Research Spotlight: Philosophy and Education Alumna Shaireen Rasheed ☆

Professor Shaireen Rasheed of C. W. Post Long Island University’s Ph.D. work at TC focused on  creating a curriculum of existentialist action in the classroom.  A spiritual child of Maxine Green, Rasheed was delighted to have the master respond to her work when she presented at the Philosophy and Education program’s colloquium.  That was some years ago, and today Rasheed’s research has developed organically, reflecting the work she’s since done at Columbia Law School and at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University.

“My current manuscript and research looks at the current discourse on sexuality pertaining to Islam, Sexuality and the War on Terror.  I am interested in European laws surrounding the hijab, and German laws specifically around immigration because they are similar and talk the same language in terms of portraying Muslims, particularly women, in a very patronizing tone.  I’m looking critically at the different policies surrounding these issues and seeing if we can contextualize them within a non-polarizing discourse.”

While she awaits publication on that work, Rasheed has begun her next piece of research, which examines the concept of effective learning in the university classroom using Philosophy.  In this study, Rasheed disagrees with detractors who say today’s students aren’t smart enough, and rather puts the onus on educators to create tools for authentic learning to happen in the classroom.  “Given the ever-rapid and technologically changing landscape of how our students define learning, what do these tools look like?” she questions.

Rasheed’s work on her children’s public school task force for diversity has been another fuel for scholarship:  “I use very theoretical research (that of Luce Irigaray’s work on teaching) to look at issues Muslim kids and parents face. I used my district’s elementary school as a case study and the paper explores effective policies that were implemented to address issues of diversity,” she remarks.

Using Philosophy to scaffold her scholarship, Rasheed delights in how inter-connected seemingly disparate areas of study become related.  She credits her TC faculty (Nel Noddings, Rene Arcilla and Maxine Greene) for grooming her and recalls that “the feedback on my work at TC is something that I look back on fondly, even now. It trained me to become a detailed scholar, writer and a thinker. Above all it set the high standard for my future work as an academic and researcher.”