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View Diary: Of Religion and Public School or Do You Really Think It Doesn't Harm Students? (30 comments)

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  •  i agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Cassandra Waites, mindara
    So many underlying assumptions that translated in how common classroom practices such as instruction, assignments, reading materials, etc., were predicated on religion in public schools.  Sometimes thoughtless; sometimes a mission.
    I had an English teacher who taught the classics through a Mormon lens.  Hemingway was especially interesting, considering how hard she tried to change Old Man and the Sea into a religious allegory.
    •  Yes, good example, and you can probably (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      relate many more since you were obviously an intelligent and independent thinker early on.

      That intrepretation could make sense if you abstract if entirely from the author and social context of the times.

      I think a history of religions is important because  so many analogies, allusions, and well most literary devices are based to varying degrees on knowledge of the origin.
      Besides it's just bad teaching to limit works which are subject to multi-interpretations.  Selecting one and insisting on it is the antithesis of developing any higher level reading and thinking skills and ultimately suppress the life-long development of  appreciating good literature.

      Also, I've long thought that the "publish or perish" dictum in higher education has led to a vast body of pure bullshit in most disciplines.

    •  I was graded down on an assigment on that book. (4+ / 0-)

      See, apparently if you're in an AP English class and you aren't Catholic and you write an essay on Christian symbolism in a book and the ONLY Christian symbols you miss are ones only someone well-versed in Catholic beliefs and symbols would even notice, you deserve a very special talking to about which you missed and some points off even though you wouldn't have had space left (hard upper word count limit, with points off for going over).

      (We were given a choice between an essay on the Christian symbolism or another kind of symbolism I just didn't see half as well in the text. Most students picked the other and were NOT penalized for not being Catholic.)

      I had a handful of Catholic classmates. Most of us were Protestants, majority Baptists and more specifically Southern Baptists. There was no warning in the assignment that showing knowledge of more than generic 'all Western Christians share these' symbols was a requirement, despite there being Muslims in the class who could have picked that essay topic based on what they knew of Christianity from living around the rest of us and paying attention to in-class discussions of the book.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 08:48:47 PM PST

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