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978-1-4758-0161-3 • Hardback • April 2013 • $89.00 • (£68.00)
978-1-4758-0162-0 • Paperback • April 2013 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-4758-0163-7 • eBook • April 2013 • $42.50 • (£33.00)
Michael D. Waggoner is professor of education at the University of Northern Iowa and Editor of the journal, Religion & Education. His previous book Sacred and Secular Tensions in Higher Education: Connecting Parallel Universities was published in 2011.
I. Challenges of Free Expression
1. Negotiating the New Commons in Religion and Education
Michael D. Waggoner
2. Tolerance, Civility, and Cognitive Development
3. Prayer and Student-Initiated Religious Activities in Public Schools
Charles J. Russo
4. The Day of Truth and the Golden Rule Pledge: Public Discourse, Religious Belief, and Mutual Respect
II. Selected Approaches to Religion in the Schools
5. Released Time Programs in Religion Education
James Swezey and Katherine Schultz
6. Promoting Civic and Religious Literacy in Public Schools:
The California 3 Rs Project
7. To Change Society or Reflect It? Comparing the Cultural Studies and Community Consensus Approaches to Teaching About Religion
8. Religion Knows No Boundaries: The Face-to-Faith Initiative of the Tony Blair Foundation
Janet E. Bordelon
9. An Emerging ‘Middle Way’ in Public and Private Education?
Bruce Cooper and Arthur Plaza
10. Integrating Religion into Teacher Education
Michael D. Waggoner
This collection of ten essays covers a range of topics dealing with the history, issues, and problems associated with teaching religion in public elementary and secondary schools. The essays are divided between two sections. The first part, "Challenges to Free Expression," has four essays dealing with the more theoretical issues surrounding the topic. The second part, "Selected Approaches to Religion in Public Schools," deals with issues and programs that seek to find workable solutions to what can be daunting legal matters and volatile political issues. This balance of theoretical challenges and timely practical approaches is one of the volume's major contributions. While not shirking the difficulties of this tricky educational terrain, the book as a whole makes a compelling case for the need to address religion and religious issues as a part of the education of American students. Religion in the Public Schools should be of interest to professors of education, teachers, and school board members. Summing Up: Recommended. Research and professional collections.
— Choice Reviews
The authors of this edited volume represent diverse backgrounds in education, religion, philosophy, and political science. The book’s premise is that public schools are the new commons and should be the place for teaching about religion. Despite the challenges of this complex task, the authors successfully show how we can develop religious literacy. . . .All the chapters in this volume are interesting and informative. They give enough information to allow the reader to understand the topic, but they don’t bog the reader down with too much peripheral information. The authors present a balanced view, allowing readers to use critical thinking to draw their own conclusions. I found useful information to incorporate into my Foundations of Education class and my social studies methods classes. Anyone interested in how we should develop religious literacy would find the book useful, including K–12 teachers and administrators, teacher candidates, and college professors of any faith.
— Journal Of Education and Christian Belief
Informed by some of the best scholarship available, this collection of ten excellent essays provides an interesting case for teaching the basic tenants of religious life in the public schools. Editor Michael D. Waggoner does an excellent job speaking to the challenges of free expression in public schools, providing examples of how the ideals of religious literacy could be reached by way of public education. . . .This work can help the education profession understand a wide variety of issues that need to be reviewed from a pluralistic point of view. This book responsibly represents many diverse issues and perspectives that each twenty-first century educator should at least consider, regardless of his or her perspective. I see this book as one that would be of value to professors of education, open-minded teachers, and parents who would like to see education take a step toward helping the next generation rediscover the value of mutual respect.
— Journal of Church and State
Finally, here is a book that not only presents a compelling case for teaching about religion in the public schools, but also offers concrete methods for doing so. Michael D. Waggoner has edited a volume that speaks both to the challenges of free expression in public education as well to actual classroom approaches for furthering the ideal of religious literacy. No issue is too controversial for this volume. The contributors are clear, practical, and pluralistic in their prescriptions for “negotiating the New Commons.” As someone who, for a number of years, has been teaching a graduate-level course for public school teachers and administrators on the whys, whats, and hows of religious pluralism, I most certainly will make this book a required reading.
— Robert J. Nash, professor, The University of Vermont, author of Teaching Adolescents Religious Literacy in a Post-9/11 World (2010)
Religion in the Public Schools is an excellent resource for educators, researchers, and citizens who wish to learn more about the complex intersections regarding religion and public education in our contemporary age. The volume responsibly represents diverse issues and perspectives and thus can serve as an introductory overview for novices or a foundational reference for professionals.
— Diane L. Moore, Director of the Religious Literacy Project and the Certificate in Religious Studies and Education, Harvard Divinity School
Informed by the best of scholarship, the essays in this timely and provocative book make a strong case for taking religious literacy seriously in public education. This is an important book for understanding how to get religion right in 21st century public schools.
— Charles C. Haynes, Senior Scholar, First Amendment Center, Director, Religious Freedom Education Project, Newseum, Washington, D.C.