Equipping Educators to Teach Religious Literacy
Lessons from a Teacher Education Program in the American South
This volume provides a detailed evaluation of a unique education program implemented in secondary schools in Georgia to enhance teachers’ religious literacy and their ability to promote this in schools and classrooms. The text demonstrates that religious literacy can be proactively taught to students, whilst also highlighting key considerations and tensions around religious liberty in the American South.
Spanning rural, urban, and suburban Georgia, the text presents an original approach to the growing field of religious literacy by foregrounding community voices and perspectives. Using rich empirical data and qualitative interviews with religious and political leaders, scholars, teachers, parents, and students, the book evaluates the challenges, efficacy, and benefits of the program in view of rising political polarization. In doing so, the text tackles historical and contemporary issues around race and religion, and considers tensions between religious and nonreligious groups in the US. Ultimately, the book presents a significant contribution to the dialogue around fostering religious literacy in schools.
This text will benefit researchers, academics, and educators with an interest in religious education, teacher education, and religious literacy more broadly. Those interested in the sociology of education, as well as diversity and religion in America, will also benefit from this volume.
Table of Contents
1: A Changing Context: The Challenges of Religious Diversity in Georgia
2: Theoretical Perspectives on Religious Literacy and Religious Liberty
3: The Georgia 3Rs Program
4: Conducting Qualitative Research in Urban, Rural, and Suburban Communities
5: Religion and the 3Rs: Navigating Conservative, Non-Religious, and Non-Christian Religions
6: Race and the 3Rs: Engaging with Majority-Minority Populations
7: Success in the Suburbs: Gwinnett, Fayette, and Cobb Counties
8: Can Rural Be a Fourth R? The 3Rs in Bleckley County
9: Alternate Forms of Education: Exploring beyond Traditional Education Settings
10: Outcomes and Implications for the United States
11: International Implications
Emile Lester is Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, University of Mary Washington, USA.
W. Y. Alice Chan completed her PhD at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She is is Executive Director and cofounder of the Centre for Civic Religious Literacy (CCRL), Canada.