University of Iowa Honors Theses

Major Department

Interdepartmental Studies

College

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Andrew Tinkham

Thesis Mentor

Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren

Abstract

This capstone explores the interfaith dialogue surrounding teaching world religions in an elementary classroom setting. The Interfaith Initiative does this through a six-week program that engages kindergarteners through sixth graders on the five major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. With interactive activities such as games, skits, and crafts, the students can examine and discuss abstract concepts like fasting, karma, and tolerance. This capstone measures the success of this program through the interactive curriculum, drawings of abstract concepts done by students, journals by the principal investigator, and transcripts of audio interviews between the principal investigator and students regarding aspects of the program. As well, this program also produces a final product of an op-ed detailing the experiences of the principal investigator and furthering the conversation on interfaith dialogue on a larger scale. The goal of the Interfaith Initiative is not only to prove the benefits of teaching world religions at a younger age rather than waiting for higher education, but additionally to engage students in interfaith dialogue in a classroom setting. This program was able to add valuable information to the field of interfaith studies by displaying that these conversations benefit students in exploring diversity, new traditions, and the world around them.

Keywords

Interfaith, Education, Religious Studies, Interfaith Dialogue

Total Pages

45 pages

Copyright

Copyright © 2017 Jessica Graff

Included in

Religion Commons

COinS
 

URL

http://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/48