Unflattening the Muslim-Other in Social Studies: Student Perspectives & Curricular Approaches
Merchant, Natasha Hakimali
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Scholars of religion and education have claimed the U.S. suffers from religious illiteracy. This, combined with the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. beckons a need for more research on religious education in Social Studies classrooms. Conceptually grounded in postcolonial theory and standpoint epistemology, this dissertation investigated the experiences of high school Social Studies teachers and Muslim girls from minority communities of interpretation as they encountered curriculum on Islam. This study resulted in the following findings: (1) seven out of eight teachers aimed to counter Islamophobia through their curriculum; (2) teachers primarily used a historical approach and multicultural approach in doing so; (3) the Muslim girls experienced a flattening of their identities in the classroom context; and (4) students perceived a multicultural approach to teaching about Islam as being the most effective way to counter Islamophobia.
- Education - Seattle