Christianity and its legacy in education

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Abstract:

Much of the discussion regarding religion and schooling in the US has been limited to ideological clashes surrounding the role of the courts and, ostensibly, the much litigated issue of prayer in schools. This comes at the expense of an examination of deeper curricular issues rooted in language and school mechanisms borne of historical consequences. The authors seek to reframe the discussion of religion and schooling, arguing that to suggest that the removal of explicit prayerfulness equates to the cleansing of US public education of its religious character is facile and ahistorical. They suggest, instead, that religion remains in the language, practices, and routines of schooling but also in conceptions of the “’child” ‘ and assumptions about the role of schools emanating from such conceptions. Evoking the notion of pentimento, the piece seeks to elucidate the Judeo-Christian character of schooling in the US as a way of re-imagining discussions regarding the relationship between religion and/as curriculum. The piece concludes with a discussion of the implications of such an examination for curriculum studies and teacher education.

Keywords: cultural studies; curriculum theory; role of religion; state church separation; teacher education

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2011.590232

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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