“We don’t know enough about it”: Student Perceptions of Judaism as a Race, Religion, or Ethnicity

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Taylor & Francis


This study was designed to explore elementary students’ existing religious literacy about Judaism alongside how they respond to a series of lessons about Judaism that utilize a picture book text set and discussion-based teaching strategies. Participants in the study were third-grade students at a private Christian school in the South. Data was collected via recorded observations, analytic memos, field notes of the recorded observations, and student work. Results indicate that students entered the unit with little to no religious literacy about Judaism. Through participation in the lessons, students gained religious literacy about the Jewish religion, thinking critically about Judaism in relation to their own religious beliefs. They also responded in ways that indicate a humanizing connection between the students and the culture they are investigating.



Judaism, Religious literacy, Elementary students