Article in my School Paper

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Article in my School Paper

Postby BL!TZ » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:04 pm

Narrowness causes ignorance.
Current curriculum fails to broaden students viewpoints...

My ten-year-old sister struggles academically at her private, Catholic grade school, in every subject but one: she loves religion. She bases decisions solely on the Catholic guidelines presented in class. In all likelihood she will go to a private, Catholic high school and receive constant reinforcement of those teachings. Consequently, she will head to college lacking sufficient knowledge of the world's religious diversity.
I have nothing against Catholicism. I dislike, however, the narrow religious curriculum inmost private schools because it fails to explore multiple faiths. Education in any setting should present all viewpoints and should then allow the student to make informed choices. while technology slowly brings cultures closer together, private schools send kids off to universities with no understanding of the world's diversity.
New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman recently wrote a book entitled The World is Flat. Friedman argues that globalization constantly increases at an incredible rate, and that consequently everyone comes into contact. As a result, religions collide. The task of calculating all world religions might be impossible, but reliable sources typically say at least 20 major ones exist. Despite this variety, a typical suburban kid eventually heads off into Friedman's world with only the religious knowledge of his Catholic teachers.
Friedman goes on to discuss terrorism. He explains how Saudi Muslim families force children to worship Islam. Conequently, they grow up ingorant; and when they see the Western world prosper under Christianity, the frustration sets in. These Muslims often turn to violence because of that frustrastion and ingorance.
Instead of breeding out ignorance, private school religion classes create isolationist tendencies of which terrorism is made. The Western world raises its students to believe that their religion is the best, so they stay away from the troubled east or develop hate for it.
Though many educators only fuel this hate, here are religion teachers that see the problem. "I think it would be great to have a world religion class. that's something our department has struggled with," a religion teacher said.
The world needs more teachers like him. A strong Catholic, he is secure enough in his faith to present his students with more diverse options. More teachers are needed like him to make suggestions in meetings and start a world religion class. Students may drift away from Catholicism, but they will be armed with the knowledge to be appreciative of all religions. The schools may lose a bit of identiy, but the world will gain the acceping population it needs.
A significant shift in global religious tolerance will not happen overnight. It is an unreasonable expectation. Therefore, private school religioj curriculum can ease into its new mindset. In the case of the previous religion teacher's class, instead of devoting all four years to driving home Chrisian ideals, spend a year devoted to world religion. the blinders must be lifted.

that took forever

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