Countering Islamophobia in the Classroom

The objectives for this workshop are:

  • To increase educators’ awareness of Islamophobia in Western popular culture,
  • To provide concrete examples of how to increase student awareness of Islamophobia,
  • To connect this work to common core and content standards, and
  • To provide examples of student research and action on this topic.

The primary audience for this workshop is K-12 educators (with students younger than university age). However, teacher educators, families and community members who are interested in equitable education are also encouraged to attend.

This workshop will begin with a stand up activity as a pre-assessment to gauge the critical consciousness in the room. I will then shift to a short description of my positionality and the theoretical lens through which I view this work. Next we will spend some time building an educational community and establishing working groups for later activities.

Depending upon the pre-assessment, some review of the reality of the dominant narrative of Western popular culture that positions Islam in opposition to and conflict with the West may be necessary as well as the conflation of Muslim with Arab as if they are interchangeable. Using a prezi, specific examples of Islamophobia in popular culture will be provided from textbooks, to movies, advertising, television, and news coverage. Many examples will be available for participants if necessary, however if the group seems particularly well informed on the topic already, this portion of the workshop would be shortened and participants would simply be provided with the information to take with them.

Presenters will then provide examples of how to integrate lessons about Islamophobia into the K-12 classroom at all levels with specific connections to common core, content and educational standards. Highlights include media literacy, the writing of counter-narratives, and the development of an imovie project that challenges the dominant ideology regarding Arabs, Muslims and Islam.

At this point, again depending upon the information gathered during the opening activities, the facilitator will guide participants in the development of lessons for their particular contexts. If participants are relatively new to this work, groups will focus on how to modify examples for their particular classrooms. If they are more advanced, groups will focus on sharing ideas that they have already used successfully to broaden the base of work being done on this topic. All group work will focus on developing lessons that are tied to standards, rigorous, and engaging as all of these elements are necessary for lessons to be successful with students and defensible to administrators and parents who might be nervous about the topic. Groups would create posters of their ideas and we would then come together again as a whole group to share-out ideas so that participants would be able to leave with a multiplicity of ideas that leverage all of the knowledge in the room, rather than just that of the facilitator.

Instructional Staff

Kelly Delaney, Parkside Intermediate School

CIES 2014 Program
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A Pre-Conference Workshop Canceled
Unlocking the Potential of Higher Education in Meeting EFA The Case of Non-traditional Partners - CANCELED
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New Pre-Conference Workshop Added:
Hosted by OISE,
"Learning from Ontario: Reaching for Equity and Excellence in Education". Keynote by Assistant Deputy Minister of Education, Mary Jane Gallagher. Monday, March 10, 1pm-3pm.
Conference Timeline
Pre-conference workshops
Monday March 10
Conference Opens
Tuesday March 11-15
Regular Conference Sessions
8am - 5pm each day
Wednesday ends at 6:45
Saturday at noon
Conference Program
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