Teaching Religious Studies

Fellow: Kurt Prescott, Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, Tang Fellow

Focus Area: Equity & Inclusion

Project Overview

Despite the fact that the vast majority of the world's population identifies with a particular religious tradition, religious studies often remains on the periphery of secondary school education. An increasingly globalized world, however, means that the need for religious literacy has never been greater. In his project work, Tang Fellow Kurt Prescott aims to promote responsible approaches to the teaching of religious studies in secondary school classrooms through the crafting of curricula, dissemination of resources, and coaching of teachers. The past year, Kurt has focused on embedding religious literacy into tradition secondary school disciplines, such as History and English, which resulted in the launch of a pilot course on “Religion, Literature, and the Arts” that explores religion in the work of Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

Connecting and Sharing

Kurt Prescott has been leading efforts to broaden and deepen understanding of religious studies. In addition to building a set of digital teaching resources, Prescott has worked in conjunction with the Religious Literacy Project (RLP) at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) to formulate professional development opportunities for secondary school educators which focus on religious studies. In July 2019, he was one of the presenters at the RLP’s annual Summer Institute. As a 2019-20 RLP Education Fellow, Prescott continues to mentor teachers from across the country during the academic year through regular online office hours. This project serves as a means of sharing the best of Andover’s work with audiences beyond campus, all with an eye toward strengthening educational opportunity.

Teachers interested in incorporating a consideration of religious identity into their curricula are encouraged to explore the following resources:

The Religious Literacy Project at Harvard University

The Pluralism Project at Harvard University

The Wabash Institute

Kurt Prescott’s personal website