By Rachel Weaver
In the 10 years since 9/11, teachers have taken instruction on Islam’s history and impact from brief references in some Western Pennsylvania classrooms to extensive overviews.
“If we want our students to solve future problems, they must have a strong understanding of world religions,” said Doug Kirchner, social studies curriculum leader at Upper St. Clair High School.
With the school year set to start in a few weeks, several schools are adding classes or revamping curriculum to give students a more in-depth look at world religions, including Islam.
For the first time next spring, Upper St. Clair will offer a class called Asian and Middle Eastern studies that will provide a detailed analysis of Islam. Students at the high school first study Islam as freshmen in world geography.
“The course is run almost like a current events class,” Kirchner said. “Students begin to see how politics, economics and culture can be intertwined.”
The 9/11 hijackers were Islamic terrorists, but educators said they are taking care not to stereotype the faith