by Michael Cook
If Stanford gets it, you know it must be true!
No one is surprised when teenagers withdraw from their parents’ religious practice. It’s often looked upon as a rite of passage. But, according to a study from Stanford Graduate School of Education no one should be surprised either if their grades suffer. Adolescents who are committed to their religious beliefs do better academically than those who are religiously disengaged.
Why? The research suggests that religious communities help adolescents to cultivate two habits which are highly valued in education: conscientiousness and cooperation. As other scholars have observed:
“Both practices—church attendance and doing well in school— require commitment, diligence, and routine. The ritual practice of rising and going to church or mass, and so forth— whether compelled by one’s own faith or one’s parents’ demands— commits a youth to a practice and routine, a skill that translates into tools needed for academic success”
Surprisingly, sociologists tend to ignore the role of religion in educational success. The author of the Stanford study, however, believes that this is a mistake. [Continue reading]