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Secular Values in the Curriculum: Case Law

  • By: John Pijanowski
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Case law regarding secular values in the curriculum addresses the power of the state to teach nonreligious virtues or ideas. Litigation over the teaching of secular values tends to fall into one of two categories: conflict with religious values and student rights to abstain from participating. Some examples of secular values in the public school curriculum that have been contested by religious groups include gay and lesbian rights, science-based discovery, and morality derived from man instead of god. The debate about teaching secular values is at the heart of many controversial curriculum developments during the past 60 years. As scholars of curriculum studies track the interconnection of social change, scientific discovery, and public education, the clash between secular humanism and religious values remains a source ...

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