The Texas Education and Knowledge Skills (TEKS) dictate what publishers are required to include in textbooks; what Texas public school teachers are required to teach their students; and most importantly, what knowledge Texas school children will receive and carry throughout their lives as contributing citizens of the not only the state of Texas, but of the world. Last year, the Texas Board of Education (BOE) started its process for adopting TEKS for Social Science, World History and World Geography, three areas in which Ancient India and Hinduism are covered.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has been actively monitoring and participating in the process thus far and is now turning to you as a Texas HAF member to do your part (http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/tekssubjectreview). While the current proposed TEKS do not provide much detail as to how Hinduism and Ancient India will be presented, there are amendments at this juncture in which HAF's Education Team believe we can make a difference in improving the quality of education for Texas school children.
The deadline is 5 pm TOMORROW -- Tuesday, March 9, 2010, so send the petition letter provided and get your friends and family in Texas to do the same!
1. §113.42 (c)(1)(B) -
I propose an amendment striking the words, “development of major world religions” from section §113.42 (c)(1)(B). The words create a redundancy as §113.42(c)(22)(D) covers the historical origins, central ideas, and spread of major religious and philosophical traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. Moreover, the qualifying time of 500 BCE to 600 CE is not appropriate for Hinduism, which scholars and historians place anywhere between 5500 BCE to 2500 BCE.
2. §113.42(c)(22)(D) -
I propose an amendment to change the order of §113.42(c)(22)(D) to better reflect the historical time line of origins of the various world religions. Currently they are listed alphabetically, but chronologically should be listed as Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
3. §113.42(c)(22)(D) -
I propose an amendment striking the words, “the development of monotheism” from §113.42(c)(22)(D). The words create a redundancy as the development of monotheism and other theological concepts of God including but not limited to monism, nontheism, henotheism, polytheism, pantheism and panentheism, etc., will be covered by §113.42(c)(22)(D) requiring descriptions of the historical origins, central ideas and spread of the major religions. For example in the case of Hinduism, the central ideas should describe Hinduism as encompassing the development of beliefs ranging from panentheism to pantheism and absolute monism to pluralistic theism while Judaism would cover the development of monotheism.
4. §113.42(c)(24)(a) -
I propose an amendment to change the order of the list in §113.42(c)(24)(a) to better reflect chronology. The list should read, for India, Hinduism then Buddhism and for China, Daoism, Confucianism, Mandate of Heaven and Legalism.
I hope that Board will give due consideration to these four amendments listed above as it tackles the monumental task of creating the framework for our public education system.