Monday, March 31

Homeschooling Muslims

The NY Times has a piece on how Muslims in the US are turning to homeschooling. ~ Link

I wonder if this will affect evangelical attitudes toward this approach to education. Up to this point evangelicals have been some of the strongest homeschool proponents -- led by the likes of radio psychologist James Dobson. But this development frames the issue in a new way.

Actually, it's really the same old challenge -- how do we as American evangelicals deal with pluralism? We're so used to thinking that we should be the controlling majority that we assume all social structures should reinforce our perceived status. For example, many vocal evangelicals want prayer in the schools. But we start backpedaling as soon as we realize that in 21st century America there will be Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Wiccans, and Secularists in the position of leading the prayers. Yet we can't let go of the idea that this is a pivotal issue for the nation. So we struggle with dissonance.

Likewise, I suspect that we want home school options -- as long as those options aren't exercised to circumvent the social values that we hold so dear. We don't want people taking advantage of educational freedom to teach something that many Americans might consider to be contrary to the American way of life.

So much room for discussion... Will we sit down for a conversation or start generating reactionary sound-bites?
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