How religion may affect educational attainment
And a new analysis of Pew Research Center surveys shows that the relationship between religion and education in the United States is not so. data from the NORC General Social Surveys are used to examine the relationship between religious background and educational attainment for both. Religion and education, two of humankind's most ancient endeavors, have long had a close relationship. hypotheses about how the cultural norms and doctrines of a religious group may affect educational attainment.
The motion points out the key role that the Council of Europe assigns to education in the construction of a democratic society and states that the comparative study of religions in schools has not yet received special attention. Knowledge of religions is integral to knowledge of the history of humanity and civilisations. It should be distinguished from belief in or practice of a specific religion. Given the many possible prejudices and stereotypes regarding religions, it is important to have structured, rational instruction in schools.
That would help combat fanaticism, fundamentalism and xenophobia more effectively. The Bureau of the Assembly asked the Committee on Culture, Science and Education for a report and the latter appointed me as rapporteur at its meeting on 29 January Some however, especially among those aimed at the wider public, very often display a regrettable ignorance of religions, as shown for instance by the frequent unwarranted parallels drawn between Islam and certain fundamentalist and radical movements.
The committee held its first exchange of views on the subject on 18 March The issue is a complex and sensitive one, involving deeply rooted religious, cultural and historical beliefs.
It is therefore a subject that needs to be treated with great caution. Ignorance often gives rise to intolerance, fanaticism, fundamentalism and terrorism. Schools play a key role because they impart knowledge of and respect for others. Better knowledge of others would help develop intercultural dialogue and religious tolerance.
Schools should teach religions, their history, their philosophies and their practices as a comparative study and in a structured and reasoned manner. The committee members think that as well as concerning itself with comparative study of religions and intercultural dialogue the report should adopt a wider approach to the subject.
School courses should teach not only factual knowledge but also about the nature of religious experience. They should not confine themselves to European religions but extend to other continents' religions now represented in Europe. Religious instruction must not be bound by national stereotypes. A series of hearings enabled me to collect relevant views on the question, for example from religious leaders and history teachers.
It is also important to take in the non-religious as well as the religious stance. As religious beliefs are deeply held, there has to be a modicum of consensus as a starting point. He pointed out that while teachers were responsible for actual teaching, a range of parties were involved in education: New syllabuses should take into account that the Bible and the Koran were not scientific documents.
He raised the question of whether this subject area was the sole preserve of history teachers. Religion might also fit into the education for citizenship syllabus.
At all events, it should not be left entirely to teachers to draw up the new syllabuses.
- In America, Does More Education Equal Less Religion?
The following are some of the comments made by committee members: At the end of the discussion the committee decided to hold a thorough hearing with the representatives of the main religions to be found in Europe.
This hearing, held in Paris on 2 Decemberdid not have a structured programme. Instead of a series of statements followed by questions and answers, the aim was to enable committee members and the invited religious leaders to debate freely on issues relating to school teaching of religion.
Is it necessary to teach about religions in schools and why? What should be the core content of religious instruction? What ways and means should be considered? Who should teach about religions and in what contexts? What account should be taken of the different religions in drawing up syllabuses and in teacher training?
The following religious leaders were invited on a personal basis and not as official representatives of their respective religions: A number of interesting ideas emerged at the hearing: People therefore had to be able to receive, practise and express education and religion at the local level.
Bishop Athanasios - Religion should not be a mere item of knowledge complete with its historic and sociological aspects: Religious education also provided an opportunity for developing the spiritual dimension in students. Bishop Athanasios - European education systems varied widely, and consequently did not all share the same point of view on religious education. Traditions in the educational field differed widely, as did the wishes of families.
Religions had to be explained not only as a cultural phenomenon but also as a living religious experience. It was not a case of transmitting a faith, which was a matter for the different religions, but of helping young people to realise why millions of people drew on these sources.
There was no single truth for all places, times and individuals. It was important for the younger generation to understand religion. How was anyone to understand the Renaissance, art, literature or the history of ideas without reference to faith? There was no one exclusive pathway to salvation. Religion should be taught in schools, in the sense of their underlying meaning rather than religious practice and dogmas.
Teachers had to be experts in their own religion. Rabbi Gutman - Religious education had to be encouraged as it developed the human spirit and deeper understanding of humanity. Education was impossible without information, but should not be confined to information, as it also had to embrace training. Religious education should not be ascribed secondary importance. Religious education should take account of inclusiveness accepting those who were differentunderstanding the learning process, understanding development in a given context and lastly the idea of all individuals as travelling companions.
Reverend Hullah - Religious education should consist in providing diversified information on the various religions rather than teaching about their spiritual and moral aspects. It was an intellectual exercise, which involved informing students about the foundations and sources of religions, depending on intellectual level and age, and on believers' positions on these sources; teaching the content of the religion: Rector Oubrou - Knowledge of religions was essential in democratic societies facing an upsurge in religious intolerance and fundamentalist extremism.
Information and education were effective means of combating such phenomena. A further aim was to demonstrate and bring home the interdependence between religions and culture. History, literature and architecture in Europe were incomprehensible without some knowledge of religion. The state had to retain control over teacher training and the religious education curriculum. Effective co-operation was needed between administrative authorities and churches in developing curricular content. A Europe training institute for the comparative study of religions might be established.
In Octoberas part of its in-service training programme for teachers, DG IV held a seminar on studying religions in social science at school. The issues discussed included the relationship between the religious and the moral or philosophical dimension: Participants stressed the need to take account of countries' history, particularly their recent history, for example relations between church and state in the Soviet era. Religions could be represented not as homogeneous belief systems but from the standpoint of relations between individuals and groups in the broader context of traditions.
Teachers needed a solid basic training combining knowledge, skills and appropriate attitudes. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has held meetings with representatives of monotheistic religions to discuss the main societal issues in member states Syracuse ; Strasbourg ; Louvain-la-Neuve and Malta The conclusions of the Malta seminar were that our societies were currently being undermined by a widespread lack of cultural awareness that particularly affected — though to varying degrees — the younger generations in Europe, with immediate and unwelcome social consequences.
Religious institutions had ceased to transmit religious culture to new generations, secularisation having disrupted traditional modes of transmission. Transmission of the sacred and the cultural had long been linked and there had been a parallel decline in general cultural awareness. It was therefore essential to revitalise understanding of our cultural heritages, of which religious culture was an integral part.
Religion and Education Around the World
Only one institution was capable of fulfilling that task in society — schools, whether public or private. The conclusions of the seminar called for the setting up of an international institute for co-operation on the teaching of religions at school.
This could become a place to meet and share experience in specific areas of training and where a methodology to integrate the religious dimension in education in general could be developed. Schools must be the main vector for collective transmission of cultural traditions in all their diversity. At the same time, schools did not have a monopoly of such transmission. Even if states conferred that task on schools, they still needed the necessary resources and methods to perform it successfully.
The Liaison Committee of non-governmental organisations enjoying consultative status with the Council of Europe held a study day on "Education that takes account of religion: Its conclusions were presented to the Committee on 20 Juneand they went broadly in the same direction as our reflections D.
Situation in certain European countries A study carried out in tried to compare the different approaches to religious teaching in various Council of Europe member states, based on examples of secular states France, Turkey and Azerbaijanstates with agreements with the religious authorities Italy and Spainstates that maintain relations with certain religions Germany and Georgia and states with established or official religions United Kingdom, Denmark and Greece.
Education and religion
Teachers did not do this consciously, but their behavior nonetheless sent an implicit message to girls that math and science are not for girls and that they are not suited to do well in these subjects. Professional development for teachers on gender equity in the sciences: Teachers College Record, 1— Key Takeaways At least two themes emerge from the history of education.
The first is that until very recently in the record of history, formal schooling was restricted to wealthy males. The second is that the rise of free, compulsory education was an important development that nonetheless has been criticized for orienting workers in the 19th century to be disciplined and to obey authority.
The functions of education include socialization, social integration, social placement, and social and cultural innovation. Education is said for several reasons to contribute to social inequality and to involve a hidden curriculum that stifles independent thinking.
For Your Review Write a brief essay in which you discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the rise of free, compulsory education.
Review how the functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist perspectives understand and explain education. Which of these three approaches do you most prefer? Describe the impact that education has on income. Discuss how education affects social and moral attitudes. Education in the United States is a massive social institution involving millions of people and billions of dollars.
About 75 million people, almost one-fourth of the U. This number includes 40 million in grades pre-K through 8, 16 million in high school, and 19 million in college including graduate and professional school.
They attend someelementary and secondary schools and about 4, 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities and are taught by about 4. Statistical abstract of the United States: This is a very high figure by international standards, as college in many other industrial nations is reserved for the very small percentage of the population who pass rigorous entrance exams.
They are the best of the brightest in their nations, whereas higher education in the United States is open to all who graduate high school.
