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Reflection essay topics: Teaching religion at public schools - an obstacle to secularization or current necessity?
The two major issues, related to the penetration of religion into schooling are prayers during the classes and teaching religion in education institutions. The most common concern about these two issues is the possible outcome related to the domination of certain religion (supposedly Christianity) over the other worships of ethnic minorities. In addition, the manifestation of religion and the related education are likely to promote clerical value over secular lifestyle, viewed as socially acceptable - as most critics believe.
Major thesis statements:
1) Prayers should be forbidden at secondary education institutions, since they abuse school discipline and religious neutrality of the public institution.
2) School prayer is an inalienable right of each individual, due to the freedom of speech and expression amended by the Constitution.
3) Religious education at public schools should remain forbidden, as the public institution should not be turned into a secular one.
4) Teaching religion is likely to positively contribute to societal morality and therefore decrease the prevalence of such negative issues as crime, deviance, abortion and domestic violence.
5) Religious education should be provided by separate institutions, rather than public schools, since such division supports religious neutrality.
Primary issues to discuss:
1) Is American educational system lacking spirituality?
2) Are moral values and virtues observed today? Can religion classes nurture such qualities as honesty, loyalty and empathy?
3) Religious beliefs are known as a vital aspect of socialization. Should American children learn them at public or parochial schools?
1) Anthony, F.-V. Religion and Culture in Religiously Affiliated Schools: The Role of teachers in Nurturing Inculturation. International Journal of Education and Religion, 1(1): pp.17-40. 2003.
2) Hirst, P.H. Christian education: a contradiction in terms? Learning for Living, 11(4): 6-11.
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Selected topics for reflection essay were split into two categories:
Religion and society
Teaching religion at public schools
Religious cults and sects
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