Religion and Education Debates
Religion and education are two of the most fundamental facets of any society. Because of this, they are also two of the most highly-debated. Many wonder if religion has any place in the classroom, while for others its importance a given. Here, you can engage in both religious and educational debates, as well as ones that encompass both of these very important parts of our society. Participate in the future of our society and join these religion and education debates today!
The origin of mankind is one of the most heated topics of debate in Western culture. Perhaps one of the reasons why people care so deeply about this subject is that an individual’s very purpose for existence comes into question when considering whether the stories of creation are true or false. If there is a God who created this universe and all therein, then, logically, the people of this world would, to one degree or another, come under subjugation to that God. If, however, the accounts of creation are mere fables and the theory of evolution is indeed true, then humans exist merely by chance and hold no accountability but to themselves.
The Christian Story of Creation
One of the most well-known stories of creation is found in the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Torah. According to the first book in the Old Testament, Genesis, God made the world and all that is contained therein. On the sixth day of the creation, God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. This account implies some aspects of man’s relation to his Creator: First, God created man with intent or purpose; second, the creation of man was intimate and personal; third, man is consequently subject to this Creator God.
If the Christian account of the creation is true, then the philosophical implications are profound. Man could not govern himself but would have to answer to a Higher Being. It would seem important to search out a reason for one’s very existence. The converse of this theory, materialistic evolution, provides the alternative to the Christian account of creation or any other story–no accountability is involved. Whether true or false, whatever theory of origins one chooses to accept ultimately requires having faith in that explanation.
Political and Social Debates
Political and social issues are undoubtedly the most hotly-debated topics on the planet. Nothing effects a person’s day-to-day life and well-being more than the political and social atmosphere of the world around them. Here, you can engage in debates on the most prominent of those issues, including abortion, gay marriage and the Iraq War. Take a side now, and make your voice heard.
The Missouri state legislature has introduced a bill that prohibits certain types of contact between students and teachers on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The stated purpose of the law is to prevent inappropriate sexual contact between teachers and their students, but other arguments have appeared both in favor of and against the proposed legislation.
Professional distance argument
The primary argument in favor of a social networking contact ban between teachers and students is that of professional distance. Simply put, the argument is that “friending” a student on Facebook changes the nature of the teacher’s relationship to the student from authority figure to buddy, and besides the appearance of impropriety that the Missouri legislature cites, it could also compromise pedagogical effectiveness. Many schools already have school-specific systems that allow students to interact with teachers with the appropriate oversight and auditing. Supporters of the law argue that this makes contact through Facebook unnecessary.
Authentic relationship argument
On the other side of the coin, those who oppose the proposed legislation argue that teachers interacting with students through social networking sites poses no added danger. They argue that if a teacher is determined to have inappropriate contact with a child, he or she is certain to find a way without using Facebook. Additionally, they argue that if students see teachers as authentic people rather than distant authority figures, the students may invest more into their educations because they see teachers as trustworthy and friendly.
Freedom of speech argument
There is also a debate about whether the proposed legislation violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. Since this bill entails a state actor proscribing speech, the government would need to establish a “compelling interest” in doing so. This is a difficult standard to meet, and some legal experts speculate that were the law subject to court challenge, federal judges would likely strike it down on First Amendment grounds.
This bill is merely proposed legislation at the moment, and it may not even pass, but if it does, expect years of court challenges. If this law does survive legal challenges, it is certain to change how teachers relate to their students in and out of the classroom.