Professional Development Workshops Support Teaching about Religion, Islam, and the World
Islam is a subject about which whole libraries have been written, yet many teachers perceive it as one of the most difficult topics in the curriculum. It has been required in state standards for well over a decade, along with content on all the world religions, and in the wake of the September 11, 2001 and increased US involvement in Muslim regions of the globe, knowledge about Islam and Muslims is at a premium. It is a daunting task for teachers to prepare material that fits into the limited time available, that meets constitutional guidelines for teaching about religion, is correlated to standards, and is appropriate for various grade and ability levels.
To help educators meet these challenges, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding offers free professional development workshops at the venue of organizers’ choice. The speaker’s honorarium and all travel expenses are paid by the ACMCU. The workshops can be customized to meet the needs of the organizer—a school district, community center, university department, or private school. These workshops address the needs of teachers for content knowledge, teaching resources, and constitutional requirements, giving them confidence that they are on solid legal and pedagogical ground.
The varied content of a full-day or half-day workshop or multiple day series provides basic knowledge about Islamic beliefs and practices, issues in world history and geography curriculum, integration of arts and sciences, material culture and trade across the centuries. Content modules are designed with state standards and the needs of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses in mind. The benefits to teachers and students go beyond the topic of Islam, addressing general issues and resources for teaching about all of the world religions in history, as well as providing thought-provoking ideas about teaching world history, world geography and world cultures. Every topic in the flexible, customizable workshops is paired with teaching material that is readily available in print or online, correlated to national and state academic standards. The teaching resources meet accepted guidelines for constitutionally appropriate instruction about religion. The lessons are designed to help learners engage with excellent scholarship in the field, so that in addition to content knowledge, they develop the critical thinking and geography skills required in every state and district program.
Design a Customized Workshop from Presentation Modules
Workshops are not one-size-fits-all. In consultation with the presenter, professional development coordinators, curriculum specialists, and outreach coordinators select from the modules to create a half-day, full-day, or even multiple day education development program. Four groups of modules—consisting of basic information, core content, extended content and cross-curricular lessons—offer a menu of presentation material that can be combined to meet the needs of the teacher population to be served within the allotted professional development time. Workshop modules are described under Program and Content Modules below. The documentation and online resources will enable workshop attendees to share what they learned with their colleagues and administrators, ultimately benefitting teachers and students.
To download an online workshop request form, click here.
Fill in the form and attach it to an e-mail message to Susan.Douglass@georgetown.edu, or fax the form to (202) 687-8376. To confirm, please call 571-723-2817 or send your contact information in an e-mail to the above address and we will call to confirm. Please allow at least three weeks’ notice to get the dates you want.
Education workshops are fully funded and free of charge: The Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding offers these workshops at no cost to the hosting institution. ACMCU also provides an allowance to cover lunch for the participants (catering costs must be arranged and approved before the workshop). Hosting organization’s responsibilities: The hosting organization is responsible for providing an audience of at least 25 registered participants. The host is also responsible for providing a venue for the workshop, with AV equipment such as overhead projector, an LCD projector, microphone if necessary, and a video/DVD player by arrangement. The host organization will provide refreshments for participants during breaks. Assistance with identifying local accommodations convenient to the venue site and/or airport will be appreciated.
Handouts: Each participant will receive a Teaching Resource CD and access to a teacher resource website. Institutional hosts will provide b/w photocopies of a few materials for hands-on use during the workshop. Any additional materials will be supplied by the presenter.
How to register for a workshop: Download the Workshop Request Form (in MS Word format). Fill out the information section completely. Please be sure to name the contact person organizing the workshop, with a reliable phone number and e-mail address, and cellphone for contacting the organizer upon arrival if possible.
Customizing the workshop experience: Using pages two and three of the Workshop Request Form, organizers of full-day workshops select from the various categories of presentation modules, or modules can be combined, customized, or even specially developed to meet audience needs. Suggested programs include one or both basic modules; and two to five content modules per one-day workshop. Two listed topics in the Mini-modules count as one module. See the charts and module combinations to build a sample program, using the downloadable Program and Content Modules and Workshop Request Forms below. Half-day and multiple-day workshops or institutes will be developed in consultation with the organizers. For further information, or for help in selecting modules, contact Susan Douglass for a personalized consultation.
Cancellation: If the host needs to cancel the workshop for any reason, at least two weeks’ notice is required.