An examination of elements containing religious references in selected secondary school united states history textbooks
Schreiber, John H.
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The following study provides an examination of the presentation of religious references in selected secondary school United States history textbooks. The inclusion of material reflecting religion in secondary school textbooks paid for with public tax dollars and utilized by students in public schools is controversial because of the evolutionary separation of church and state in American culture. The earliest origins of what was to become the United States of America were highly religious in nature. Many of the first settlers came to the eastern shores of Colonial America seeking the opportunity to practice religious beliefs that were unpopular or illegal in their European homelands. These first settlers based their entire lives, including their social practices, government and educational institutions, on their religious dogma. At a time of religious and political upheaval in Europe, the New World, in this case the colonial holdings of England, provided a unique and vast area where followers of many diverse religious philosophies could settle and practice their particular faiths. This widespread and growing diversity was to set the stage for the dilemma that faces textbook writers and publishers today.