[2015] Brittany Garcia: World Religion in schools

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by melloky
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
Religious Studies

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[2015] Brittany Garcia: World Religion in schools

Will teaching religions in school produce more tolerable students?

In world history classes the criculim is very dominated by western culture. We are taught about wars and who was in them so we do get a few eastern cultures because they either bombed someone or we bombed them. The school board does actually let our teachers pick two out of six culures -Africa, Southeast Asia, China, India, Latin America, and the Philippines- but they only get to look at how New Imperialism affected them. We as tenth graders learn very little outside of who America has been to war with, so why do we call it "World History"?

One district in Texas believed that broadening their history and scoal study classes to include religion would provide their students with the best understanding of other cutures. Samuel Ayers and Shelly Reid state, "Whithin the context of socal studies, this includes teaching about religion, which plays a major role in history and society. After teacher's and school leaders expand their background knowledge about the world's religions, they can convey accurate information and provide their students with meaningful student learning experiences as they teach about religion" (Ayers and Reid).

Religion is a key to understanding most cultures. An example of this is Muslim women who wear hijabs, or head coverings. They are thought to be oppressed by men, but in reality the hijab is a symbol modesty and a woman’s mind over her outward appearance. In Tuva their religion is key to understanding their music. They worship nature and believe that everything has a soul and spirit, which is why they imitate nature in their singing. They believe that horses are sacred animals which why horse heads are often carved on to their instruments. We must take time to understand these people before we brush them off because they’re different.

In my World Music class we watch to see that when two cultures come together, for whatever reason, they receive and give something to each other, whether it be an instrument, style of singing, or a single word they impact each other. An example of this is our instrument the Guitar, a stringed wooden instrument, it’s a descendent of the Tar and stringed wooden instrument from Persia, both similar to the Sitar, a stringed instrument from India, many more examples of this exist to show just how connected we all are.


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