Public Engagement

IRCV educates the public on “teaching about” religion

Since the early 1990s, education policymakers and educators have overseen steady improvement in teaching about religion in K-12 public education, mainly as part of the history/social studies curriculum and standards. Instructional materials include the role of religion as part of the overall narrative of world history and when discussing contemporary affairs. However, because in earlier decades religion content was largely kept out of curriculum, the general public has tended to assume that religions are treated inadequately or even dismissively in today’s textbooks.

IRCV periodically conducts presentations or leads discussions at public events that address teaching about world religions and cultures. Through this engagement, IRCV informs citizens about the strides made in world history teaching, with the inclusion of more religion content. IRCV also stresses that coverage of religion has by and large become richer and more accurate than in the past. This is partly due to the incorporation of new scholarship in textbooks and a more integrated approach to world history, and to a better understanding on the part of publishers and educators of best practices for teaching about religion. These efforts help ensure that students are not indoctrinated into any faith, nor are the truth claims of any faith evaluated. Educators use a descriptive, academic approach that abides by constitutional guidelines.

Members of the public are shown examples from recent textbooks that indicate that the coverage of all world religions has generally improved, based on academic criteria not on a supposed multiculturalist desire to present constituencies in a positive light.

If you would like to invite us to make a presentation sponsored by your organization, please contact us.