World History: Standards on Major Religions
The Commissioner of Education, Candice McQueen, emailed directors and state legislators with clarifying and factual information on the state’s social studies standards. We think it is important to share this information with our parent community.
What standards are being taught?
World History is taught at three different points in a Tennessee student’s K-12 schooling: grade 6, grade 7, and once in high school. The courses cover World History from the beginning of time to the present and are broken up as follows:
• Sixth Grade: Early Civilizations through the decline of the Roman Empire
• Seventh Grade: The Middle Ages to the exploration of the Americas
• High School: The Industrial Revolution to the Contemporary World
Major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shinto, are covered throughout the courses mentioned above. Although these religions will be taught at some point in these three courses, the focus on each religion will depend on the context and influence of the time period.
The content of religion in the social studies standards is not new in Tennessee, but the sequence has been revised. The content of the current Islamic World standards has been included in the state’s social studies standards for many years and what students are expected to know about the Islamic World is also consistent with years prior. The new standards have simply moved what was previously spread throughout the social studies standards prior to 2013. Most of the current seventh-grade World History standards were previously contained in sixth-grade and can be found at https://www.tn.gov/education under academic standards.
How are textbooks determined?
All textbooks and supplemental materials used to teach these standards are determined at the local level.
The textbook commission was recently reconstituted and the new process for textbook adoption provides more opportunity for public input. Members of the public can review books/materials by contacting their local board of education, visiting the state textbook collection site at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), and/or viewing the materials posted on the department’s website. Comments can be submitted directly to the department or members of the public can request to speak before the Textbook Commission. All public comments will be posted on the department’s website.
Blount County Schools
The vision of Blount County Schools is educational excellence for all students. Our teachers work together to ensure our students learn what is expected through the Tennessee academic standards. There will be times where our educators have students complete assignments which cover some sensitive topics and may cause some confusion around whether we are asking students to believe in or simply to understand the religion. It is our job as a public school system to educate our students on world history to make certain they are ready to compete in a global society. We do not endorse one religion over another.
As with any issue we recognize parents/guardians, are their child’s first and main teacher. We realize the role you play is to instill in your children the beliefs of your individual household. We encourage our parents/guardians to establish good working relationships with our teachers and schools. When there are questions or concerns teachers and principals should be contacted.
Our mission is to graduate students who are college and career ready and prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century workforce. We will continue to provide uncompromising educational service to our students in a safe and personalized environment.