Pre-service teachers’ middle-level lessons on world religions: Planning, teaching, and reflecting.

Document Type

Conference Paper in Published Proceedings


School of Education, Leadership, and Public Service

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to examine how 22 elementary pre-service teachers (PSTs) planned and taught lessons on world religions to 7th-grade students. Pre- and post-lesson interview transcripts, lesson observations, as well as PST lesson plans and reflection journals served as data sources. Prior to teaching, the PSTs lacked adequate knowledge of world religions, were apprehensive about the task, and sought to teach without bias. Despite attempts at powerful and purposeful social studies teaching that was student-centered, the PSTs portrayed a bias toward Christianity, lacked solemnity, and were unprepared for student reactions. Because nearly each state includes world religions in its social studies standards, teachers must improve their capacity and willingness to teach world religions effectively.

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