Thesis Title

Teaching About Religion in the Public Schools

Graduation Date

Spring 2001

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


This document offers a thorough treatment of the controversial issue of teaching about religious traditions in the K-12 public school curriculum. It concludes that, while there may be difficulties involved, fair and neutral teaching about religion is crucial to the education of our K-12 students. The paper discusses five rationales for including the teaching about religion in the public school curriculum: 1) The rationale that teaching about religions is necessary for thorough and accurate coverage of certain academic subjects; 2) The rationale that there is a constitutional right to have this information fairly included in the curriculum; 3) The rationale of promoting our civic duty to respect all religions; 4) The rationale of furthering multicultural awareness; and 5) The rationale of enhancing character and values education. The paper includes an analysis of the conservative and liberal critiques of these rationales. It also looks at how the practice of teaching about religion is already being implemented in our public schools.

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