Education About Asia

Jennifer Leischer

Association for Asian Studies, University of Tennessee
Spring 2005

Edited by Lucien Ellington, valiant opponent of the multicultural approach to teaching world history, this issue of Education About Asia features a special section on teaching about Islam in Asian countries (see Fordham's Terrorists, Despots, and Democracy: What Our Children Need to Know for more). In his Editor's Message, Ellington notes, "Many in the United States and throughout the West draw little or no association between the terms 'Islam' and 'Asia,' and thus understand less about the belief system or the region of the world where it is most widely practiced." To combat the problem, and prevent politically correct nonsense from creeping into the teaching of it, the magazine offers useful teacher guidance in articles like "Teaching Islam in Southeast Asia," by Nelly van Doorn-Harder. Other items present perspectives on subjects that range from architecture to religion to politics in the region, including a fascinating look at "Cultural Relativism, Universal Human Rights, and Women in Islamic Societies," by Carolyn Brown Heinz. As Sandra Stotsky noted in the Fordham Foundation publication, The Stealth Curriculum, there is a dearth of useful, comprehensive guides for teaching sensitive topics; this one is worth checking out. You can't read the entire thing online, but access selected articles and supplementary materials here.

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