Marged Howley wrote me asking if I would help her find non-believing (which I think is general-speak for atheist) K-12 educators for her research poll. Marged mentions Aimee Howley who is a Senior Associate Dean for Ohio University so this research has that extra pinch of authority that is indispensable in academic institutions.
Atheist K-12 Teachers-- Are you a Conservative, Republican, or Libertarian? Do you Live Rural? Are you African American? Are you Out There?
Craig and Aimee Howley at Ohio University are doing research on K-12 educators who are also non-religious. Having collected many interviews already, they are now hoping to expand their dataset for wider representation.
A great deal of research in education focuses on the experiences of marginalized groups. The aim of this study is to investigate the experiences of one such group — teachers who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or freethinkers. Little is really known about the experience of atheists in any realm of life in the United States, and no study has yet investigated the experiences of nonreligious people who are employed as K-12 educators. The role of teacher is particularly interesting as a site for studying the experience of atheists and other nonbelievers because teachers are considered to be bearers of community standards, and few communities uphold atheism (or other nonbeliever perspectives) as a legitimate point of view, let alone as a principle on which community life is grounded.
If you’re up for sharing your experiences as an African American, rural, or conservative nonbeliever educator, your contribution would be incredibly valuable to the outcome of this project. Email the project (firstname.lastname@example.org com-- Marged Howley, M.Ed.) to learn more or schedule a phone interview! All interviews are held to the highest standards of confidentiality, and if you are interested, we can make sure to notify you once we publish the results of the study!