PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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Religion and Public Schools: International Perspectives Group

Statement of Purpose: 

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

Call for Papers: 

Public School Teacher Preparation to Teach about Religion: Issues, Models, Resources
Inasmuch as public education remains a common locus of preparation for living in democratic societies, lack of attention to preparing teachers to discuss religion in the public school threatens to render such civic preparation incomplete. Further, this neglect represents a devaluing of religion in at least two respects: first, it gives insufficient recognition of and attention to religion as an important aspect of history, literature, and the broader culture that form subjects for primary and secondary students; and second, it fails to engage how religion affects identity in many teacher and student-citizen’s lives and how that may legally and appropriately enter into classroom discussions.

The preparation of public school teachers to teach about religion in their respective content areas, as well as a stand-alone subject, remains one of the great underdeveloped areas of public school teacher education, particularly the United States and Canada. In different European countries and in Japan, though proceeding from differing state-supported authority bases, a range of examples of more advanced approaches to this issue have been developed.

This is a call for papers on the multifaceted challenge of public school teacher preparation to teach about religion at both the preservice or inservice levels. Papers are sought in these areas:

• general issues, policies, law, or other influencing or constraining parameters relative to religion and public school teacher education;
• models and best practices of religion education in the preparation of public school teachers, both in teaching about religion as an aspect of history, literature, and culture, but also in the preparation of teachers for religion education as a stand-alone subject;
• analysis of resources for teaching about religion in public schools and for teaching teachers.

We also invite papers that advance the mission of this program group, particularly in connection with the 2015 theme of the American Academy of Religion (“valuing and devaluing religion”) for an open call.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee