Some of my colleagues are under fire for teaching Biblical allusions as a foundation of British and American Literature. In this age of tolerance, why is there still such a phobia of the impact of church on state?
Understanding Biblical allusion is a critical brick in the foundation to understanding American and British Literature. Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God “ is a great piece of persuasive American Literature, but some of my colleagues have come under the fire of a concerned parent for its imbedded Biblical content. It’s important to understand that Biblical Literature is not used in our classrooms to proselytize students. I value the parent-teacher collaborative, which greatly depends on mutual trust, respect, and vigilance in the service of our children, but the volume of one parent’s agenda does not equate to credibility.
The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English Language Arts and Reading expects our children to read and understand a wide variety of literary and informational texts in order to become self-directed critical readers who analytically ask questions, summarize, synthesize, and make connections and complex inferences about the textual evidence presented to support academic growth and understanding of the human condition. Students will engage in activities that build on their prior knowledge and skills in order to strengthen their reading, writing, and oral language development.
House Bill (HB) 1287, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, added TEC, §28.011, allows school districts to teach an elective course on the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament and their impact on the history and literature of Western civilization went into effect in 2008. The State Board of Education (SBOE) approved new TEKS for Special Topics in Social Studies in May 2010 and approved an amendment to the TEKS for Independent Study in English in March 2010. Both sets of TEKS will be implemented in this 2011-2012 school year.
Literature reflects the faith, understanding, and heart of its author, demanding fidelity to the philosophical and social impact at its core. Our children should not be academically handicapped or derailed by a parent with a unique agenda. My colleagues are doing a great job, and the academic community has no reason to dodge bullets when blanks are being fired. To ensure student success in the area of English Language Arts and Reading, the teaching of Biblical allusion is imperative.
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