PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Religion and Public Schools: International Perspectives Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit will promote the comparative study of religious education in public schools around the world. By encouraging interdisciplinary research on the ethical, legal, political, pedagogical, and religious issues that arise with the study of religion in elementary and secondary schools, we seek to deepen our understanding of alternative approaches to religion as an academic subject. We also hope to find new ways of responding to the increasing religious diversity in schools and societies and to study the relationship between religious education and citizenship education in pluralistic democratic societies.

Call for Papers: 

This group will promote the comparative study of religious education in public schools around the world. By encouraging interdisciplinary research on the ethical, legal, political, pedagogical, and religious issues that arise with the study of religion in elementary and secondary schools, we seek to deepen our understanding of alternative approaches to religion as an academic subject. We also hope to find new ways of responding to the increasing religious diversity in schools and societies and to study the relationship between religious education and
citizenship education in pluralistic democratic societies.

• Non-Religious/Secular Worldviews in Public Schools
Teaching about religion in public school is often associated with the teaching about the “religions of the world”. This can be done within for example history or a social science subject or, as in some countries, within a special religious education school subject. Apart from “world religions” there are of course many other “world-views” that are taught in public school. Several supranational documents, such as Council of Europe’s Signposts, the Toledo Guiding Principles, AAR’s Guidelines for Teaching about Religion, and the Religious Studies Companion Document to the National Council for the Social Studies Framework for Social Studies State Standards mention or prescribe the teaching of non-religious or secular worldviews. In this session, we would like to discuss the teaching of these world-views. What non-religious and secular worldviews are presented, in what school subject and why and how? What is not presented?

• Pedagogies for Teaching about Religion in Public Schools
We also call for studies on pedagogies of teaching religion used in compulsory schools? What pedagogies have proved successful in compulsory public education? In what ways have they been successful? What pedagogies have seemed to fail and why? What works and why, and in what settings? How do teachers treat religious diversity?
In an open call, we also invite papers that advance the mission of this program group.

Method: 
PAPERS
E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail)
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
This system has been working well for us.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee