This paper explores the different aspects of education in the areas of religion, and the comparison between private and public education. Education and religion are highly correlated, from the point of view of teachers and religious figures like priests, pastors, monks and many others. Religion as education, does not have one single path or a single view. There are lots of religions since christianity, jewish , buddhism and others. Like the psychologist and expert in religion, (Sander 2002), education and religion are like patterns that mark and evolve our human intelligence and ways of acting.
As well, since the past, there has been a debate of the differences and similarities, the ups and downs, the pros and the cons of private and public education. Since the smallest institution like school, high school and big ones like universities. Their factors may vary from country to country. For example here in Honduras there is a big and really marked margin among the two. However, in other countries like United States, there is even a debate that public education is way better. From private to public, education can change minds, forms of thinking and the evolving of human intelligence. Education is a fundamental aspect to our daily lives and our survival in the competing world outside our institutions.
The Relation between Education and Religion and the Comparison in Public and Private Education
Relationship between Education and Religion
The relationship between religion and education has been studied since the second half of the 20th century. There are differences between this two topics. To begin with the “level of religiosity” is a topic that it’s hard to know scientifically. By the other hand the “level of education” it’s easier to know their statistics because grades and education is opened in many countries for us to know the level students are having(Smith 2002).
There were many conclusions between religion and education. This conclusions are, if they practice religion and what are their grades. An international study says that in some Nations the believing in religion diminishes with education, but attendance and religion increase (Argyle 2000). Then their is other study which says that religious students achieve higher grades than non-religious students. Also in the USA in terms of universities professors even in the best universities most of them were religious .
In Honduras the 36.3% of people are Protestant and 8.7% of people doesn’t believe. Also the 53.3% of Honduras people are religious
Psychology and Religion
The most common definition of psychology states it is the science that studies human behavior. It is a very wide definition, and based on it psychology could be applied to any discipline, including religion (Smith 2009).
This field in psychology consists in its application to the interpretation of the religious contents viewed from a natural- scientific and human scientific approach. In a natural- scientific point of view, the individual will try to prove hypothesis in an objective, quantitative and experimental way (Argyle 2000). On the other hand, in a humanistic approach, a person will try to choose a religious practice that in an interpretive way shows to be meaningful to their way of life, all this done valuing the religious experience in a qualitative method, that shows a connection to their inner self.
Psychology of religion seeks three major purposes:
Systematic descriptions of religious contents, attitudes, experiences and expressions. A psychologists will try to provide the individual with all the relevant information of each religion, a framework of its basic concepts, way of life to follow, experiences lived by its followers and expressions included (Argyle 2000).
2. Explaining of the religion’s origin and impact in history as well as in the person’s life. Understanding a religion’s origin is necessary in order to have a clear vision of what it represents in human history; knowing this an individual can value if its role in history matches their beliefs and
personal set of moral values. The impact religion will have in the individual will then be based in the connection of the religion’s history.
3. Understanding the consequences of attitudes and behavior of the individual himself as well as for society. Religion is an important aspect in society, for this reason an individual needs to know if his affiliation to a certain religion can affect how their public behavior is seen.
In conclusion applying psychology to religious beliefs tries to find a way to help the individual connect his values and attitudes to the religion chosen, always seeking the objective of the individual living a life at peace within himself.
Comparison between Private and Public Education
A tough decision many parents have to go through is, should my children should receive a private education or a public education. The difference among them is that public schools give you the education for free, where the parents are really “paying” with the taxes. In the other hand, private schools give students an educations focused on college preparatory.
Through many discussions, lots of parents or tutors, students and teachers have preferred private institutions. Nevertheless, they have their pros and cons. To start, what in reality is a private school, university and any institution? Private school for example, are institutions that have no dependance with the government, but it only belongs to itself and the ones in charge of the institution. Private schools differ from private because they have the right to choose their students. Private schools have tried not to go to far from governmental schools. Nevertheless, the
level of teaching is literally equal or even above that the education from that of the public institutions.
