Islamic school teachers’ perceptions on how they seek to affect their students’ ability to live as Muslims In American society
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The American Muslim presence has been at the center of debates around assimilation, belonging, acceptance or even contribution to the mainstream society. In practice of their right to the free choice of education, some American Muslims have been attending full-time American Islamic schools. These schools have been a focal point in painting the picture and understanding of the American Muslim experience. Using qualitative case study methods, this dissertation explored what teacher practices support successful student experiences in relation to positive identity development at three private Islamic Schools in the U.S. The findings revealed that, despite challenges in operations, instability of staff and finances, at all the three cases studied the teachers offered student identity support through varied approaches including means of mentoring, teacher care and teaching by example, fostering a sense of community, family and belonging in the schools where they worked, in addition to a focus on the formative, non-academic, process of education; focusing on spirituality and character formation.