It’s plainly obvious to most in education that religious diversity is neglected in preservice teacher training. It is standard that licensure programs offer at least one course that examine concepts of diversity, equity, inclusive practices, or multicultural education. However, courses that look specifically at religious diversity, or at a specific religious minority group, are exceedingly rare in teacher education. None exist that I have been able to locate (if you know of one please let me know about it ?).
A study done of preservice teachers at Ohio State University in 2006 that examined attitudes towards religious diversity of preservice teachers in Columbus, OH. Predictably, it found that it was a sensitive topic for the student-teachers to approach, and they were therefore hesitant to approach religious topics at all despite the fact that they actually had many questions about it they wanted to have answered. the study’s subjects to approach them, increased when religious issues intersected with race and gender topics (Subedi, 2006).
That study only illustrates what teachers who work with Muslim students already know. Many people have questions that they need answers to, but due to the general sensitivity in society around religion, as well as the stigma that exists for Muslims and Islam in particular, knowing how and where to get answers is simply difficult and therefor bypassed.
This is why Engaging Muslim Students in Public Schools has been so appreciated by those who have taken it. It bridges this gap for educators intentionally and effectively. There is a common metaphor in education that culture is like an iceberg. There is much that we see above the surface, but most of it exists below the surface. Engaging Muslim Students in Public Schools sets a new standard for giving teachers a view below the surface.
Don’t wait to register or to ask your school to sign you up.