For background information, read
Training students to rethink God's Word
and Amitai Etzioni's
A Third Way to a
Service Learning: A National Strategy for Youth Developmen:
(September 1998) "This position paper is one in a series issued by The Communitarian Network and the
George Washington University Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies (ICPS).
"This position paper benefitted from the deliberations and comments of
The Communitarian Network's and the Institute's Education Policy Task Force.
Members of the Education Policy Task Force are:
Susan M. Andersen, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, New York University
Charles Haynes, Senior Scholar, Religious Freedom Programs, First Amendment Center
Howard Kirschenbaum, Frontier Professor of School, Family and Community Relations, University of Rochester
Thomas Magnell, Professor of Philosophy, Drew University
Warren Nord, Director, Program in Humanities and Human Values, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Rosalie Pedalino Porter, Chairman of the Board, READ Institute
Charles Quigley, Executive Director, Center for Civic Education
Catherine Ross, Associate Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School
Founder and Director,
The Communitarian Network....
"These position papers fall within the purview of ideas expressed in
The Responsive Communitarian Platform."
250. "New Signposts on the Road to Civilisation"
The Guardian (July 15, 1994) p. 22:
"As Charles Haynes, from the First Liberty Institute, puts it: "Students should be encouraged to consult their parents and religious leaders for a fuller understanding of how their tradition addresses moral questions." We should not try to pack all values into publicly-run schools;
schools should be the place for those values we all share and a place to recognise
the importance of other values.... But attention to the moral education of the young is moving up the public agenda. It is not coming a moment too soon.
Amitai Etzioni is the author of
The Spirit Of Community.
All Position Papers and Reports:
Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools"
--Charles Haynes and Warren Nord describe the civic and educational principles that should guide the instruction of religion in public schools. They sketch a general theory of moral education that conceives a liberal education as a moral education."
The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools(1)
Warren A. Nord and
Charles C. Haynes:
"Much of the culture-war debate about religion in public education has been framed in terms of the combat between two polarized groups: those religious conservatives who would restore prayer to school activities, add creationism to the curriculum, and drop sex education from it; and those liberals who would keep prayer out of schools, keep religion out of the curriculum, and keep sex education in it....We intend in this paper to provide a more nuanced account of what is at issue.
...we spell out the civic and educational principles that should govern the role of religion in the public schools - and that
define the common ground on which we might stand together in resolving our differences. ...
For much of our history, Protestantism enjoyed a favored status in the
ceremony, rhetoric, and often in the curriculum and textbooks of public
schools. That was unjust; it meant that education didn't take
others of different (or no) religious convictions seriously. ...
"Our educational framework is grounded in what we
have called the New Consensus. There is now widespread agreement
among the leaders of religious and educational organizations about the
role of religion in the curriculum....
"We indoctrinate children (or adults) when we
teach (or socialize) them to accept doctrines, or a point of view,
uncritically. We educate them, by contrast, when we provide them with
a measure of critical distance on their subjects, enabling them to think
in an informed and reflective ways about alternatives....
"Education is the initiation of students into a discussion in which they
are taught to understand, take seriously, and think critically about the
contending voices in our world. This is often called liberal education -
though 'liberal education' is redundant, just as 'liberal training' is
"How To Teach About Religion. From within the New
Consensus a sharp distinction is drawn between (unconstitutional)
indoctrination, proselytizing, and the practice of religion on the one
hand and, on the other, (constitutional) teaching about religion,
which is objective, non-sectarian, neutral, balanced and fair
[in whose eyes?]....
"We trust that educators will also keep in mind that it is not at all
obvious where the truth lies, and quite apart from civic and
constitutional constraints they should show some humility in dealing
with complicated and controversial matters. When fundamentally different
worldviews shape the disagreements, it is not easy to say what the truth
is. [That's what Christian children are likely
to conclude when faced with secular skepticism and contrary suggestions]....
"Comparative study of religions is especially interesting and important:
How are religions alike and how are they different? It is tremendously
important to keep in mind, however, that the world - and any particular
religious tradition - will look one way when viewed from the 'outside'
using the categories and conceptual nets of secular scholarship, but
will look quite different when viewed from the 'inside'.... Indeed, if
we are to be fair we must let advocates of a point of view -a
religious tradition - speak for themselves, using the conceptual
resources of their own traditions. This is often best done through the
use of primary sources. [most effective
tool when taken out of context]....
"As we have argued, the
movement has been a widely accepted (and much needed) antidote to
the relativistic tendencies of values clarification, and it offers a
third approach to sex education. Sexual relationships, like all
relationships, should be characterized by honesty, loyalty, and respect
for the feelings, privacy, and well-being of others....
[promiscuity ok if partners show "respect"?]....
