About the Project

Developing the Oral Histories for This is Where I Need to Be

Introduced to the methods of oral history by a team of collaborating teachers at Teachers College, a dozen Muslim teenagers set out to document the real-life experiences and feelings of their Muslim peers in New York City high schools. The result is a compelling collection of twenty-three oral histories. These are voices of teenagers living ordinary lives at a time when being Muslim in America can provoke “extraordinary” reactions from classmates and teachers, from friends and strangers, and even from one's own family and kin. Whatever you think you know about Muslims in America, these stories rise above news-cycle stereotypes and open a personal window onto what it means to be young and Muslim.

The Curriculum Guide

Rather than imposing a rigid age or grade structure on these materials, we have designed this curriculum guide to accommodate a wide range of student interests and capabilities. We encourage you to adapt the materials according to the needs, interests, and capabilities of your classes. After all, no one knows your students better than you do.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on these lessons and suggested activities. Please feel free to contact us via email or through our website at www.publishspi.com.

Sandhya Nankani
Curriculum Developer/Writer
E-mail: snankani@gmail.com

Curriculum Consultants: Uzma Akhand, Naazish YarKhan

Publishing Credits

Student Press Initiative
Teachers College, Columbia University

The Student Press Initiative is designed to develop, foster, and promote writing across the curriculum through student publication. What makes SPI’s publishing program unique is its emphasis on professional development and curricular support of teachers in its partnering schools.

Founding Director, Student Press Initiative: Erick Gordon

Director of Programs, Student Press Initiative: Kerry McKibbin

Director of Production/Layout and Design: Jim Fenner

The Research Study

Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study

The genesis for This is Where I need to Be came from the research study, which was directed by Dr. Louis Cristillo, from the Teachers College, Columbia University. With generous funding from the Ford Foundation, the Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study is the first of its kind to represent the views of Muslim teens in a major American city.

Dr. Louis Cristillo
Research Assistant Professor
Dept. of International and Transcultural Studies

Tel: (212) 678-6623
Fax: (212) 678-8237
E-mail: lfc12@columbia.edu

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