Title

Resisting "secular humanism": A critical analysis of the A Beka history curriculum, grades K--6

Date of Completion

January 2006

Keywords

Education, Elementary|Education, Social Sciences|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The establishment of Fundamentalist Christian schools, and the creation of appropriate curricula for such schools, has historically taken place as a way to procure a safe haven for Fundamentalist children from secularized public schools. The public schools, it is argued, teach a form of religion called secular humanism, a by-product of the secularization of society. The attempt of Fundamentalists, or the "Religious Right", as it is often called, to de-secularize their youth from tacit and overt hostility toward the Christian faith has resulted in the establishment and examination of evangelical Christian education. Within Fundamentalist schools there exists the creation of a subculture in which underlying epistemological beliefs are evident. These include particular kinds of textual and interpretive approaches to literature, a proclivity towards a common and unified religious setting, a controlled environment enveloped in moral absolutism and an overriding concern for the spiritual well-being of students. ^ A critical discourse analysis of the history texts of A Beka curriculum, grades K-6, contextualized within a broader social and political milieu was the focus of this study, including the discursive representations and communicative events that center on diversity tensions and representations of "community." These themes were analyzed from the perspective of their impact in a broader national discourse.^