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Indiana University Bloomington

Religion and Political Beliefs Related Teaching Tips

  • Assume that some of your students are non-Christians.
  • Accommodate students' important religious holidays: allow for them in your syllabus planning and a make-up schedule.
  • Critique a religion or religious belief only if such criticism is important to course material.
  • When such criticism is necessary to the course, use a tone and choice of words that show respect for those who hold such beliefs or practice that religion.
  • When discussing religious issues, distinguish between faith and proof.
  • Assume each student has his or her specific beliefs and rituals, and cannot "speak for" an entire religion.

    Adapted from: Teaching a Diverse Student Body (p. 39), by N. Loevinger, 1994, University of Virginia.

  • Do not criticize political or traditional beliefs unless those beliefs are potentially hurtful to others in the class, or unless such criticism is part of the class content.
  • Establish an initial "contract" with your students to show respect for others.