To start off this discussion, or perhaps the question, I am a biology teacher in the Netherlands. So my apologies for my English grammar when it ain't correct. By the way, I put this discussion under "science" but it could also be a religous discussion.
For a couple of years I've struggle with the subject of "evolution" and last year I even had a student that didn't pass the year because of that subject. The students I teach are 13-15 years of age, so they could even be called kids. I had a religious youth, being raised a protestant, so I know the Bible and the stories that are in it. At the age of 12 I started to think for my myself. However, many students I teach didn't do that. They still hang on to their belief, which I think is allright. I'm not getting paid to turn them into an atheist and it is most certainly not my goal to do so. However it IS my goal to make sure they pass the year and even more; learn them how brilliant biology and life is. But it seems that some of these students have a huge problem with "crawling out of their shell" as I like to call it. The same was with this one particular student. Besides the fact he was more often absent than present, he didn't want to believe or even think about a word I said about evolution. He thought it was rubbish. No matter how much evidence and examples I provided.
I am an atheist, but I don't want to turn the religious students into atheists. That decision is completely up to them. So does anybody have an idea on how to pull them out of their shell without turning them into an atheist? So I can make sure they open their eyes and become more open to other sources of information? I would like to hear your views, perhaps I can help myself and the students crawl out of their shells so they will accept the fact that there are other theories about life in this world. Maybe it is something that I should simply accept, but I thougt it was worth a try to ask you. :)