A spiritual practices project has become the centerpiece of my 9th grade World Religions curriculum. Students can choose any spiritual practice, such as meditation which resulted in the dreamy image of rebirth above, to help themselves grow. This entry shares my approach to teaching the course, the role of this project in the curriculum, and 14 examples of student projects.
Over the last five years as I’ve taught World Religions at Hong Kong International School, I’ve continued to weigh the most fundamental questions about this area of study: what is the purpose of religion and how do I teach toward that purpose?
I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that, in the midst of a society that trains us to be separate, autonomous individuals, the purpose of religion, which literally means to “reconnect,” is to offer followers self-transcendence, uniting a lower, self-protective self with a more generous, outward-focused Larger Self. Continue reading