Even though that is true, our chances of achieving a college degree are greatly determined at birth, as social class and race and ethnicity have a significant effect on access to college. They affect whether students drop out of high school, in which case they obviously do not go on to college; they affect the chances of getting good grades in school and good scores on college entrance exams; they affect whether a family can afford to send its children to college; and they affect the chances of staying in college and obtaining a degree versus dropping out.
For these reasons, educational attainment depends heavily on family income and race and ethnicity. The dropout rate is highest for Latinos and Native Americans and lowest for Asians and whites.
One way of illustrating how income and race and ethnicity affect the chances of achieving a college degree is to examine the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in college immediately following graduation. Data from Planty, M. The condition of education NCES National Center for Education Statistics, U.
Why do African Americans and Latinos have lower educational attainment? Two factors are commonly cited: Prentice Hall; Yeung, W. The black—white test score gap and early home environment. Social Science Research, 38 2— Does gender affect educational attainment? The answer is yes, but perhaps not in the way you expect. If we do not take age into account, slightly more men than women have a college degree: This difference reflects the fact that women were less likely than men in earlier generations to go to college.
But now there is a gender difference in the other direction: The Difference Education Makes: Income Have you ever applied for a job that required a high school degree? Are you going to college in part because you realize you will need a college degree for a higher-paying job? As these questions imply, the United States is a credential society A society in which higher education is seen as evidence of the attainment of the needed knowledge and skills for various kinds of jobs.
An historical sociology of education and stratification. This means at least two things. First, a high school or college degree or beyond indicates that a person has acquired the needed knowledge and skills for various jobs. Second, a degree at some level is a requirement for most jobs.
As you know full well, a college degree today is a virtual requirement for a decent-paying job. Over the years the ante has been upped considerably, as in earlier generations a high school degree, if even that, was all that was needed, if only because so few people graduated from high school to begin with see Figure With so many people graduating from high school today, a high school degree is not worth as much.
Data from Snyder, T. Digest of education statistics How much does this consequence affect why you decided to go to college? Annual earnings are indeed much higher for people with more education see Figure Attitudes Education also makes a difference for our attitudes.
Researchers use different strategies to determine this effect. They compare adults with different levels of education; they compare college seniors with first-year college students; and sometimes they even study a group of students when they begin college and again when they are about to graduate. The role of contact and information in racial attitude change among white college students.
Sociological Inquiry, 76 181—; Moore, L. Accounting for spatial variation in tolerance: The effects of education and religion. Social Forces, 84 4— Racial prejudice and sexism, two types of belief explored in previous chapters, all reduce with education. Education has these effects because the material we learn in classes and the experiences we undergo with greater schooling all teach us new things and challenge traditional ways of thinking and acting. Data from General Social Survey, Key Takeaways Social class, race and ethnicity, and gender all influence the degree of educational attainment.
Education has a significant impact both on income and on social and cultural attitudes. Higher levels of education are associated with higher incomes and with less conservative beliefs on social and cultural issues. For Your Review Do you think the government should take steps to try to reduce racial and ethnic differences in education, or do you think it should take a hands-off approach? Why do you think lower levels of education are associated with more conservative beliefs and social and cultural issues?
What is it about education that often leads to less conservative beliefs on these issues? Explain the difference between de jure segregation and de facto segregation. Summarize the evidence on the effectiveness of single-sex education.
Describe the extent of school violence and the controversy over zero-tolerance policies. The education system today faces many issues and problems of interest not just to educators and families but also to sociologists and other social scientists. We cannot discuss all of these issues here, but we will highlight some of the most interesting and important.
Schools and Inequality Figure Kozol was shocked to see that his school was literally falling apart. The physical plant was decrepit, with plaster falling off the walls and bathrooms and other facilities substandard. Death at an early age: The destruction of the hearts and minds of Negro children in the Boston public schools. Kozol left this school after being fired for departing from the prescribed curriculum by teaching poems by Robert Frost and Langston Hughes to his fourth graders.
The conditions he saw there were far superior to those in his inner-city Boston school. During the late s, Kozol Kozol, J. Everywhere he went, he found great discrepancies in school spending and in the quality of instruction.
In schools in Camden, New Jersey, for example, spending per pupil was less than half the amount spent in the nearby, much wealthier town of Princeton.
In America, Does More Education Equal Less Religion? | Pew Research Center
Chicago and New York City schools spent only about half the amount that some of their suburbs spent. This philosophy is seen in both the Danish approach to early childhood education and its approach to secondary schooling Morrill, Lessons for American principals and teachers? Lessons from other societies pp. Accordingly, along with several other Nordic and Western European nations, Denmark provides preschool and day care education for all children.
A nordic approach to early childhood education ECE and socially endangered children. Once students start elementary school, they join a class of about 20 students. Rather than being tracked grouped by abilitystudents are simply assigned to a class with other children from their neighborhood.
These rather close relationships help the teacher deal with any academic or behavioral problems that might occur. Because a class stays together for 9 years, the students develop close relationships with each other and a special sense of belonging to their class and to their school Morrill, The commitment to free or low-cost, high-quality early childhood education found in Denmark and many other Nordic and Western European nations is lacking in the United States, where parents who desire such education for their children usually must pay hundreds of dollars monthly.
Many education scholars think the United States would do well to follow the example of these other nations in this regard. These numbers were reflected in other differences Kozol found when he visited city and suburban schools.
Louis, Illinois, where most of the residents are poor and almost all are African American, schools had to shut down once because of sewage backups.
A history teacher had students but only 26 textbooks, some of which were missing their first pages. Visitors could smell urinals feet from the bathroom. Contrast these schools with those Kozol visited in suburbs. A high school in a Chicago suburb had seven gyms and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Students there could take classes in seven foreign languages. A suburban New Jersey high school offered 14 AP courses, fencing, golf, ice hockey, and lacrosse, and the school district there had 10 music teachers and an extensive music program.
From his observations, Kozol concluded that the United States is shortchanging its children in poor rural and urban areas. As we saw in Chapter 11 "The Family"poor children start out in life with many strikes against them.
The schools they attend compound their problems and help ensure that the American ideal of equal opportunity for all remains just that—an ideal—rather than reality.
As Kozolp. Whether they were born to poor white Appalachians or to wealthy Texans, to poor black people in the Bronx or to rich people in Manhasset or Winnetka, they are all quite wonderful and innocent when they are small.
We soil them needlessly. Just a few years ago, a news report discussed public schools in Washington, DC. More than one-third of the schools had a mouse infestation, and in one elementary school, there were so many mice that the students gave them names and drew their pictures.
The Washington Post, p. School building condition, school attendance, and academic achievement in New York City public schools: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28 3— School Segregation A related issue to inequality in the schools is school segregation.
Beforeschools in the South were segregated by law de jure segregation School segregation stemming from legal requirements. Communities and states had laws that dictated which schools white children attended and which schools African American children attended. Schools were either all white or all African American, and, inevitably, white schools were much better funded than African American schools. Then inthe U. Supreme Court outlawed de jure school segregation in its famous Brown v.
Board of Education decision. In this decision the Court explicitly overturned its earlier, decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which said that schools could be racially separate but equal. Brown rejected this conclusion as contrary to American egalitarian ideals and as also not supported by empirical evidence, which finds that segregated schools are indeed unequal. Southern school districts fought the Brown decision with legal machinations, and de jure school segregation did not really end in the South until the civil rights movement won its major victories a decade later.
Meanwhile, northern schools were also segregated and, in the years since the Brown decision, have become even more segregated. School segregation in the North stemmed, both then and now, not from the law but from neighborhood residential patterns.
Education and Religion
Because children usually go to schools near their homes, if adjacent neighborhoods are all white or all African American, then the schools children from these neighborhoods attend will also be all white or all African American, or mostly so. This type of segregation is called de facto segregation School segregation stemming from neighborhood residential patterns.
Today many children continue to go to schools that are segregated because of neighborhood residential patterns, a situation that Kozol Kozol, J. The shame of the nation: The restoration of apartheid schooling in America.
Reviving the goal of an integrated society: A 21st century challenge. During the s and s, states, municipalities, and federal courts tried to reduce de facto segregation by busing urban African American children to suburban white schools and, less often, by busing white suburban children to African American urban schools.
Busing inflamed passions as perhaps few other issues during those decades Lukas, A turbulent decade in the lives of three American families.
White parents opposed it because they did not want their children bused to urban schools, where, they feared, the children would receive an inferior education and face risks to their safety.
The racial prejudice that many white parents shared heightened their concerns over these issues. African American parents were more likely to see the need for busing, but they, too, wondered about its merits, especially because it was their children who were bused most often and faced racial hostility when they entered formerly all-white schools.
As one possible solution to reduce school segregation, some cities have established magnet schools, schools for high-achieving students of all races to which the students and their families apply for admission Davis, Magnet schools and diversity.
Education Week, 26 189. Although these schools do help some students whose families are poor and of color, their impact on school segregation has been minimal because the number of magnet schools is low and because they are open only to the very best students who, by definition, are also few in number.
