So, I'm going into my sophomore year of High School in a couple of days. One thing that I noticed in our freshman Global curriculum last year was the overwhelming amount of religion that was taught. We pretty much covered every belief system, from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, to Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, to Hinduism, and even ancient beliefs such as Animism. However, not once was there any mention of atheism in our curriculum. When I asked my teacher if we were ever going to learn anything about atheism, he gave me a short background on how it came to be, and the only reason he actually knew this was because he's just very knowledgeable, even on things he doesn't need to teach us. It's obvious that atheism is nowhere to be found in our curriculum. It wasn't even in the index of our 1000+ page textbook! I understand that theism has played a huge role throughout history, but I'd think even primitive forms of atheism would exist within the same curriculum that is complete enough to contain Animism. As you can see by the Wikipedia page, atheism does have a considerable history.

I'm not asking for a full- fledged, two- month- long lesson plan like Christianity got. While atheism might be older, atheists tended to lay low until about the 18th century, and thus, information about them was harder to find. I would like to spend a little bit of time on the subject of atheism in class, however (at least as much as we spend on Animism), and I mean real curriculum- based material, not the stuff that my teacher happens to know off the top of his head. What does everyone else think? Is what I'm asking for reasonable?

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It's not just teaching atheism that is a problem. A while ago I was having a conversation about religion in school with a few people online, I mentioned that I thought all HS should teach a class in comparative religion. One of the people I was talking to was 100% against her children being taught about any religion besides Christianity. Of course she was all for teaching about Jesus in school, just not any other religions. It amazes me how people can be so 100% sure they are right and yet still be afraid to expose their children to other beliefs.
Haha, I could envision that too. I'd want to be in the principal's office when it happens, actually. Also, no offense taken, I was actually raised in an agnostic household. My parents would never race into the school claiming that we should strip stuff out of the curriculum, they'd be quite the opposite, actually.
First thing that came to my mind was what about Humanism. Did your teacher give you a reason for not covering atheism? I agree that it is reasonable to spend some time on atheism and the role that various atheists have played in our society.
Yes, at the time, the reason was perfectly justified, too. We were in about the 15th century, and I asked "are we ever going to learn about atheism in this class?" and my teacher said that atheism didn't really become strong until around the 18th century, which we weren't up to. I waited until the 18th century, but our lesson on atheism never came around. I'm thinking our curriculum doesn't cover it at all, because as I said, atheism isn't even in the index of our monstrous textbook. :(




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