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Religion and education

24 settembre 2010

In “Religious Practice and Educational Attainment,” Pat Fagan revealed that a higher level of religious practice can positively affect a student’s ability to perform in school.

Pupils involved in religious activities spend more time on their homework, the study reported. They also achieve better test results and are less likely to drop out of high school. Moreover, its positive impact is not confined to school, but continues at college level.

The paper identified a number of ways through which religion help students:

— It internalizes values and norms that help achievement;

— It fosters high personal expectations, and helps students avoid socially deviant behavior. Those students attending weekly religious services were less likely to use drugs or alcohol, or to engage in delinquent behavior;

— Religious families tend to be cohesive and stable, to plan for students’ futures, and to expect much of them;

— Teens who are devoutly religious have higher educational expectations for themselves;

— Religious peers tend to be more academically oriented, and the resulting peer group encourages academic engagement;

— Religious attendance also appears to boost social skills;

— Churches offer students resources, community, and mentorship. The strong social bonds of religious groups can supplement the resources available to children, helping them to achieve higher levels of education.

By Father John Flynn, LC (Zenit.org)

To read the whole text: The Positive Role of Religion

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