Schooling, Society, and Religion: Two Talks by Robert Kunzman


March 5, 2007

Robert Kunzman, a philosopher of education and professor of education at Indiana University, gave two talks at Brandeis on March 5 on issues of homeschooling and religious discussion in schools. Kunzman has published extensively on the subject of education, including the book Grappling with the Good: Talking about Religion and Morality in Public Schools.

Kunzman's conception of ethical education entails both education for respect and education for civic virtue. In the first of the two talks, "Schooling at Home, Schooling for Society: Homeschooling and American Democracy," he shared recent research on homeschooling in conservative Christian settings, arguing that the impressive degrees of civic engagement in these settings challenge us to refine our view about what good civic education entails. In the second talk, "Discussing Religion in the Public Schools," he offered an argument on behalf of moral and religious discussion in public schools, claiming that schools are uniquely positioned to foster respect across differences but only if those differences are encountered with the depth that they deserve.

These events were presented by the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, with co-sponsorship by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life; the Brandeis Education Program; the Spencer Program for Educational Research, the Department of Politics; and the Research Circle on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism.