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ERIC Number: ED575695
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 338
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3696-1093-2
Using an Anti-Racist Education Strategy to Counter Prejudice against Arab and Muslim Americans
DeTample, Darrell R.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Most Americans misunderstand the terms "Arab" and "Muslim," while also casting Arabs and Muslims as threats to national security. These perceived threats have led to the justification of the oppression of Arab and Muslim Americans similar to other minority groups in the United States, as non-Arab and non-Muslim Americans have been inundated with negative stereotypes through the news media, entertainment industry and the educational system. However, unlike with other groups, little research has been performed to analyze strategies on how to address the existence of prejudice against Arabs and Muslims among students with little to no contact with the two groups. The findings of this study suggest the need for more research on the potential ability of an Anti-Racist Education unit to address misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims in the United States and the resulting discrimination against the groups. The study incorporated a Practitioner Action Research design to examine how students developed their knowledge and attitudes about Arab and Muslim Americans, and the potential influence of a five week Anti-Racist Education unit on changing their knowledge and attitudes. The Anti-Racist Education strategy, which incorporated the contact hypothesis, was based on confronting students with the theory that as non-Arab, non-Muslim Americans, they were in a position of advantage in society and had developed prejudices as a result of growing up in that society. The subjects were 38 white students, 2 black students, and 1 Asian American student in a sophomore level Humanities class at an affluent public high school in New Jersey. Although the unit resulted in patterns of improved knowledge for most students, changes in student attitudes varied significantly among the students. A minority of the students demonstrated a willingness to recognize and admit their own prejudice, evidence of empathy towards Arab and Muslims, and an ability to critically examine their own knowledge when presented with new information, resulting in a progression of improved attitudes. By the end of the unit, most students provided evidence that they were struggling with cognitive dissonance as years of frequent exposure to negative stereotypes were challenged with new information. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey