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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Perhaps one of the more confusing aspects of teaching about religion is the question of whether students can pray in public schools.

The answer is yes, within established guidelines.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union:


Link to main story: Schools are teaching, not preaching

With U.S. businesses of all sizes competing on the global stage, foreign language classes—and the teachers who teach them—are vanishing from K12 schools.

Only about 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English proficiently, and just 15 percent of public elementary schools offer language instruction, according to The American Academy of Arts and Science.

Curious to know what you can and cannot teach in a religious studies class in primary, middle, and secondary schools?

You can find a few resources below.

The First Amendment Center offers an extensive collection of papers, books and other materials for educators to know what they can and cannot do, by law, in public schools.


Link to main story: Schools are teaching, not preaching

CONTENT CHECK—Jodi Ide, a teacher at Brighton High School in Utah,  says  parents have never complained about  the content in her world religion class—and no students have ever changed faiths. (Deseret News / Laura Seitz).

Teaching about religion is not only permissible, but is gaining traction as a way to promote greater understanding in a world of conflicting dogmas.

When students can make sense of words, then they learn, grow and succeed. But getting to this point can be a struggle when students need to overcome reading challenges. Studies have shown that if students learn strategies for unlocking multisyllabic words and academic vocabulary with fluency and confidence, then they will achieve long-term results.

During the 2014-15 school year, Pahokee Middle School principal Michael Aronson was asked by his superintendent to visit another school in his Florida district, Acreage Pines Elementary, which was an LSI School for Rigor. Aronson observed implementation sessions and side-by-side coaching. 

Brent Fruhwirth has taught social studies at Little Miami High School in Morrow, Ohio, for two decades. He was surprised last year when he was asked to pilot McGraw-Hill Education’s LearnSmart, an online study tool, in his American history classes.

“At first, I thought they had chosen the wrong person to pilot a technology tool,” says Fruhwirth. “I know nothing about technology, but I was willing to try it.”

Text messages are one of the most effective ways to keep high school students on track once they’ve begun the college application and enrollment process.

Rockford Public Schools is the third-largest school district in Illinois, educating more than 28,500 students. 

Last year, Cory Nilsen and David Allen, the respective deans of social studies and science curricula for Rockford PS, learned that a local organization that had provided dictionaries to every third-grade student was disbanding, and it wanted to give Rockford PS the remaining money. 

Graduates of Chicago Public Schools are returning to class—as tech experts who help teachers and staff with computer glitches.

Jay C. Toland is the chief financial officer for Scotland County Schools in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

As a cost-saving measure, consolidation can help save a struggling district.

Some schools are addressing the decline in football participation by switching from 11-player teams to eight-player teams. (Gettyimages.com: yinyang).

A drop in football enrollment is forcing some districts to make tough program cuts, and is inspiring others to seek creative ways to keep the sport afloat.

Nancy Willard is the director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age.

What schools are trying to do to prevent bullying appears to have had almost no positive impact.

Building a school’s music instruction around more recent artists and hits offers an alternative to a curriculum that’s often based on classical, jazz and marching bands.

Judy Zimny, Ed.D., is the vice president of the National Institute for STEM Education (http://nise.institute), which offers certification programs in STEM best practices and pedagogy for both teachers and campuses.

I came up with 10 questions that busy administrators might ask to help them quickly and confidently make decisions about STEM ideas that deserve an additional look.

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