Sunday, September 6, 2009

Iowa on religious liberty and schools





The blog Religion Clause reports on the new Iowa School District policy on religious liberty:
Teachers shall prepare and teach lessons throughout the year and throughout the curriculum that:

Approach religion as academic, not devotional

Strive for student awareness of religions, not acceptance of religions

Study about religion, but do not practice religion in the classroom

Expose students to diversity of religious views, not impose any particular view

Educate about a variety of religions, not promote or denigrate religion

Inform students about various beliefs, not conform students to any particular belief

Demonstrate the impact of economic, social, political and cultural effects of religion throughout history

Are age appropriate


More here

3 comments:

seithman said...

Overall, this strikes me as a carefully considered and crafted policy. I'll be curious to see how it works out on a practical level, however. For example, I'll be curious to see how comfortable everyone is the first time the social studies teacher decides to discuss Hindu belief and traditions when the class is learning about India.

I'm also curious about how things will play out when a teacher talks about "the role that religion has played in the development of our country." Will the teacher simply promote the whole "Christian nation" story? Or will they give a more nuanced discussion of how the religion (what some have come to refer to as "rationalistic theism") of many of the founding fathers often differed significantly from what people most popularly think of as Christianity today?

Padre Mickey said...

Do they want me to write the textbooks?

JCF said...

Demonstrate the impact of economic, social, political and cultural effects of religion throughout history

I'd add "...and effect on religion" as well, but that might be asking too much! ;-/