Religous Literacy Class for MCPS teachers 4.fw

Teachers Learn Religious Literacy at Local Faith Centers (PHOTO)

MCOL Religious Literacy 06-28-16.00_03_05_29.Still003When 37 Montgomery County Public School teachers return to their classrooms they will know much more about the religious beliefs and practices of people in our communities. They are taking part in a pilot program designed to promote religious literacy.

Walter Johnson High School teacher Christopher Murray organized the five-day program with Steven Adleberg, the Education Outreach Director for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

The seminars at Temple Beth Ami and other faith centers could help teachers guide their students toward a better understanding of the diverse religions and cultures that exist in the county, our nation and the world. Robert Frost Middle School teacher Sarah Shah says she has observed some 6th graders expressing misconceptions and ignorance about different religions. She enrolled in the program to learn how to encourage her students to become more compassionate and empathetic.

Walter Johnson High School teacher David Euler hopes to apply what he gained from the seminars when discussing difficult topics in his classes. He also says he wants to be as knowledgeable and respectful as possible when he interacts with students of different faiths and cultures.

For Adleberg, a former Fairfax County principal, the religious and cultural intolerance witnessed in America and other countries is a wake up call for us all. He says understanding each other and working together to solve problems is critical in a nation that values religious freedom.

Murray believes educating teachers on religious diversity will ultimately lead to more young people and their parents reaching out to people who practice Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and other religions. He and Adleberg are working together to expand the pilot program to include counselors, administrators and other Montgomery County school personnel. The next Religious Literacy for Educators course will be offered in the fall.

Phyllis Armstrong

About Phyllis Armstrong

Phyllis Armstrong is a multimedia journalist with more than 30 years of experience in writing, reporting and broadcasting. She covered a wide range of news interests and issues as a general assignment reporter for WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. from 1984 to 2009. Phyllis has continued to produce feature stories about local restaurants, culinary professionals and minority achievers for several online publications. Cooking, reading and Tai Chi are among are favorite things to do.

Comments

3 Responses to “Teachers Learn Religious Literacy at Local Faith Centers (PHOTO)”

  1. On June 29, 2016 at 12:02 pm steve responded with... #

    oh heaven help us!!

    Just teach!!! math! history! science! english!

    stop wasting my dollars on ridiculous ideas. You want to enhance your outreach and sensitivity? do it by teaching better. that resonates a lot better than whether a teacher knows what Ramadan is

    • On June 29, 2016 at 5:23 pm Jill responded with... #

      What tax dollars? Teachers pay for this class out of their own pockets. Increased education to create more inclusive classrooms is a necessary step one must take before teaching math, history, science and English- all of which are informed by culture and religion.

      Uninformed and insensitive comments like yours demonstrate a need for greater outreach, not less.

      • On June 30, 2016 at 12:32 pm steve responded with... #

        Jill…instead this time should be used to refreshing basic teaching skills, preparing for new material and preparing for the next semester. Kids don’t learn better math or better science because there is 10% of this race, 15% of that race and 9% of that race. They learn because the curiculum is taught in an effective manner by an effective teacher.

        “increasing inclusion” phrase people throw around so they think the sound smart and sophisticated. when in actuality they mean “dumbing down standard just so we can say we are PC”




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