When discussion of religion is not encouraged - don’t ask, don’t tell

W. Y. Alice Chan, Amarnath Amarasingam, Ashley Couture, Harsha Dulari Wijesekera, Hicham Tiflati, Yonah Hisbon Matemba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Teaching about religion, especially religious minorities, is controversial in many global contexts due to local political and socio-cultural factors historically and today. In many places, the lack of discussion in institutions, community, and at school is reflected in the lack of attention to religious minorities not only in the school curriculum but also in teacher education. In this chapter, six researchers discuss these trends with case studies from Malawi, Sri Lanka, Canada and the USA. Argued through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s social-ecological framework, the chapter addresses three key questions in examining challenges of majority-minority group tensions at schools and the lack of critical thinking and discussion in addressing the treatment of religious minorities at school in these country-contexts. Altogether, the case studies present the contradictions in each society and school system between societal declarations of pluralism that promotes engagement and the dual reality that minimizes religion and in particular religious minorities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBloomsbury Handbook Looking at Religion in Schools Globally
EditorsJoanne Pearce, James Fraser
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing plc
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Nov 2022


  • religion at school
  • religious minorities
  • religious education
  • religious literacy
  • social-ecology theory
  • Malawi
  • Sri Lanka
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • California


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