What Web Resources Are Available to Educators on Teaching about Religion?

Posted On 14 Mar 2020 by religionmatters

Tim Hall, PhD, Founder and Lead Consultant

It is a daunting task to teach about religion for even a veteran teacher entering the classroom. So what web resources are available to educators to aid them in their efforts? So with this blog, I will be writing less and linking more.

As I have detailed before, the problem with the world religions model used in most classrooms is that it is typically static. The methodology is embedded in the past and out of context for deep student understanding. For students to fully participate in civic life filled with religious diversity, they need to understand the variety and complexity of religious beliefs and traditions. To gain this understanding, educators should use the lived religion model. One way to enhance this model can be through the effective use of film in the classroom. Good movies on religion help diminish stereotypes. As Ben Marcus suggested, they help reveal to students that:

  • Religions are internally diverse, not homogenous. 
  • Religions are dynamic, not static and fixed.
  • Religions are embedded in cultures, not isolated from them. Religions influence culture, and culture influences religions.

Also, the movies on religion demonstrate that religious identities are formed in a variety of ways through the 3 B’s, which I have detailed in past blogs:

  • Belief
  • Behavior
  • Belonging (1)

So below are some media resources that teachers may use to draw out these understandings for their students as they learn about the world’s religions. 

Also, here is a list of useful websites by educators to be used as general resources for the classroom.

Finally, here are the links to various national institutional guidelines and documents, which can help administrators and teachers create the best possible learning environment for teaching about religion in their schools and classrooms.

All of these resources will help educators in the development and teaching of religion in the classroom in a dynamic and lived way, enhancing a deep student understanding of the variety of beliefs and religious identities in the twenty-first century.

(1) Benjamin Marcus, “Chapter 1: Teaching About Religion in Public Schools,” in Haynes, Charles C., ed. Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom.

Source of some links: Christopher C. Murray, Jr., “Chapter 9: Navigating Media Sources to Study World Religions,” in Haynes, Charles C., ed. Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom

 

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