“Religion-free Texts: Getting an Illiberal Education” by Warren A. Nord

Something to read later: Religion-free Texts: Getting An Illiberal Education by Warren A. Nord.

The problem is that systematically excluding religious voices from the curriculum makes public education fundamentally illiberal — something that, ironically, most liberals fail to see.

Also add to thesis bibliography.

Looking up one thing on google always leads to something else!

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5 thoughts on ““Religion-free Texts: Getting an Illiberal Education” by Warren A. Nord

  1. I don’t think Nord can accurately criticize public schools on this issue without looking at language arts classrooms. Many state guidelines and benchmarks require that a variety of cultures be addressed in language arts, and for him to expect that a number of religious views be worked into economics and science courses suggests that he’s not familiar with how much needs to be covered and how little time is available during an academic year. Ideally, wouldn’t it be nice to incorporate philosophy across the curriculum at the secondary level? Of course! But legislation leaves us a long, long way from that. Social studies and language arts classrooms are, understandably I think, responsible for addressing religion, and the good teachers, most teachers, do this to the best of their ability. From what I’ve seen.

    Anyway, couldn’t help but give that a read when I read the quote! I feel like I should also point out that what’s in a textbook, of course, hardly reflects what’s being done in a classroom. Supplemental pieces of literature are brought into language arts classrooms that examine other cultures in various ways.

    Ok, whew, hope I’m not being offensive–I certainly don’t mean to be.

    P.S. I totally realize I’m not the audience for this piece!

  2. Hey, Travis. No, not offensive ‘tall. Thanks for that insight. I’d say more, but I haven’t read the article yet. And what you say sounds completely sensible. As usual. :)

    [I was going to say “sensical” but wordpress red-underlined it. Turns out “sensible” is the “correct” word. But the thing is, “sensible” sounds like you know not to walk out in the rain with only your socks on, and I meant “that which makes a lot of sense” as in logical-sense. Heheh, anyway, slight sideline there.]

  3. I agree with Travis that it would be nice if philosophy were incorporated into these courses. Nord laments that dehumanization and ethics is absent from economics courses, but religion isn’t necessary for those discussions. Philosophy would certainly do.

    I only skimmed Nord’s piece (and read parts, such as the economics part), but it seems he also misunderstands liberalism. A central tenant of liberalism is that religious beliefs are private and that public discourse should be secular. Even if this liberal tenant might be wrong (which I would probably say it is, and Nord would probably say is), Nord’s assertion that the absence of religion is illiberal doesn’t seem very accurate to me.

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