Teaching Students About ISIS
As an English Language Arts teacher, I believe it is my responsibility to educate my students about current events and global issues, including the rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and its impact on the world. Teaching students about ISIS and its ideology can be challenging, especially given the complexity and sensitivity of the topic. However, it is crucial to bridge the gap between understanding and fear of the unknown.
Understanding the history of ISIS and its roots is essential in creating a strong foundation for students. Students should be aware of the history and motives of ISIS to begin their exploration of the group’s ideology. Students need to have a comprehensive understanding of how and why this organization came into being.
Next, students should be able to identify the major tenets of ISIS. They should be able to articulate why ISIS adheres to this particular branch of Islam, how it justifies its brutality and human-rights violations, and why it believes in a Caliphate. Students should also explore how ISIS functions as a government, how it maintains its power, and how it recruits new members.
Teachers should also help students understand the impact of ISIS on societies across the globe. It is essential to learn about the various ways in which ISIS has been involved in global conflicts, such as the Syrian Civil War and the current conflict in Iraq. Students should also be able to grasp the role of ISIS in recruiting people from all over the world, who then travel to Syria or Iraq to fight alongside their organization.
Furthermore, it is important to highlight the methods ISIS uses to gain control over populations and the brutality and inhumanity with which they treat their captives. Students should be made aware of the various forms of violence inflicted on those who are perceived to be enemies of the Islamic State. It is important that teachers help students understand the broader implications of ISIS, such as the impact on the economy, the destabilization of societies, and the humanitarian crisis that has arisen.
As teachers, we must create a safe space for students to discuss and analyze this sensitive topic. It is crucial to encourage open dialogue and critical thinking as students begin to explore ISIS’s ideology. By emphasizing active listening and providing diversity in materials, teachers can guide students to be able to articulate their views without ostracizing themselves or their peers.
Teaching students about ISIS and its ideology can be difficult, given the nature of the topic and the current context in which it is discussed. As educators, we owe it to our students to provide them with the knowledge and skills to understand complex global issues that impact our world. By helping students develop their critical thinking skills, we are empowering them to engage productively in conversations about sensitive topics that have the potential to shape our global future.