The American Humanist Association announced the Kochhar Humanist Education Center (KHEC) last week during a Washington DC press conference. The center’s core focus is to develop the curriculum for a secular equivalent of Sunday schools. The center is already developing curriculum standards and has released the first bits of what is to become a massive online library of humanist and freethought literature. I only had time to quickly flip through the online library but instantly found quite a few excellent short reads on religion, history and philosophy.
I like the overall concept.
“Religious organizations have long had educational programs and institutions for passing on their values to each new generation. These have included Sunday schools, private religious schools and an abundance of resources for parents,” said Dr. Bob Bhaerman, education coordinator of the KHEC. “Now it’s time for nontheistic people–whether they call themselves humanists, atheists, agnostics or even identify with a more traditionally religious label–to more effectively share their values with future generations and deepen the understanding of those values among adults.”
I think this is one of those areas where we can definitely fill religion’s shoes. Their lessons focus on compassion, critical thinking, science, and human relationships for children and adults. I think the problem will come in the form of a lack of local support, funding and interest. I hope this initiative fares well and grows to massive proportions and I’d love to see programs like this in my own local town.