it is similar and different than other students. 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. 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. When a class is told to memorize three central Hindu gods, what place is there for a Hindu student whose local temple actually worships many more or different deities? While there is an obligation for even these students to learn what is being taught … But the truth is it’s both legal and important to teach about religion and the diversity of religious and nonreligious worldviews. Before we can effectively support and celebrate the cultures of others, we need to recognize and evaluate our own cultural expectations. My students enter the classroom with a range of assumptions. Furthermore, teachers must responsibly discuss religious life and current shifts in religious practices in conjunction with addressing sexuality related concerns. 2003), this blurring of boundaries enables the exclusion of minority religions by majority religious groups. Supporting Learner Differences in the Classroom; Why Teachers Need A Career Development Plan. It can be challenging because teachers do have their work cut out for them; however, working with these students is absolutely worth it and completely rewarding. Physically, boys tend to be more active than girls, and by the same token more restless if they have to sit for long periods. Whatever the reason, you can overcome cultural clashes if you remain calm and address the situation in a sensitive and careful manner. Religion in the Classroom: How to respond when a lesson takes an unexpected turn. 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. The teacher is tasked with encouraging and maintaining that diversity. As a teacher of Global History and U.S. Government to public high school students, religion is an explicit part of my curriculum. It improves academic outcomes I would like to offer the following advice from my experience as a classroom teacher: 1. Understanding Culture in the Classroom. Learn ways to create and modify lessons plans so they address religious diversity and be prepared to facilitate classroom discussions about religious diversity and beliefs. In fact, I think some of the importance of fostering discussion of religion in schools is to help students understand its flaws as well as its beauty. 3. When asked how we can best live together in cultural diversity, 52 percent of the German population responded that immigrants should adapt to the culture of the mainstream society. 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. Several academics have developed the idea of “Lived Religion”—the idea that religion is not simply a list of rules or practices, and in fact is much more clearly understood in reference to the way it influences individual lives. Within the assumptions students bring to the classroom, I have come to see embedded opportunities for cultivating a deeper understanding of “difference.” I hope that this understanding will enable my students to live responsibly in a world of multiple perspectives. If you don't have an account, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. Giving Students a Choice in Matters of Faith. Special training may be required to prepare teachers to discuss religion in an appropriate manner. While this may seem like this difference would benefit female students, this trend actually places a greater emphasis on compliance as being essential to their academic success rather than simply learning and demonstrating knowledge. Not only should teachers work toward making all students comfortable, they should also model appropriate behavior for students to follow. Teacher Katie M. says she responds to all questions in this vein with the same phrase: “As a teacher, I can’t share my political or religious views. If religion is discussed, great care must … After-session pack: A PDF with activities and lessons. The topic was bullying—how to spot it, prevent it, and deal with it. Become a fan of First Things on Facebook, subscribe to First Things via RSS, and follow First Things on Twitter. 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 … 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 subject areas can help meet academic standards. To have these discussions, a teacher must prepare their students. consensus on teaching about religion in public schools: 1. Indeed, there is … Low-achieving students will receive … Religion must be taught objectively and neutrally. Print; E-mail. helps educators build a deeper understanding of the legal parameters relevant to including religion in the classroom. I am, however, a believer in good teaching and in giving students the tools and opportunities to think deeply about important questions. In an adaptive classroom, the teacher doesn’t convey the same content to all students; instead, students may be working on different tasks at the same time. advantage in the classroom. This project aimed to answer the question: how is religious diversity accommodated for and addressed in the American public elementary school classroom? Comments are visible to subscribers only. Diversity in the classroom teaches students to appreciate different perspectives and draw stronger conclusions. Classroom Management – Becoming A Better Leader For Learning. Help your students learn to respect individual differences in the classroom by celebrating … In one example, the bullying was based on religion. Acknowledging these differences and creating a safe space for discussion helps promote understanding in the classroom and beyond. To some, religion and the classroom are a toxic mix to be avoided at all cost. Protocols such as the “Accountable Talk” guide used in my school can help kids find the words to have hard conversations. He graduated from Amherst College in 2009 and has completed the Teacher Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 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. Blog. To continue, log into your Teaching Tolerance account. In an adaptive classroom, the teacher doesn’t convey the same content to all students; instead, students may be working on different tasks at the same time. Very little research has investigated bullying based on religious differences. Study 3. By creating a classroom culture in which religious diversity is respected. Frequent open discussions of hard issues can help acclimate students to these talks before controversial conversations on religion arise. Is Silence Golden? It is obvious that schools cannot teach all languages to all pupils, even in primary schools, but there are pedagogical approaches that allow the different languages present in a classroom to be taken into account. Teach your classroom what diversity means and how it is manifested in their own classroom. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation. In an increasingly pluralistic United States, religious difference provides cause for conflict, understanding and controversy. Discussion of religion in the classroom may alienate those students who are being raised with no religious faith. I was shocked by the two hundred teachers nodding along as if this comment itself were so obviously factual. There are practices my colleagues and have used that can attack this problem head-on. .” that help students to engage with each other productively. If they are to understand the world they live in, they must be exposed at an early age to the religious dimensions of society, history, literature, art, … This new pupil was presented with ethnic differences (skin colour, geographical origin, language, parent’s religion). When children’s and families’ practices “clash” with our own, it can lead to misunderstandings and assumptions. It improves academic outcomes Thus, students can gain a deeper understanding of a religion by analyzing primary sources and personal stories in which religion plays a role. Controversy in the Classroom Religion in History and Social Studies . Interviews were conducted over the summer of … Knowing how to promote equality in the classroom is necessary for teachers as communities grow and diversify. However, not all students that come from various diverse backgrounds feel included or accepted. Teach your classroom what diversity means and how it is manifested in their own classroom. There’s a lot of misinformation about what teachers are allowed to do when it comes to discussing religion in public school. The most obvious and simple is to teach religious topics in as open a format as one teaches other topics. A great lesson could include choosing a few different students who represent such diversity (if they’re open to it – don’t put them on the spot!). Follow-up blog: Agree to (Respectfully) Disagree. This is a particularly rich historical moment in the life of the American religious landscape and the varied sociocultural responses to sexuality. E-mail. Each webinar will offer a variety of helpful tools and an after-session resource … “No religion talk, please,” seemed to be the assumption—apparently even when it comes to addressing bullying. Then highlight how each of those students adds something valuable and unique to the classroom. "This is neither fair nor accurate," the authors continue. Although educating students is the main goal of the school, teachers may have different variations on how to accomplish that goal. The results inform us on the ability to accept the Other. Yet misconceptions and misinformation can quickly become the norm if educators do not address differences within a classroom. For a variety of reasons, many educators are understandably reluctant to raise the topic of religion in the classroom. Learning how to talk about other cultures in a … Help Students Respond With Empathy and Respect. Make it a THING; a THING that is important to your classroom culture, a THING that is a building block of your class, and a THING that students are excited about. 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. What’s Law Got To Do With It? They seem to believe that the notion of “Separation of Church and State” means we should avoid discussion of religion entirely. After all, we have separation of Church and state in our schools.”. 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. As the population of the United States grows increasingly diverse, so does the level of cultural diversity in the country. What a boring world it would be if everyone were the same. eds., Elsevier Sci. You CAN Teach About Religion in Public School! Inclusion of study about religion is important in order for students to be properly educated about his-tory and cultures. To what extent are organisations responsible for creating an environment that supports the religious diversity of their members? It is of note that this task helps European-American students realize that their beliefs and traditions constitute a culture as well, which is a necessary breakthrough in the development of a truly culturally responsive classroom. Teacher education programs often overlook the importance of preparing K–12 teachers to address religious ideas in history and social studies. How to Proceed. 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). In my opinion, teachers can be proactive in the process of talking about race and ethnicity in the classroom. Promoting equity in the classroom can range from including students with physical and mental disabilities, teaching students with various learning capabilities through differentiated instruction, and addressing gender and cultural differences. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. As a result of immigration, people with different cultures and traditions and greater religious diversity are now living together. by EqualiTeach | Published 7th August 2018. Are classrooms arranged to mitigate the effects of social class on academic achievement? Follow-up blog: Families Have Much to Share. Are you looking for practical suggestions on how to explore religious diversity with elementary students? This gives students a series of rules and sentence starting phrases, such as “I disagree with your idea because . Diversity in the classroom may encompass age, learning styles, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and ethnic background. While most areas in the history curriculum invite debate and argument (“Was the New Deal an appropriate response to the Great Depression?” for example), religious teaching becomes the realm of the closed question, with one right answer and no debate (“What are the five pillars of Islam?”). Plays a role address how to address differences in religion in the classroom situation in a sensitive and careful manner Government to public high school,. Variety of reasons, many educators are understandably reluctant to raise the topic was bullying—how spot... Classroom how to address differences in religion in the classroom necessary for teachers as communities grow and diversify we Need to recognize and our. Analyzing primary sources and personal stories in which classroom settings are the perfect place students... 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