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The Connected Classroom

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Tag Archives: religion

Thomas Jefferson | Flickr The three-week institute Thomas Jefferson: Personality, Character and Public Life, offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will take place at Boston University from July 8 to 26, 2013.  Speakers include R. B. Bernstein, Peter Hatch, Joanne Freeman, Jan Lewis, and Peter Onuf. The institute will seek to deepen our understanding of one of the most important figures in American history, a figure who is fascinating, influential, inspiring, and embattled.

Focusing on Jefferson’s personality and character and connecting them to his public career will be the theme of the first week, followed by an examination of  his views on religion, his role as a family man, and his correspondence with John Adams. In the final week, the Institute turns to slavery, science, and money.

The application and further information (like the stipend for teachers is $2,700; itinerary and speaker bios) is at the institute’s website.

During the three weeks, participants will also ponder some larger questions:

  • Is the intimate life knowable?
  • Does it connect to the public man or woman?
  • Do we each fashion our own version of Jefferson to reflect our values and needs?
  • What is Jefferson’s legacy?

Discussion will include pedagogical questions:

  • What role should biography and primary sources play in history instruction?
  • How does teaching biographies fit with state standards and high stakes testing?
  • How do we teach intimate information about famous Americans to young people?
  • How can teachers be honest and realistic yet still inspire students and encourage citizenship?

Learn more by visiting thomasjeffersonpersonalitycharacterandpubliclife.org.

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GNGNEWS FROM GLOBAL NOMADS GROUP: Face to Faith (is a partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation) and offers young people the chance to explore their own identities and that of others in relation to their faith. These Global Nomad Group videoconferences aim to increase students’ religious literacy while improving the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration and cooperative learning.

Face to Faith offers schools & communities a unique opportunity to explore faith from an individual and local perspective through to a global outlook by connecting young people from different cultures and faiths. Tony Blair Faith Foundation logo

Grade Level: Advanced students ages 13-16 | Related subjects: World History, Geography, Religious Studies, Social Studies | Cost: Free from January to March (pilot phase)

Since October 2008, GNG has connected nearly 800 students from Canada, India, Singapore, and the USA in videoconferences that explore how Faith impacts the everyday life and culture of youth today. Through January and March, Face to Faith will be offered as a free pilot program to help build dialogue among youth around the world and encourage personal reflection, collaboration and awareness. Sign up for GNG’s new program: Face to Faith, in partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.”

For more information or to register for this program, please contact Christine Robinson, Christine@gng.org or visit www.gng.org!

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A message for Global Nomads Group:
We are thrilled to announce a new multi-year program, Face to Faith, in partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.  We invite you to join our nine-week journey as we cross borders and cultures to explore six major world religions, in an effort to support and encourage interfaith dialogue, tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding.

In this age of global interconnectedness, never before has tolerance – tolerance of different beliefs, cultures, and religions – been so vital to peaceful relations.  Percentages of religious adherents worldwide are growing, and with that, the need for understanding and openness among the diverse faiths that make up the worldwide community is becoming indispensable in an age of globalization.

GNG has partnered with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to provide the “Face to Faith” videoconference series, where students from different faiths around the world will come together in weekly videoconferences – at either 8 am ET or 1 pm ET – to talk face-to-face about religion and the role it plays in their lives. Throughout the course of the semester, students will educate one another about the principles and practices of the six major world religions, in addition to discussing the challenges confronting interreligious relations among them. Participants will have the opportunity to approach religion from two distinct angles: interfaith and intrafaith.  In this way, youth from around the world will take part in or witness conversations between Muslims and Christians, between Buddhists and Hindus, and many more. Youth will also participate in cross-cultural dialogue as members of the same religion from different corners of the global community, gathering, for example, Muslims from countries as diverse as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States to engage in dialogue about their shared religion.

Throughout the discussions, each of which will focus on a different topic related to religion, students will come to know their peers from diverse faiths and, in so doing, work together through shared dialogue and mutual understanding, to create a future characterized not by misconception, but by truth, and not by ignorance, but by understanding and compassion.

