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Pre-service teachers and religion: Dispelling misconceptions and providing new foundations for learning

Colton T. Ames (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 2 August 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019



The purpose of this paper is to provide teacher educators with a foundation for including religion in multicultural education classes. In doing so, they can foster more robust discussions of religion and its implications for equity and justice in K-12 classrooms.


This piece was adapted from the religion unit that the author designed for the multicultural education course, and is the combination of the author’s expertise in religious studies, and curriculum and instruction.


As a practice piece, this paper is meant to start discussions and reflections for teacher educators as to how we can better address religion when discussing multicultural education, and the implications of equity, diversity and social justice in the classroom.


The author hopes that this piece will contribute to a growing field of literature on how to foster discussions of religion in teacher education and K-12 classrooms. As a former religious studies educator, the author hopes to offer a perspective that combines the fields of curriculum and religious studies to create a more robust relationship that will foster democratic and civic engagement.



The author would like to thank Dr Kathryn Engebretson for her guidance, trust and support throughout the teaching of this class; Dr Alexander Cuenca, Jean Graves, Sarah Hatcher, Danielle DeLano and William Ramsey for editing early versions of this paper; Alexandria Hollett and Alexander Butler for allowing the author to lead guest lectures in their classes; and Tiehl Reynolds, Dr Molly Riddle, Jessica Zaker and John Andrésen for their support throughout the writing process.


Ames, C.T. (2019), "Pre-service teachers and religion: Dispelling misconceptions and providing new foundations for learning", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 192-200.



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