2021 Summer Online Professional Development

Registration is Now Open

Key Historical Themes in Religion & Culture for Secondary Social Studies and ELA Educators

In an era of globalization, mass media and migration, religious literacy is increasingly important in the cultivation of global citizens. Educators, as public intellectuals, play a critical role in teaching the academic study of world religions, to address misunderstanding, stereotyping and classes of ignorance in the multicultural global village. Equipped with the knowledge and skills to engage a religiously diverse world, educators teach and encourage their students to understand people of all religions and worldviews, and to work toward justice, pluralism and peace.

In this professional development, secondary social studies and ELA educators will engage with prominent university and public scholars, including Jeff Kripal, Niki Clements, Amanda Ellis, Anne Chao, and Simran Jeet Singh, one of Time Magazine's 16 People Fighting for a More Equal America!

The scholars' presentations address key themes including comparative religions, religion and science, religion and climate, religion and immigration, religion and indigenous and pagan traditions, religion and healing, religion and justice, and more, including best practices pedagogy. This program also includes an optional workshop on religion and ELA literature, and religion and social studies Story Mapping.

Launching on Monday, June 28, 2021, the program runs through Thursday, July 1, 2021; optional workshops on Friday, July 2nd. Morning synchronous Zoom sessions include approximately 90-minutes of interactive lecture with discussion and a half hour break between sessions. Asynchronous learning includes reading, writing, and discussion boards in the afternoon.

SCHEDULE: All times Central Standard Time (GMT-6) Monday - Thursday, 8:00am - noon; optional Friday morning workshops using Story Map for religion and social studies, and ELA standards in religion and literature run from 9:00am - noon.

  • Aligned to secondary Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for social studies and ELA, including strands.
  • No prerequisites needed.
  • Open to pre-service, in-service, departmental teams, district administrators, and educators broadly situated throughout the community.
  • No cost to teachers or districts.

This professional development may contribute to an ongoing research project in online professional learning, which we will discuss at the Open House. Your participation in the professional development does not in any way require your participation in the research project. You can decide at the time of the Open House if you want your anonymous data to be included or excluded from the research. If you consent to research at Open House and later decide to opt-out, you may do so and you data will be excluded. You can be in both the professional development and the research, or you can simply participate in the professional development. Contact Boniuk Institute Program Director Dr. Gayle Pagnoni with any questions you may have at pagnoni.rice.edu.

ONLINE DATES: June 28-July 1, 2021, with an optional additional workshop on July 2nd