WEEK ONE:
Monday, October 6th | Interfaith: Buddhism and the Four Noble Truths
Students will learn about the main principles of Buddhism, which is based on the “Four Noble Truths,” namely (1) “the noble truth that is suffering”; (2) “the noble truth that is the arising of suffering”; (3) “the noble truth that is the end of suffering”; and (4)”the noble truth that is the way leading to the end of suffering.” Furthermore, students will explore the connection between Buddhism and other major world religions. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, October 8th | Intrafaith: Buddhism from California to China
Students will explore the diversity within Buddhism through the introduction of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana philosophies and the different regions of the world in which they are practiced.  Furthermore, students will be able to identify shared practices and notable differences amongst the three spiritual schools of thought. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK TWO:
Monday, October 13th | Interfaith: Christianity and the Golden Rule
Students will learn about the main principles and practices of Christianity, namely the moral ethic of reciprocity, otherwise known as the “Golden Rule”: “do to others what you would have them do to you” (Book of Matthew).  Furthermore, students will explore the connection between Christianity and other major world religions. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, October 15th | Intrafaith: Let’s Talk about Sects: Catholicism to Unitarianism
Students will have the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into Christianity through understanding its distinct differences in the way it is practiced and the fundamental similarities in theology. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK THREE:
Monday, October 20th | Interfaith:  Hinduism: The Practice of Meditation and Yoga
Students will learn about the main principles and practices of Hinduism, namely the spiritual teachings of the Vedas, and the integral link that meditation and yoga play in the life of Hindus. Furthermore, students will explore the connection between Hinduism and other major world religions. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, October 22nd | Intrafaith: Religion in India: Hinduism, Culture, and Conflict
Students will relate the practice of Hinduism to the formation of India and the circumstances that have created religion-based conflict in recent years. Students will then be able to cross-analyze Hinduism practiced in different regions around the world. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK FOUR:
Monday, October 27th | Interfaith: Islam: The Five Pillars
Students will discuss the main principles and practices of Sunni Islam, based on the Five Pillars: (1) Shah?dah – profession of faith; (2) Salah – prayer; (3) Zakâh – paying of alms (giving to the poor); (4) Sawm – fasting during Ramadan; and (5) Hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca (Wikipedia).  Furthermore, students will explore the connection between Islam and other major world religions. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, October 29th | Intrafaith: Islam in Malaysia: Worship in a Diverse Society
Students will discuss the open nature of Malaysian society regarding religion, and in particular, they will learn basic information about Islam and the unique way it is practiced in Malaysia.  Students will explore the role Islam plays in women’s lives and the intersection between Islam, other religions, and Malaysian society. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK FIVE:
Monday, November 3rd | Interfaith: Judaism and the 10 Commandments: Teaching Tolerance
Students will explore the central tenets of Judaism and the 10 Commandments, the bedrock of a just, tolerant society.  Moreover, students will go on to discuss the intersection between Judaism and other major world religions. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00-2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, November 5th | Intrafaith:  Judaism: Orthodox, Reformed and Everything in Between
Students will explore the history of the Jewish faith and will take a closer look at the diversity among its practitioners.  Students will also discuss basic information about the modern state of Israel through understanding the history of the Jewish Diaspora. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK SIX:
Monday, November 10th | Interfaith: Religious Faith and Controversial Subjects: Abortion to Terrorism
Students will explore how the six major world religions tackle controversial subjects, from abortion to terrorism.  Moreover, students will go on to discuss the similarities and differences in the way the six major world religions confront religious controversy. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, November 12th | Intrafaith:  Islam and Sharia Law: Multi-Country Case Studies
Students will explore Sharia Law, Islamic Law, and discuss how various Islamic countries approach its application upon civil society. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK SEVEN:
Monday, November 17th | Interfaith: Gender and Religion
Students will discuss the role of men and women in the six major world religions, with particular attention paid to the role of women in gender dynamics between and amongst the six faith communities. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, November 19th | Intrafaith:  Protestants and Catholics: Women of the Cloth
Students will take a closer look at the responsibilities women have had in the Catholic and Protestant Churches. In addition, they will identify the contributions and influences women have had in these two faiths. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK EIGHT:
Monday, December 1st | Interfaith: Religion and Family Life
Students will explore the multiple meanings of marriage and family life in various types of families, from conjugal to nuclear, according to the six religious doctrines.  Furthermore, students will go on to discuss the similarities and differences in how the six world religions view marriage and divorce. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, December 3rd | Intrafaith: Judaism: What’s a Mitzvah Have to Do with It?
Students will discuss the basic traditions of a Bar and Bat Mitzvah – a Jewish youth rite of passage – and how it is celebrated by Jews around the globe. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

WEEK NINE:
Monday, December 8th | Interfaith: Sikhism, the Concept of a “Guru” and the 5 K’s
Students will discuss Sikhism, the fifth largest world religious community, and its relationship to Hinduism, as well as the other major world religions. Available Times: 8:00 -9:00 AM | 1:00 – 2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, December 10th | Intrafaith: Sikhism and Political Participation
Why do Sikhs have such a history of political activism, including the current Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh? Students will explore this rich history. Available Times: 8:00-9:00 AM | 1:00–2:00 PM (ET)

To sign up, please visit the GNG website at http://www.gng.org or e-mail Grace Lau at Grace@gng.org (Subject: Face to Faith Sign Up)

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