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“Children have the right to receive an education that presents the human experience in all its complexities and multiplicities. This includes the ways in which the quest for meaning has expressed ...
“Children have the right to receive an education that presents the human experience in all its complexities and multiplicities. This includes the ways in which the quest for meaning has expressed itself through the development of religious thought.”
(Sweet, 1997, p 11)
The necessity of providing an inclusive environment for diverse students has been a pillar amongst effective teaching strategies for decades. With increasing changes to student population, educators need to go beyond multicultural awareness, amongst other aspects of diversity, to include the discussion of religious differences as well. Used as a framework for many students to understand and navigate through the world, religious differences and the discussion of is imperative, specifically within the public school setting, based on current literature and my qualitative research findings within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Although many people assume secular environments should not include any religious aspect, the public school classroom should not be an arena void of religious discussion. By informing teachers of key religious items and ways to conduct dialogue with students and parents, a more inclusive classroom for their school community can be fostered, which in turn allows students to understand one another more, creating a safe environment for further discussion and inquiry, and be better prepared for our diverse society. Detailed strategies and the tension that arise between student-student, student-teacher, and teacher-parent are discussed in my findings.
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