"Religious Diversity....some traditions favor
religious establishments and are intolerant of dissent; others value
freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state....
Religious conservatives have often grounded morality in scripture, while
religious liberals have often held that through continuing moral and
"If there are to be courses in religious studies
there must be teachers competent to teach them. Religious studies must
become a certifiable field, requiring at least an undergraduate
Footnote 1. ...Background documents and
consensus guidelines for understanding the civic framework outlined in
the paper may be found in Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment
Guide to Religion and Public Education (1994, 1996, 1998),
edited by Charles C.
Haynes and Thomas know well that ignoring Christianity would leave
our children free to follow the Bible. Only by immunizing them
against absolute truth -- by feeding them palatable distortions can
(what they see as) the plague of Biblical Christianity be stamped
National Alliance for
National Alliance for Civic Education:
"NACE was launched in 2000 with more than 80 group and individual charter
members committed to advancing civic knowledge and engagement. NACE believes the
time has come to band together to ensure that the next generation of citizens
understands and values democracy and participates in the ongoing work of
building democracy in America....
is a coalition of individuals and organizations who have come together
to shore up the moral, social, and political environment. We are a
nonsectarian, nonpartisan, international association. ...Thomas Ehrlich
Senior Scholar The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
C. Haynes, Ph.D. Freedom Forum First Amendment Center....
Charles C. Haynes is senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. He directs the center's First Amendment educational programs and addresses issues concerning religious liberty in American public life. Haynes is best known for helping schools and communities
find common ground on conflicts involving the First Amendment in public schools. He presently serves on the
boards of directors of the Character Education Partnership and the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. In addition, he is the author of numerous publications."
Sacred Places, Civic Purposes
-- The Role Of Faith-Based Organizations
(Tuesday, February 20, 2001):
Moderator: E.J. Dionne, Jr., Senior Fellow, Brookings
Institution; Columnist, Washington Post;
Co-Chair, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Respondents: Bill Galston....
Senior Scholar, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center.... David Hornbeck
Former Superintendent, Philadelphia Public Schools....
I believe that Professor
Haynes was exactly right this morning when he said that 90 percent of the issues have actually been settled in terms of church-state relationships with public schools.... I do believe that there are
dangers in increasing collaborations between public schools and
faith-based organizations. Those who do have concerns about proselytizing and other kinds of coercion have legitimate concerns and they must be heard. But I do believe also that there is a capacious middle way that we can explore to link faith-based institutions with schools. And I would suggest, and I hope that this would be a way in which we
could avoid litigation, the route that we actually have been using for many years of government funding for
religiously-affiliated nonprofits or schools themselves would be a way that we could increase
collaboration between faith-based organizations and schools without getting into too much trouble with the First Amendment....
"It is a much more of a
communitarian understanding than an individualistic understanding. And parents often feel more support when they go into a school with the backing of a congregation than they feel when they go in on their own."
Studies (George Washington University):
Institute for Communitarian policy studies:
"At the heart of good character,
has argued, lie two core values: self-discipline and empathy. It is not difficult for parents, teachers, and administrators to reach consensus around a curriculum and school culture designed to nurture these key traits. But it is vital that schools not abdicate their crucial role as moral educators. In fact, the past ten years has seen a revolution in moral education as hundreds of schools around the country have adopted
character education programs.
"Reading and Links.
In two articles--"How Not to Discuss Character Education" from Phi Delta Kappan, and "On Character Education" from
The School Administrator,
explains how to think about character education from a communitarian
perspective and lays out his theory of empathy and self-discipline....
"In 'The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools',
Charles Haynes and Warren Nord describe the civic and educational principles that should guide the instruction of religion in public schools. They sketch a general theory of moral education that conceives a liberal education as a moral education. Sex education and economics education serve as case studies in examining the essential role of religion in moral education. The authors offer a series of recommendations for reforming education in a manner that takes seriously religion and moral education."
The Communitarian Update Number 15
(March 3, 1999):
"Third Way Meeting CIVICA is organizing a meeting of The First Congress of the Third Sector,
Solidarity & Philanthropy, in Madrid, May 3 - 5, 1999. This will be the one of the most prestigious gatherings on the topic of
civil society ever to take place in Spain. Participants include
political leaders, humanitarian and cultural organizations, top
intellectuals, and policy experts....
"Communitarian Position Paper and Reports explore the communitarian perspectives on some of the most critical issues which Americans face. In "The Relationship of Religion to Moral Education in the Public Schools,"
Charles Haynes and Warren Nord describe the civic and educational principles that should guide the instruction of religion in public schools."
Training students to rethink God's Word
permanent social change
Dissatisfaction (a crisis) for social transformation
Catchword For Bush Ideology: 'Communitarianism'