Saturday, May 13, 2006


Teaching Tolerance

The Modesto, Cal. public schools require ninth graders to take a nine-week course on world religions, beginning with two weeks of study of First Amendment rights and the U.S. history of religious liberty, according to Patricia Zapor of the Catholic News Service.

Researchers from Stanford University in California and the College of William and Mary in Virginia tracked students' attitudes and their understanding of different religions and of constitutional rights governing the free exercise of religion.

They report that students grew to understand and respect others' religious views and they were much more likely to accept that different religions share core moral values. Students' scores on tests of basic knowledge on religion nearly doubled.

More important, the student's tolerance for what the researchers termed "least-liked" groups in society and for the rights of people to express religious views and to display faith symbols increased markedly.


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