Some critics also say that magnet schools siphon needed resources from public school systems and that their reliance on standardized tests makes it difficult for African American and Latino students to gain admission.
School Vouchers and School Choice Another issue involving schools today is school choice. In a school choice program, the government gives parents certificates, or vouchers, that they can use as tuition at private or parochial religious schools. Advocates of school choice programs say they give poor parents an option for high-quality education they otherwise would not be able to afford.
These programs, the advocates add, also help improve the public schools by forcing them to compete for students with their private and parochial counterparts. In order to keep a large number of parents from using vouchers to send their children to the latter schools, public schools have to upgrade their facilities, improve their instruction, and undertake other steps to make their brand of education an attractive alternative.
Critics of school choice programs say they hurt the public schools by decreasing their enrollments and therefore their funding. Public schools do not have the money now to compete with private and parochial ones, and neither will they have the money to compete with them if vouchers become more widespread.
The paradox of school desegregation. Because school choice programs and school voucher systems are still relatively new, scholars have not yet had time to assess whether they improve the academic achievement of the students who attend them. The effects of housing mobility and school choice programs on youth outcomes.
Annual Review of Sociology, 35 1— Although there is similarly little research on the impact of school choice programs on funding and other aspects of public school systems, some evidence does indicate a negative impact.
Another city, Cleveland, also lost state aid in the late s because of the use of vouchers, and there, too, the competitive impact was small. Thus, although school choice programs may give some families alternatives to public schools, they might not have the competitive impact on public schools that their advocates claim, and they may cost public school systems state aid Cooper, ; Lewin, Under vouchers, status quo rules.
The New York Times, p. Single-Sex Schools and Classes Figure The research so far indicates that single-sex education may be beneficial in certain respects for the students experiencing it. Since that time, almost all the male colleges and many of the female colleges have gone coed. The issue of single-sex institutions has been more muted at the secondary school level, as most public schools have been coeducational since the advent of free, compulsory education during the 19th century.
However, several private schools were single-sex ones from their outset, and many of these remain today. Still, the trend throughout the educational world was toward coeducation. Since the s, however, some education specialists and other observers have considered whether single-sex secondary schools, or at least single-sex classes, might make sense for girls or for boys; in response, single-sex classes and single-sex schools have arisen in at least 17 U.
The argument for boys rests on a different set of reasons Sax, The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. Furthermore, because the best students in coed schools are often girls, many boys tend to devalue academic success in coed settings and are more likely to value it in single-sex settings.
Finally, in a boys-only setting, teachers can use examples and certain teaching techniques that boys may find especially interesting, such as the use of snakes to teach biology. To the extent that single-sex education may benefit boys for any of these reasons, these benefits are often thought to be highest for boys from families living in poverty or near poverty.
What does the research evidence say about the benefits of single-sex schooling? A recent review of several dozen studies concluded that the results of single-sex schooling are mixed overall but that there are slightly more favorable outcomes for single-sex schools compared to coeducational schools: Department of Education, Single-sex versus secondary schooling: None of the studies involved random assignment of students to single-sex or coeducational schooling, and the review cautioned that firmer conclusions must await higher-quality research of this nature which may be ideal in terms of the research process but difficult and perhaps impossible to perform in real life.
Also, because all the studies involved high school students and a majority involved students in Catholic schools, the review called for additional studies of younger students and those in public schools.
From untilstudents, teachers, and other people died from violent acts including suicide on school property, during travel to and from school, or at a school-related event, for an average of about 35 violent deaths per year Zuckoff, Fear is spread around nation. The Boston Globe, p.
Against this backdrop, the infamous April school shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where two students murdered 12 other students and one teacher before killing themselves, led to national soul-searching over the causes of teen and school violence and on possible ways to reduce it.
The murders in Littleton were so numerous and cold-blooded that they would have aroused national concern under any circumstances, but they also followed a string of other mass shootings at schools.
In just a few examples, in December a student in a Kentucky high school shot and killed three students in a before-school prayer group. In March two middle school students in Arkansas pulled a fire alarm to evacuate their school and then shot and killed four students and one teacher as they emerged.
Two months later an Oregon high school student killed his parents and then went to his school cafeteria, where he killed two students and wounded 22 others. Against this backdrop, Littleton seemed like the last straw. Within days, school after school across the nation installed metal detectors, located police at building entrances and in hallways, and began questioning or suspending students joking about committing violence. People everywhere wondered why the schools were becoming so violent and what could be done about it Zuckoff, Violence can obviously also happen on college and university campuses, although shootings are very rare.