Some experts like, Hoffer, a teacher from the Northern Illinois University’s Laboratory, and Coleman, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, made a study of 1,015 private and public high schools (Hoffer 1987). They got to the conclusion, that successful high schools are a result from strong reinforcing teachers’ efforts and the impulse from good communities. Not only does the title of being private means its better, but the teachers implying the education (Coleman 1987).
We can say, education and religion have always had a correlation. Since the long time, religion has influenced and contributed to the enrollment of education to the people. Before the most educated people were monks, priests and any other religious figures.
Now, from the point of view of a public institution, things change radically. In fact, one of the major differences can be the selection of their student community. Something positive from public institutions is they allow all students, regardless of their academic scores, religious orientation or other factor that influences the decision taking from the principal. However, the public education does has its many flaws. For example, when the parents of a child choose a private school, they decide to take this decision as they wish to give their children a specific group, it can be with a focus on discipline, cultural or religious background, or philosophical beliefs. One of the many complaints in the public education is the overcrowding in the public institutions. Because of this, parents start searching for public education instead (Hamber 2000).
Another difference is that private schools do not depend on public funds therefore they are not as restricted in the things they need to teach or even the way they teach. On the other hand, public schools need to have the curriculum designed from the state, which the main principle is to have tolerance for all (Hamber 2000). Learning in both public and private schools is measured through standardized testing.
In North America for example, all teachers in public schools in all states are obligated to have some form of some type of federal certification with a bachelor’s degree in order to teach in
the public institutions (Coleman 1987). In the most famous private schools, there are more qualified teachers, with graduate degrees and higher degrees. Still, private school and public school educators do their best to create the best learning environment possible. There are excellent public schools and there are excellent private schools.
Psychology in Education
The branch of Educational Psychology studies all mental processes involved in learning, such as memory and cognitive capacity; as well as factors from a behavioral perspective, which includes motivation and self- concept. Considering a behavioral perspective, an educational psychologist will find those factors that motivate a student, teaching them to work for and achieve their goals, not expecting rewards or approval from anyone but themselves (Hoffer 1987). This is because a psychologist’s primary objective is to teach the individual to get to know themselves, identify their strength and weakness, and learn how to make the most from them.
Once the student has learned how to use his skills in the most productive way, they are able to build a better self-concept about themselves. This has a positive effect in an individual by helping them develop a healthy self esteem, believing in themselves enough to take challenges, and therefore improving their performance in school.
The perspective of including psychology in the learning process is also based on the theory of multiple intelligences, developed by Howard Gardner, that states that every individual has one or more of them well- developed. This intelligences include: musical-rhythmic, ability to
learn musical concepts; visual-spatial, skills for three dimensional thinking; verbal-linguistic, those with speech skills; logical-mathematical, ability to work with numbers and mathematical concepts; bodily-kinesthetic, control of movements; interpersonal, individuals who understand others and easily establish relationships; intrapersonal, ability to understand their own feelings; and naturalistic, skills to understand nature’s processes (Coleman 2000).
Based on this theory, an educational psychologist may help a student in two ways. First, teaching the student to apply their dominant intelligence in their studying process. For example, a
person with musical intelligence, could make up a song to help them remember a list of words. On the other hand, an educational psychologist might get involved in developing educational programs that include activities for each of these intelligences in order to provide equal opportunities for every student, not giving more attention to a specific intelligence.
Most of this teaching and learning strategies follow a process: remember, understand, apply, analyze evaluate and create (Stain 2003). Once the student is able to determine the best study technique, they will easily remember any topic, understand concepts, apply the new knowledge, analyze results, evaluate what they need to review, and create new cognitive schemes that allow them to keep throughout time what had been learned so far.
In an overall view, this field includes memory, cognitive processes, and individual differences to develop new learning and teaching methods. Although, this field has had an incredible growth in the past two decades, is still improving strategies to include those students with special needs, working closely with other fields in order to develop inclusive school programs.