|teleSUR | Mar 22, 2017|
|The surveys reveal that the most religious countries were Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Indonesia and Qatar. | Photo: AFP|
A joint study conducted by the researchers at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Missouri found that the more religious a country was the lower its students scored in math and science.
The study ranked 82 countries by their “religiosity score” on a scale from zero to 10. The level of religiosity was determined by using questionnaires in the World Values Survey and the European Social Survey. The surveys reveal that the most religious countries were Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Indonesia and Qatar. While the least religious or more secular were Czech Republic, Japan, Estonia, Sweden and Norway.
Schools performance levels in mathematics and science were also included in the research. The scores of students aged 14 and 15 were assessed. "Analysis of the data sets allowed conclusions to be drawn about international levels of religiosity, schooling and educational performance and levels of human development (measures in regard to health, education and income)," Leeds Beckett University stated in a press release. The findings suggested that the more time students spend on religious activities, the more poorly they performed in math and science. “The findings support the idea of a ‘displacement hypothesis’ that when children spent more of their time on religion, they will spend less time on other things," Gijsbert Stoet, a professor of psychology at Leeds Beckett, said. Stoet recommends that policymakers keep education and religion separate, taking a "secular approach to education and educational policy."
The study looked at databases and performance reports compiled by international organizations like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).