Education and religion
Latent functions include child care, the establishment of peer relationships, and lowering unemployment by keeping high school students out of the full-time. Knowledge of religions is an integral part of knowledge of the history of .. The issues discussed included the relationship between the religious and the moral. Religion is the tumbler,education is the material tumbler made of and humanity, the content.
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. 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?
Religion and Education Around the World
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. 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.
Education and Religion
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.
However, two recent examples illustrate that students and faculty are not immune from gun violence. In FebruaryAmy Bishop, a biology professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who had recently been denied tenure, allegedly shot and killed three faculty at a department meeting and wounded three others. Almost 3 years earlier, a student at Virginia Tech University went on a shooting rampage and killed 32 students and faculty before killing himself.
Sociology Making a Difference School Bonding and Delinquency As discussed in Chapter 5 "Deviance, Crime, and Social Control"the social control theory of delinquency assumes that weak social bonds to family, schools, and other social institutions help to promote juvenile delinquency. This theory was developed by sociologist Travis Hirschi Hirschi, T. University of California Press.
Since the development of social bonding theory, most studies testing it have focused on family and school bonds. One issue that has received less study is whether strong bonds to school might help prevent delinquency by youths who otherwise might be at high risk for such behavior, for example, those who were born to a teenaged mother, who exhibited aggressive behavior during childhood, or who have delinquent friends. The importance of school: Protecting at-risk youth from early offending.
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 3 159— They identified children aged 10—11 with various risk factors for antisocial behavior and measured how strongly bonded they felt to their schools, based on their responses to several questions including how much they liked their school and how often they finish their homework.
Confirming their hypothesis, the researchers found that high-risk children were less likely to be delinquent at ages 12—13 if they had strong school bonds at ages 10—11 than if they had weak bonds.
The researchers concluded that strong school bonds help prevent delinquency even by high-risk children, and they further speculated that zero-tolerance policies as discussed in the text that lead to suspension or expulsion may ironically promote delinquency because they weaken school bonding for the children who leave school.
As should be clear, the body of research on school bonding and delinquency inspired by social control theory suggests that schools play an important role in whether students misbehave both inside and outside school. As this trend indicates, the risk of school violence should not be exaggerated: About 56 million students attend elementary and secondary schools.
How religion may affect educational attainment
With about 17 student homicides a year, the chances are less than one in 3 million that a student will be killed at school. Bullying is a much more common problem, with about one-third of students reporting being bullied annually National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Understanding school violence fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To reduce school violence, many school districts have zero-tolerance policies involving weapons. These policies call for automatic suspension or expulsion of a student who has anything resembling a weapon for any reason. For better or worse, however, there have been many instances in which these policies have been applied too rigidly. In a recent example, a 6-year-old boy in Delaware excitedly took his new camping utensil—a combination of knife, fork, and spoon—from Cub Scouts to school to use at lunch.
He was suspended for having a knife and ordered to spend 45 days in reform school. His mother said her son certainly posed no threat to anyone at school, but school officials replied that their policy had to be strictly enforced because it is difficult to determine who actually poses a threat from who does not Urbina, In another case, a ninth grader took a knife and cigarette lighter away from a student who had used them to threaten a fellow classmate.
The ninth grader was suspended for the rest of the school year for possessing a weapon, even though he obviously had them only because he was protecting his classmate.
Vigilance to a fault. Ironically, one reason many school districts have very strict policies is to avoid the racial discrimination that was seen to occur in districts whose officials had more discretion in deciding which students needed to be suspended or expelled.
Zero tolerance, suspension, and expulsion: Questions of equity and effectiveness. Research, practice, and contemporary issues pp.
Key Takeaways Schools in America are unequal: Preliminary evidence indicates that this form of education may be beneficial for several reasons, but more evidence on this issue is needed. Although school violence has declined since the s, it continues to concern many Americans.
Bullying at school is a common problem and can lead to more serious violence by the children who are bullied. For Your Review If you were the principal of a middle school, would you favor or oppose single-sex classes? If you were the principal of a middle school, what steps would you take to reduce bullying? List the major religions in the world today. Summarize the major functions of religion. Explain the views of religion held by the conflict and symbolic interactionist perspectives.
Understand the differences among the major types of religious organizations. This section also explores how historical patterns sometimes help explain contemporary patterns in educational attainment. Next, this chapter considers hypotheses about how the cultural norms and doctrines of a religious group may affect educational attainment. It concludes with a look at some leading theories for the stark differences in educational attainment between Christians and Muslims living in sub-Saharan Africa.
In many instances, the foundations of that infrastructure are based on facilities originally built by religious leaders and organizations to promote learning and spread the faith. In India, the most learned men and sometimes women of ancient times were residents of Buddhist and Hindu monasteries.
In the Middle East and Europe, Christian monks built libraries and, in the days before printing presses, preserved important earlier writings produced in Latin, Greek and Arabic. In many cases, these religious monasteries evolved into universities. Other universities, particularly in the United States and Europe, were built by Christian denominations to educate their clergy and lay followers.
Most of these institutions have since become secular in orientation, but their presence may help explain why populations in the U. Apart from their roles in creating educational infrastructure, religious groups were foundational in fostering societal attitudes toward education. Islam There is considerable debate among scholars over the degree to which Islam has encouraged or discouraged secular education over the centuries. Early Muslims made innovative intellectual contributions in such fields as mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, medicine and poetry.
They established schools, often at mosques, known as katatib and madrasas. Under Muslim rule, southern Spain was a center of higher learning, producing such figures as the renowned Muslim philosopher Averroes. These events included foreign invasions, first by the Mongols, who destroyed the House of Wisdom inand then by Christians, who pushed Muslims out of Spain in Some scholars argue that the educational decline began earlier, in the 11th and 12th centuries, and was rooted in institutional changes.
In particular, contends Harvard University Associate Professor of Economics Eric Chaney, the decline was caused by an increase in the political power of religious leaders who prioritized Islamic religious learning over scientific education. It became dominated by the idea that divine revelation is superior to other types of knowledge, and that religious education should consist of learning only what Islamic scholars had said and written in the past.
Columbia University history professor George Saliba writes: Christianity In the view of some scholars, the 16th-century Protestant Reformation was a driving force for public education in Europe. Protestant reformers promoted literacy because of their contention that everyone needed to read the Bible, which they viewed as the essential authority on doctrinal matters.
Driven by this theological conviction, religious leaders urged the building of schools and the translation of the Bible into local languages — and Reformation leader Martin Luther set the example by translating the Bible into German. The Scopes Monkey trial in further highlighted the rift between science and some branches of Christianity over the theory of evolution, a contentious relationship that endures even today.
These missionary activities, the scholars conclude, have had a long-lasting positive impact on access to schooling and educational attainment levels in the region. Research by Baylor University sociologist Robert D. As a result, they established schools to promote literacy wherever they went and translated the Bible into indigenous languages. Except where they were in direct competition with Protestant missionaries, Catholic missionaries concentrated on educating African elites rather than the masses, Woodberry observes.
And Nunn notes that Protestant missionaries placed greater stress than Catholics on educating women. As a result, Protestants had more long-term impact on the education of sub-Saharan African women. Asma, a professor of philosophy at Columbia College Chicago.
From around the fifth century onward, Buddhist monasteries emerged as centers of education, not just for monks but also for laymen. In India, the most famous of these educational centers — Nalanda, in what is now Bihar state — is said to have had 10, students from many different countries, and offered courses in what then constituted philosophy, politics, economics, law, agriculture, astronomy, medicine and literature.
When the Thai government introduced Western-style, secular education around the beginning of the 20th century, it used monastic schools as the vehicle for reaching the wider population. Hindu scriptures urge adherents to seek knowledge through dialogue and questioning, and to respect their teachers.
To start with, the most authoritative Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, a word that comes from the Sanskrit root word vd, which means knowledge, Rambachan says.
University of Florida religion professor Vasudha Narayanan says Hindus regard two types of knowledge as necessary and worthwhile. The first, vidya, is everyday knowledge that equips one to earn a decent and dignified life. The second, jnana, is knowledge or wisdom that brings awareness of the divine. This is achieved by reading and meditating on Hindu scriptures.
Historically, the caste system in India was a huge barrier to the spread of mass literacy and education. Formal education was reserved for elite populations. But in the seventh and eighth centuries, the vernacular language of Tamil began to be used for religious devotion in southern India, which led to greater access to all kinds of knowledge for a wider group of people.
Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, both secular and religious education came to be seen by Hindus as a universal right, and it gradually began to be extended to all members of the faith. Judaism High levels of Jewish educational attainment may be rooted in ancient religious norms, according to some recent scholarship. The Torah encourages parents to educate their children. This prescription was not mandatory, however, until the first century. Sometime around 65 C. A few years later, in the year 70, the Roman army destroyed the Second Temple following a Jewish revolt.
Temple rituals had been a pillar of Jewish religious life. To replace them, Jewish religious leaders emphasized the need for studying the Torah in synagogues.
They also gave increased importance to the earlier religious decree on educating sons, making it a compulsory religious duty for all Jewish fathers. Over the next few centuries, a formal school system attached to synagogues was established. Jewish scholarship was enhanced in the early Middle Ages, beginning in the late sixth century, by the emergence of Talmudic academies of Sura and Pumbedita in what is now Iraq.
In the late Middle Ages, centers of Jewish learning, including the study of science and medicine, emerged in what is today northern Spain and southern France. Until the early 19th century, however, most education of Jewish boys was primarily religious.
This intellectual movement sought to blend secular humanism with the Jewish faith and to encourage openness to secular scholarship among Jews. At the same time, they were strong proponents of reforming Jewish education by including secular subjects, such as European literature and the natural sciences. This educational project often brought the reformists into conflict with more orthodox Jewish religious leaders.
Some scholars have noted that from the Reformation onward, Protestant groups encouraged educating women, with effects that still resonate today. Lake Forest College political scientist Fatima Z. This is not the case when family laws are based on more general Islamic precepts.