Searching for More Atheist K-12 Teachers!

Several months ago, I posted about a couple of researchers hoping to speak with atheist teachers.

You all responded like crazy and they got what they wanted; now, they’re hoping to expand their base:

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 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!

If you think you’re the kind of person they’re looking for, send them an email and let them know!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • TCC

    Do you know if they’re only interested in talking to new people? I did a phone interview back when you previously posted, but I would fit into the “rural” profile of this study.

  • tobias27

    Me too

  • Hemant Mehta

    I believe they’re only looking for new people. So no need to reply if you’ve already spoken to them!

  • RebeccaSparks

    So they have the liberal, suburban White/Jewish teachers covered than? ‘Cause that’s the only atheist k-12 teacher I know off hand. So they’re only low on black atheists, they all other ethnicity covered, like API or Latino/Mexican/Chicano?

  • Arthur Byrne

    The request is ambiguously worded — are they looking for Atheists, or just any varient of religiously unaffiliated?

    Even if the nonreligious are as common among educators as the general US, if they’re otherwise generally similar, only about a quarter Nothingarians nationally are rural (in areas under 10k population), only a fifth even slightly conservative (and half those only slightly), perhaps one-in-ten African American, and only a few percent third party (though there may be more leaning that way, particularly libertarian). They’re kind of looking for hen’s teeth, either way.