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Bridging Cultures

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June 6, 2016

How to Help Students from Muslim-Majority Countries Succeed in the American Educational System

  • What challenges do immigrant students from Muslim-majority countries face in the US classroom and school environment?
  • How are students interpreting Islam in their lives and education?
  • What kind of educational system and pedagogy are they used to?
  • What does the hijab (head covering) mean to the students who wear it?
  • What are some strategies for successful interaction with students and their parents?
  • How can you help students deal with public perception and prejudice?

These topics, along with many others, are addressed in the Bridging Cultures workshops designed by the Middle East Center and facilitated by Middle East Specialist David Fenner. These workshops can be specially tailored to the needs of particular school districts and provide a basic overview of Islam and Muslim cultures in addition to helping teachers understand how to build bridges between themselves, their students, and communities.

For more information or to schedule sessions, contact David Fenner at or Felicia Hecker at, Middle East Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington-Seattle.

Issues & Strategies: A Guide for Schools

strategies guide coverThe Middle East Center has produced a companion guide to the Bridging Cultures workshops.

In this guide, real questions asked by participants in these workshops are addressed with suggested strategies on how to interact with students from Muslim-majority countries in Western classrooms.

The strategies, which come in the form of excerpted quotes from various resource guides and articles, deal with topics ranging from combating racism and Islamophobia to making religious accommodations to meet students’ needs.


Download "Issues & Strategies: A Guide for Schools" here