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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/15/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beliefs central to history and social studies

It is commonly, though wrongly, accepted knowledge that public school teachers are not allowed to teach the Bible, biblical values, or Christian history in public schools. It is a debate that dominates every part of life, from a single household to the federal government. The countless legal battles over the issue have caused many to believe that faith has no place in education.

Religions place in public education is a hotly debated issue for Americas.

Religions place in public education is a hotly debated issue for Americas.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/15/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: World, Christianity, religion, teachings


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new report from nonprofit organization Gateways to Better Education, an organization dedicated to advocating expressions of faith in public schools, seeks to change that.

In a 230-page report titled "The Bible in State Academic Standards," the organization looked at numerous states and what their education standards are, and showed that there is leeway to teach students about Christianity.

In a press release, the organization stated that the report "highlights state-by-state, academic standards indicating ample opportunity for educators to teach about the Bible, Christian beliefs, and Christians who were influential in history."

The president of Gateways to Better Education, Eric Buehrer, argues that there are misconceptions among teachers when it comes to religion. "There is a common misconception among many educators that teaching about the Bible and Christianity is not allowed in public school classrooms because of concerns over the establishment of religion," said.

California, for instance, recommends that sixth graders know about the origins of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the contributions of St. Paul to spreading the religion.

Massachusetts has standards for seventh graders in history and social studies, which include knowing a variety of facts about Christianity, including theological beliefs and the nature of Jesus Christ as viewed by followers.

Furthermore, students should understand the origins of Christianity and understand monotheism, and the Christian interpretation of salvation, the Old and New Testaments, and the lives of central figures.

Some may worry that the report is advocating pushing Christianity on those who wouldn't believe it, but the report calls on teachers to remain objective.

"The lesson should not be designed to prove the story is true, nor question whether the story is accurate. The goal should be to introduce students to the story and help them understand the influence it has had on history, literature, art, and music."

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