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Religious knowledge among pre-service secondary teachers of English and History

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David Euell Smith (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Michael W. Dale

Abstract: Recent studies have revealed that Americans do not possess the level of religious literacy necessary to make sense of a multicultural world. Believing that public schools are institutions of ideological management, this research explored religious literacy among pre-service teachers of English and History/Social Studies. The specific research questions for this study were: 1) What is the level of basic religious knowledge among pre-service teachers of History and English? 2) Do pre-service teachers of History and English demonstrate higher-level thinking skills as relates to religion in public life? and 3) What knowledge do pre-service teachers of History and English demonstrate when confronted with a discipline specific section from a standard North Carolina textbook or an interdisciplinary text dealing with religious knowledge? The results revealed that only pre-service teachers with higher scores in basic religious knowledge did well in areas demanding higher level thinking skills. The study also revealed a decline in the ability to apply religious knowledge to the modalities of contemporary life or to the evaluation of textbooks. The study found that less than 5% of pre-service teachers are prepared to address religion in the classroom, although 80% believed they had been prepared.

Additional Information

Smith, D.E. (2011). Religious knowledge among pre-service secondary teachers of English and History. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2011
religious literacy , religious knowledge, secondary education Social Studies , secondary education English, teacher education