Title: In a Time of Islamophobia, Teach With Complexity
Teaching Tolerance/Maria Hantzopoulos/November 30th, 2016
Key Points - When teaching about the Middle East and Northern Africa, educators are often faced with a lack of accurate and substantial material about the people, politics and religion. This article talks about a group of scholars and educators coming together to create a new curriculum when it comes to teaching about this region - Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to 9-12 U.S. Curriculum on the Middle East and North Africa. They wanted to draw attention to how people within the region interacted collaboratively at different political and historical junctures. The curriculum is framed around the following themes - women and gender, plural identities, political and social movements, empire and nation, and technology. These themes were chosen because these topics are often crudely and inaccurately depicted in U.S. text books today.
Relevance - This curriculum intervention is particularly important given today's political context. Politicians and the media often depict this region in inaccurate ways and highlight otherness in ways that do not reflect the ideals of this area in the world. It's important for educators to combat Islamophobia by providing a variety of accurate and enriching materials and allows students to understand this region in a more accurate way.