This is a one-of-a-kind book exploring varieties of moral formation through on-the-ground research in ten different types of American high schools.
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About the chapter: Private schools with an Islamic character and mission are a recent phenomenon in North America. The focus of this study was Islamic schools established by immigrants from South Asia and the Middle East, mostly over the last 30 years. These immigrant schools have not been extensively researched.
Excerpts: “One student expressed appreciation that the Islamic school ‘feels actually kind of safe. You know everyone’s just like you, you’re not the outcast or seen as different or any of that. It’s really like, it’s a healthy environment and really just safe . . . So, I love it.’ “
“In discussing how Muslims should relate to the American political system, the school staff we interviewed were concerned to make two points that exist in some tension: that Muslim Americans are fully participating and loyal citizens, and that they do not agree with all of the assumptions and values by which public life in the United States is shaped.”
“Our most striking finding was that, contrary to our expectations, staff, parents, and students did not have a great deal to say about the difficulty of reconciling their religious beliefs with life as active participants in American society. The students we interviewed, indeed, seemed rather taken aback by the suggestion that this would be a major problem for them.”
“[C]hristian schools were spoken of approvingly and Christian organizations and parents seen as potential allies; students told us of making friends with students in Catholic and other faith-based schools, of volunteering at churches. We did not get an impression of religious competition, but of deep contrasts between those with and those without religious motivations and faith-based behavioral norms.”
About the author: Dr. Charles Glenn is professor emeritus of educational Leadership at Boston University. Dr. Glenn received his A.B. and Ed.D. from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from Boston University.
About the chapter: Noted education scholar and public intellectual Diane Ravitch has argued that Catholic schools come closer than public schools to the common school ideal of producing similar educational results for students of different backgrounds. Do they also outpace their peers in civic outcomes?
Excerpts: “The primary aim at most contemporary Catholic schools is not necessarily to produce practicing Catholics, but to provide a model of the good life.”
Broadly speaking, the version of Catholicism presented in most Catholic schools has much in common with Nancy Ammerman’s description of “Golden Rule Christians.”
“Catholic schools do not in most instances cultivate strong subcultural identities that encourage students to feel separate from the society around them.”
About the author: Dr. Carol Ann MacGregor is an assistant professor of sociology at Loyola University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
JAMES DAVISON HUNTER
James Davison Hunter is the Labrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture, and Social Theory at the University of Virginia and Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He has written eight books, edited three books, and published a wide range of essays, articles, and reviews all variously concerned with the problem of meaning and moral order in a time of political and cultural change in American life.
RYAN S. OLSON
Ryan S. Olson is Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He served as Fellow in Late Antiquity at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, and received his doctorate in classics from Oxford University in 2007. His book, Tragedy, Authority, and Trickery, a study of classical narrative epistolography in its historical, literary, and cultural contexts, was published in 2010 by Harvard University Press.
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