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Spirituality and Religion in Public Schooling


by Nel Noddings — 2008

Given human fallibility and mortality, it is striking how Western society generally deals with issues of spirituality and religion: The Scarf Affair described in Chapter Seven exemplifies the efforts of Western democracies to confine such matters to the private realm. Such a strategy, Nel Noddings writes, “reduces contention (and interest) in the classroom and protects schools from . . . complaints. . . . However, it also protects ignorance.” Education for a truly flourishing human life, she argues, must directly confront questions of meaning and worth, not deny them.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 107. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 110 Number 13, 2008, p. 185-195
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18471, Date Accessed: 11/22/2017 5:22:22 PM

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About the Author
  • Nel Noddings
    Stanford University
    NEL NODDINGS is Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education Emerita at Stanford University. She is a past president of the National Academy of Education, the Philosophy of Education Society, and the John Dewey Society. In addition to sixteen books—among them Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, Women and Evil, The Challenge to Care in Schools, Educating for Intelligent Belief or Unbelief, and Philosophy of Education—she is the author of more than 200 articles and chapters on various topics ranging from the ethics of care to mathematical problem solving. Her latest books are Happiness and Education, Educating Citizens for Global Awareness, Critical Lessons: What Our Schools Should Teach, and most recently When School Reform Goes Wrong.
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