God’s not dead 1 - Open Education Model of religious education in the world of mixed values

  • Iwona Zamkowska Faculty of Philology and Pedagogy, Kazimierz Pulaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom ul. Chrobrego 31, 26-600 Radom, Poland
Keywords: Religious education, mixed values, absolutism, relativism, Open Education Model

Abstract

Aim. The aim of the research is to explore the functionality of the Open Education Model of religious education for the “form[ation of] an internal moral compass,” as Steven Hitlin and Jane Allyn Piliavin (2004) describe the modern understanding of values. In other words, the author will attempt to explore first what the model has to offer in terms of equipping students with the necessary skills so that they will successfully navigate through the conflict of values, and second the potential application and limitations of the model.

Methods. The exploration is based on a 2014 production by Pure Flix Entertainment, the first movie in the God’s not Dead series. The author will consider two educational cases presented in the movie using a close reading method.

Results. The study seems to prove that that the God’s not Dead movie accurately portrays the conflict of values experienced by young adults in present-day America. It also appears to consistently promote the Open Education Model as a type of religious education that provides considerable assistance to the learners in retaining their beliefs in the world of mixed values, especially in the time of crisis. The model appears to lend sound conceptual framework missing in other models, but its full application is time and effort consuming and fails to provide more comprehensive approach to religious diversity.

Conclusion. The Open Education Method of religious instruction in the environment dominated by a multicultural approach, seems to offer valuable concepts that may facilitate educational process proposed by other models and thus deserves more thorough consideration in academic research.

Author Biography

Iwona Zamkowska, Faculty of Philology and Pedagogy, Kazimierz Pulaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom ul. Chrobrego 31, 26-600 Radom, Poland

She is affiliated with the Kazimierz Pulaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom. Her primary research area is the problem of religious liberty in public education in the United States of America. She is a board member of the Voice of the Martyrs Poland. Her most important publication is a monograph  Religious Liberty in the Educational System of the United States (Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang D, 2020).

References

Baker, W. E. (2008). America the Traditional. In: T. Pettersson, & Y. Esmer (Eds.), Changing values, persisting cultures: Case studies in value change (pp. 7–43). Leiden, Boston, Mass: Brill.

Barnes, L. P. (2010). Enlightenment’s Wake: Religion and Education at the Close of the Modern Age. In: W. K. Engebretson, M. de Souza, G. Durka, & L. Gearon (Eds.), International Handbook of Inter-religious Education (pp. 25-40). Dordrecht: Springer.

Cronk, H. (2014). God’s not dead 1 [Drama]. Scottsdale: Pure Flix Entertainment.

Fiorina, M. P., Abrams, S. J., & Pope, J. C. (2011). Culture war? The myth of a polarized America. Boston, MA: Pearson Longman.

Griffiths, H., & Keirns, N. (2015). Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax.

Grimmitt, M. (2000). Contemporary Pedagogies of Religious Education: What are They?. In: M. Grimmitt (Ed.), Pedagogies of Religious Education (pp. 24-52). Great Wakering, England: McCrimmons Publishing.

Guinness, O. (2013). The global public square: Religious freedom and the making of a world safe for diversity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Haerpfer, C., Inglehart, R., Moreno, A., Welzel, C., Kizilova, K., Diez-Medrano J., Lagos, M., Norris, P., Ponarin, E., & Puranen, B. et al. (Eds.). (2020). World Values Survey: Round Seven – Country-Pooled Datafile. Madrid, Spain & Vienna, Austria: JD Systems Institute & WVSA Secretariat.

Hitlin, S., & Piliavin, J. A. (2004). Values: Reviving a dormant concept. Annual Review of Sociology, 30(1), 359-393.

Hudson Jr., D. L. (2006). Evolution and Creation. Retrieved July 27, 2020, from https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/topics/freedom-of-religion/religious-liberty-in-public-schools/evolution-creation/

Hull, J. M. (2012). The Contribution of Religious Education to Religious Freedom: A Global Perspective. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.iarf.net/REBooklet/Hull.htm

Hunter, J. D. (1992). Culture Wars the Struggle to Control the Family, Art, Education, Law, and Politics in America. New York: Basic Books.

Hunter, J. D., Wolfe, A., Dionne Jr., E. J., & Cromartie, M. (2006). Is there a culture war? A dialogue on values and American public life. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Inglehart, R., Haerpfer, C., Moreno, A., Welzel, C., Kizilova, K., Diez-Medrano, J., Lagos, M., Norris, P., Ponarin E., & Puranen, B. (2014). World Values Survey: Round Six - Country-Pooled Datafile Version. Madrid: JD Systems Institute. Retrieved April 10, 2020 from https://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/WVSDocumentationWV6.jsp.

Knafo, A., Roccas, S., & Sagiv, L. (2011). The value of values in cross-cultural research: A special issue in honor of Shalom Schwartz. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42 (2), 178-185.

Langlaude, S. (2007). The Right of the Child to Religious Freedom in International law. Leiden, Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Leung, K., & Bond, M. H. (1989) On the empirical verification of dimensions for cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 20(2), 133-151.

Moran, G. (2010). Religious Education in United States’ state schools. In: W. K. Engebretson, M. de Souza, G. Durka, & L. Gearon (Eds.), International Handbook of Inter-religious Education [eBook edition] (pp. 141-153). Dordrecht: Springer.

Newton, R. R. (1981). Four models of teaching religion. PACE, 11. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from http://hdl.handle.net/2345/2429.

Pew Research Center. (2018). The age gap in religion around the world. Religion & Public Life. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.pewforum.org/2018/06/13/young-adults-around-the-world-are-less-religious-by-several-measures/

Putnam, R. D., & Campbell, D. E. (2010). American grace: How religion divides and unites us. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Schwartz, S. H., & Bardi, A. (2001). Value hierarchies across cultures: Taking a similarities perspective. Journal of cross cultural psychology, 32, 268-290.

Smith, S. D. (2014). The rise and decline of American religious freedom. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Sullenger, K., Turner, S., Caplan, H., Crummey, J., Cuming, R., Charron, C., & Corey, B. (2000). Culture Wars in the Classroom: Prospective Teachers Question Science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(9), 895-915.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. (2007). Is There A Culture War? A Dialogue on Values and American Public Life. Executive Summary. Retrieved April 7, 2017, from http://people.uncw.edu/lowery/pls405/Textbook_chapter_outlines/culturewar-execsum.pdf

World Values Survey Association. (n.d.). World Value Survey. Findings and Insights. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/WVSContents.jsp

Zimmerman, J. (2005). Whose America?: Culture wars in the public schools. Cambridge, MA, London: Harvard University Press.

Published
2020-09-11
How to Cite
Zamkowska, I. (2020). God’s not dead 1 - Open Education Model of religious education in the world of mixed values. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 11(2), 82-97. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs2020.2.82.97