Locating Religion in the Curriculum
OPPOSITION TO RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS
5. Character education and liberal education cannot be isolated in single courses but describe dimensions of the curriculum as a whole. We also believe, however, that there should be room in the curriculum for a that high school seniors might take, in which they learn about the most important frameworks of moral thought, secular and religious, historical and contemporary, and how such frameworks might shape our thinking about the most urgent moral problems we face.
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4. What shape moral education should take depends on the maturity of students. We might think of a K through 12 continuum in which character education begins immediately with the socialization of children into those consensus values and virtues that sustain our communities. As children grow older and more mature they should gradually be initiated into a liberal education in which they are taught to think in informed and reflective ways about important, but controversial, moral issues.
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1. For any society (or school) to exist its members (students, teachers, and administrators) must share a number of moral virtues: they must be honest, responsible, and respectful of each other's well-being. We agree about this. Public schools have a vital role to play in nurturing these consensus virtues and values as the character education movement rightly emphasizes; indeed, a major purpose of schooling is to help develop good persons.
Here was a new religious upwelling of Biblical Christian faith.
If students are to be morally educated - and educated about morality - they must have some understanding of the moral frameworks civilization provides for making sense of the moral dimension of life. After all, morality is not intellectually free-floating, a matter of arbitrary choices and merely personal values. Morality is bound up with our place in a community or tradition, our understanding of nature and human nature, our convictions about death and immortality, our experiences of the sacred, our assumptions about what the mind can know, and our understanding of what makes life meaningful. We make sense of what we ought to do, of what kind of a person we should be, in light of all of these aspects of life - at least if we are reflective.