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Discussion - Religion and school.

  • Feb 15, 2014 · 2:00 PM

Meetup is at a decent IHOP in separate room that is closed off from rest of restaurant. Room is free as long as we order food from the restaurant, so please come hungry, or at least order an appetizer :) We will have a brief explanation of what we are discussing and then open it up for comments. It is well mediated and we track who wants to make comments and also try to keep the comments to a reasonable length and on topic, so please understand that the mediator may interrupt if he or she feels it is necessary. Others should not interrupt when someone else is talking. This format has worked well for us in past discussions and makes the discussion productive. Some of the questions that we could discuss are:

Should the pledge be done in school? When children opt out of saying it does that alienate them?

How can we ensure evolution is taught in science class, and that the school or teacher don't influence children with their religious beliefs in creationism?

Local issues with schools, from Bibles being distributed in Orange county schools and school board members who want to teach creationism. Open discussion on reasons why we care, and what we can do about it.

What should we tell our children to say if approached by religious children that ask them about their beliefs?

Should religion be taught in schools? All religions in a religion class and can it be done without biased? If you have other questions add them in the comment section and we can discuss each as long as time allows it.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a good discussion with good people. I felt quite satisfied that we explored some key issues impacting our classrooms. In the mode of emphasizing that they are OUR classrooms (belonging to all parents, kids and concerned citizens in general), I'd reiterate to the group an important point I brought up. While not directly relating to the topic of religion in schools per se, I brought up my concern (a concern shared by many teachers whom I know) that our kids are being cajoled into more and more standardized testing based on a mere fact-regurgitating pedagogy that often comes at the expense of a more hands-on, heuristic approach to learning. Now, testing does have a place. It gives teachers a set of guideposts for staying within a well-structured curricular framework; it does require students to walk away from a course of study with some basic knowledge and understanding of a subject. However, it must not replace exploration, critical thinking activities and FUN in learning.

    3 · February 16, 2014

    • David W.

      What's on the table as proposed solutions that you hear about as a teacher, Rob? Please share some ideas for action on this point if they're out there.

      Thanks for your insight on this and the other issues we discussed.

      February 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      On the most rudimentary level, it begins with the teacher. We have to be sure we're being creative in how we approach what we present to kids. For example, one thing I find in teaching humanities is the enormous interest kids take in the pseudo-scientific History Channel series "Ancient Aliens". My approach is to use this enthususiasm to channel kids toward exploring more fact-based expalnations for the achievements of ancient civilizations. I show them a segment of Ancient Alens. Then I put them in small groups (2-3) and ask them to brain storm wyas in which humans could have accomplished

      1 · February 17, 2014

  • craig c.

    Interesting & informative discussion, thanks to all

    3 · February 16, 2014

  • JoAnna

    my son woke up with a sore throat and not sure if he has a bug, so we are going to be safe and steer clear of restaurants.

    February 15, 2014

    • Sandy

      Ok sorry to hear that, catch you next time.

      February 15, 2014

  • David W.

    Best link I have on this is here. If you're interested in helping keep an eye on a school near you, please message me:
    http://ffrf.org/faq/state-church/itemlist/category/432-public-school-violations

    February 14, 2014

  • Robert "Bob" W.

    Too many things already happening. Would enjoy attending, just can't.

    February 14, 2014

  • Shamrockjulie

    I think this is a great topic for discussion but I would also like to discuss if there are things we can do to prevent it.

    1 · February 11, 2014

    • Jocelyn

      I think this will be on the table as well.

      1 · February 11, 2014

  • JoAnna

    Was wondering if it would be okay to bring my 12 year old son who has been ostracized for sharing his lack of belief in God with his classmates in the past.

    1 · February 8, 2014

    • Jocelyn

      We have a backgammon set if your son plays....

      February 8, 2014

    • JoAnna

      OkAy, my son doesnt know how to play, jocelyn, but ill have him bring his nintendo 3ds. Thanks for the responses!

      February 9, 2014

  • Richard F.

    Too far to go by bus. I actually LIVE in Orlando.

    February 5, 2014

    • Jeff M.

      I can understand it being too far by bus (or possibly Sunrail even if service was up)... but what are you trying to say when you say "I actually LIVE in Orlando" with emphasis on "LIVE"? Orlando is not mentioned in the name of this meetup, and Sanford is within the boundary of Metro Orlando so it is appropriate to give groups location as Orlando ... http://en.wikipedia.o...­

      2 · February 9, 2014

  • Andy

    If I don't end up going to Chicago I may come by. I should know by Friday night.

    1 · February 8, 2014

  • Robert R.

    That's a whoops. I will talk to the group, if it works that will add 4 to 6.
    Thanks

    1 · February 5, 2014

  • Robert R.

    This is a good meetup Topic, but we will be in Clearwater for Daniel Dennet.

    February 5, 2014

    • Mike

      Dennett is this weekend, the 8th, the discussion is next weekend the 15th. At least I hope so as I am going to both :)

      2 · February 5, 2014

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