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Resources for Teachers

Teachers' Guides to Religion in Public Schools

The first two links on this page are to downloadable teachers' guides prepared by the American Academy of Religion and the First Amendment Center.  They are intended, above all, for teachers in U.S. public schools, but they offer invaluable guidance for all K-12 teachers -- at public, private, or parochial schools.  One may disagree with specific points in these guides (we disagree strongly, for example, when they discourage site visits to local religious communities) but they are essential starting-points for any K-12 teacher working to enrich their teaching on religious diversity.  If you have time for just one or two of the resources available on our site, we strongly suggest you start with these.

The third link is to a set of resources assembled by the Society of Biblical Literature, to help teachers in public and private secondary schools develop courses in biblical literature and history.  The Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures are essential texts for any understanding of American religious life, and the SBL's resources will help you teach these texts in constitutionally sound and pedagogically appropriate ways.

 

 

The American Academy of Religion's Guidelines for Teaching about Religion in K-12 Public Schools in the United States

This practical guide for K-12 teachers was prepared by the American Academy of Religion, the leading scholarly association for the academic study of religion.  It introduces a range of approaches to teaching about religion, including historical, literary, traditions-based, and cultural studies.  Above all, however, it encourages all teachers to convey three central premises of academic religious studies: religions are internally diverse, historically dynamic, and embedded in sociocultural systems.  These core principles will help teachers develop academically and constitutionally sound approaches for teaching about religion in K-12 public and private schools.

 

The First Amendment Center’s Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools

Millions of parents from diverse religious backgrounds entrust the education of their children to our nation’s public schools.  For this reason, teachers need to be fully informed about the constitutional and educational principles governing the role of religion in public schools.  This concise guide offers teachers a vision of religious liberty in public education based on First Amendment principles as currently interpreted by the courts and agreed to by a wide range of religious and educational organizations.

 

 

The Society of Biblical Literature's Bible in Secondary Schools Project

This page of resources for teaching the Bible in public secondary schools has been assembled by the Society of Biblical Literature, the leading scholarly association for academic biblical studies.  It includes links to scholarly articles on biblical studies, curriculum guidelines and state standards for teaching the Bible in public schools, current and back issues of the SBL's Teaching the Bible newsletter, and a number of additional resources developed by the Bible Literacy Project, a non-partisan initiative to encourage the academic study of the Bible in public schools.