Miriam Rosalyn Diamond
Stylus Publishing, LLC.
Encountering Faith in the Classroom by Miriam Rosalyn Diamond Summary
The purpose of this book is to explore what happens--and what can happen--in the higher education, and even secondary school, classroom when course content meets or collides with students' religious beliefs. It also considers the impact on learning in an environment where students may feel threatened, angry, misunderstood, or in which they feel their convictions are being discredited. This is a resource that offers ways of conceptualizing, engaging with, and responding to, student beliefs. This book is divided into three sections: student views on the role of religion in the classroom; general guidelines for responding to or actively engaging religious beliefs in courses (such as legal and diversity considerations); and specific examples from a number of disciplines (including the sciences, social sciences, humanities and professional education). Professors from public, private, and religious institutions share their findings and insights. The resounding lessons of this book are the importance of creating a learning space in which students can express their beliefs, dissonance, and emotions constructively, without fear of retribution; and of establishing ground rules of respectful discussion for this process to be valuable and productive. This is an inspirational and practical guide for faculty navigating the controversial, sensitive--yet illuminating--lessons that can be learned when religion takes a seat in the classroom. This book contains four parts. Part One, "Society, Learning, and Religion", includes (1) Faith and Reason: Higher Education's Opportunities and Challenges (Nancy L. Thomas and Ann Marie B. Bahr). Part Two, "Student and Faculty Perspectives," includes: (2) Undergraduate Perspectives About Religion in Higher Education (Lois Calian Trautvetter); and (3) Faith in Graduate Education: Perspectives of Students and Faculty in Student Affairs Preparation Programs (Judy L. Rogers and Patrick G. Love). Part Three, "Considerations", includes: (4) Blinking in the Sunlight: Exploring the Fundamentalist Perspective (Peggy Catron); (5) What I Think I Believe: Using the change Method to Resolve Cognitive Dissonance (Tamara H. Rosier); (6) Bringing Faith and Spirituality into the Classroom: An African American Perspective (Mark S. Giles, Odelet Nance and Noelle Witherspoon); and (7) Religion in the Classroom: Legal Issues (Barbara A. Lee). Part Four, "Disciplinary Approaches", includes: (8) Exploring Religion and Spirituality through Academic Service-Learning (Kent Koth); (9) Philosophy and Religious Disagreements in the College Classroom (Dona Warren); (10) When Faith and Science Collide (Mano Singham); (11) Teaching Secular Bible Reading to Religiously Committed Students (Roger G. Baker); (12) The Role of Religion and Spirituality in the Law School Classroom (David Hall); and (13) Teaching About Religious and Spiritual Pluralism in a Professional Education Course (Robert J. Nash and Sue M. Baskette). An overview by Miriam Rosalyn Diamond and Christina Copre, an afterword by Miriam Rosalyn Diamond, and an index are included.