Journal of Social Sciences

Religion and Schools in a Liquid World

Frank Peters

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.447.453

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 3

Pages 447-453

Abstract

This study is an exploration of the changing contexts within which schools are required to function. As global borders have become more porous schools are challenged to deal with students from increasingly diverse cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds, frequently in a political context that is explicitly secular or nondenominational. This perspective may not be perceived by all to be as “neutral” as is sometimes claimed. Our ever-developing technologies, more accessible than ever before, have eliminated many knowledge barriers and created unprecedented awareness of global movements and events. Fewer people live isolated from world affairs and this increased knowledge has created a greater sensitivity to human rights. A heightened “rights consciousness” has emerged, leading to demands in the areas of education, religion, tolerance and the manner in which these constructs are dealt with in schools. There is a growing awareness of the geopolitical dangers associated with fundamentalism, whatever their origins. This is allied to an appreciation that an educated populace contributes significantly to not only the economic well-being of individual nations but also exhibits the deeper knowledge and understandings essential to peace and harmony between peoples of differing backgrounds and diverse religious values and beliefs. In our attempts to further democracy, respect pluralism and develop more open and tolerant communities what policies will best inform practice in our schools? How can we prepare and support teachers and administrators so that the underlying values of these policies can be practiced and taught in our schools?

Copyright

© 2012 Frank Peters. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.