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SCHOOLING, COMMUNITY, & IDENTITY The Perspectives of Muslim Girls attending an Islamic School in Florida.

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Presentation on theme: "SCHOOLING, COMMUNITY, & IDENTITY The Perspectives of Muslim Girls attending an Islamic School in Florida."— Presentation transcript:

1 SCHOOLING, COMMUNITY, & IDENTITY The Perspectives of Muslim Girls attending an Islamic School in Florida

2 Questions Research Questions How do students at FIS perceive their school environment? In what ways has the formal Islamic school environment influenced the construction and/or maintenance of the religious, ethnic, and community identities of its students? In what ways do students negotiate membership in multiple communities, and what role has FIS played in these negotiations?

3 Theory Socio-Cultural Reproduction and Resistance (Durkheim 1956, Bourdieu and Passeron 1977, Giroux 1983) 1)Schools are not isolated sites. 2)Legitimized space for production and reproduction of ideologies and structures 3)Reproduction of cultural values needed for success 4)Students do not passively absorb socializing ideologies. Adolescent Identity Formation (Erikson 1968, Phinney 1990, Jenson 2003, Shrake and Rhee 2004) 1)Developmental period of identity construction 2)Complex negotiation of multiple cultural and ethnic ideologies 3)Identity negotiation and sense of belonging affect their well being. 4)Multiple ideologies and practices must be considered

4 Methods ObservationInterviewingFocus Groups Fieldwork 140 HRS 11 Weeks 12 Students 5 Alumni Teachers Administrators Morning Assembly Islamic Studies English Social Studies Arabic Home Economics Lunch Afterschool Events Clubs 4 Groups 3 Grades 5-6 Each Focus Group 22 Total Participants Photo- Elicitation 3 Students

5 Setting & Participants Florida Islamic School (FIS) Girls That song is old! So! Your mom is old and you still listen to her! That song is old and I still listen to IT! Akia Fakhouri is the sexiest beast alive! (said by Akia herselft) I dont know anyone who went to public school and turned out good. Are mohawks haram (forbidden)? years old 9-12 grades1-10 siblings K students80 high school50 high school girls

6 Family and Community It takes a community to build and fund the school. – Alumni Someone who does this does not belong to our community. They do not belong to our school. – Vice Principal Whoever did that, theyre disrespecting their family. - Teacher CommunityFamily Ties Youd be surprised, you figure out somehow youre related. - Student You can feel it, everybody cares about each other. - Student They all treat us like their children. - Student Here you can be your teachers friends. You can call teachers names and joke with them - Student Family-Like Relationships We are like a family - Student We all grew up with each other, like brothers and sisters - Student

7 Family and Identity Everyone comes from the same background. - Student Arab time Typical Arabe …business is already in your blood. - Teacher Arab Identity Arabic You cant be Arab and not speak or understand Arabic. The word Arab is IN the word Arabic! - Student Arabic/Arab school Sometimes I act a little Arab. - Student She has a little Arab in her. - Student A lot of other cultures are afraid to walk in - Student Integration & Exclusion Muslim IdentityArab Identity CommunityFamily Arab Ethnicity

8 Environment Like being a student at any other school, only not a hazardous. - Student Were preserved from dating and drugs. - Student There are no guns here. - Student We are like in a bubble. - Student SafeIslamic I can talk to anyone here, and they wont look at me weird. - Student I like that everyone prays, so youre not the only one. - Student What does Allah do when I feel lonely and pray for guidance, What does he do? – Student Disciplined At all points of our life we had 50 eyes on us! - Student Some days you know that Br. [Hawk] is going to be patrolling so youre extra careful. - Student Even when theyre tough its for our own good. - Student

9 Living Islamically I like that that we get know more about our religion... I also like that they have prayer. - Student We try to prepare our students for this life and the hereafter. – Teacher Try to be honorable, noble, upright. - Teacher Are you prepared to die? - Teacher What do you think is the best thing to prepare you for the here-after? GOOD DEEDS. - Teacher Public school teaches you and then you go home. FIS teaches you your religion and teaches you to be a good person. - Student One thing I love about this school is that were taught to be modest. - Student I think it helps me (Quran and Islamic Studies). - Student Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) Inshallah (God willing) Mashallah (whatever God wills) Arabic Preparation Learning

10 Negotiation [The Vice-Principal and others] want everyone to be on the same path, because of our religion, but I chose a path that wasnt straight because were teenagers, were not perfect, we go through things, but as long as you get to where youre supposed to be, then youre good. Guys! Haram! Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) Typical Arabe So if Jesus didnt have a father, where did his DNA come from? Was it all his mothers? Everyone has their own mind and makes their own decisions, Im sorry. You know how we are supposed to love all prophets equally? Why do we put so much emphasis on prophet Muhammad? I do what I want anyway. ReproductionResistance Acknowledgments Special Thanks to: The girls at FIS FIS Teachers & Staff Rebecca Zarger, PhD. John Napora, PhD. Darlene DeMarie, PhD. Shumin Lin, PhD. Angela Bookout Ann Persaud Peter & Patricia Martinez


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