Santa Clara University

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In Print: Faculty Publications

Mentors in the classroom

TheOnesWeRemember_95 Who are the teachers we remember? And why? Those are the questions Professor of Psychology Tim Urdan and scholar Frank Pajares of Emory University posed to colleagues from Hong Kong to Atlanta, from Indiana to Israel. The result is a collection of remarkable personal stories of humor and pathos that comprise the sixth volume in their Adolescence and Education series: The Ones We Remember: Scholars Reflect on Teachers Who Made a Difference (Information Age Publishing, 2008). The stories are told in non-academese so they’re accessible to general readers, with moments that crackle and sparkle. And they reflect on how these teachers taught the writers more than anyone—instructor or student—could have imagined at the time, or even understood until years later.

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School is in session

Educating_Muslims_America_90 After Sept. 11, 2001, Americans suddenly cared deeply about what was being taught in madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan; terrorist plots in Britain and the United States have drawn further attention to homegrown jihadists. But as the essays in Educating the Muslims of America (Oxford University Press, 2009) show, the picture is larger and complex. The collection is co-edited by Assistant Professor of Political Science Farid Senzai, with Yvonne Y. Haddad at Georgetown University and Jane Smith at Harvard Divinity School. It explores the different ways that Muslim parents and educators are trying to teach the essentials of their faith while giving children the best education possible. American society will be transformed by the “mass migration of Muslims in the past three decades and the growth of the indigenous Muslim community,” Senzai says. As to how—education is key.

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The philosopher the left loves to hate

Straussophobia_90 Philosopher Leo Strauss has been called elitist, militaristic, an enemy of democracy, and a promoter of the “noble lie.” But Associate Professor of Political Science Peter Minowitz says that Strauss-bashers have, on the whole, “abandoned intellectual rigor.” To set the record straight, he’s written Straussophobia: Defending Leo Strauss and Straussians Against Shadia Drury and Other Accusers (Lexington Books, 2009). Born in Germany in 1899, Strauss devoted his scholarship primarily to classical political philosophy, flirted with fascism in the 1930s, and wound up teaching at the University of Chicago for 20 years. More recently, he is credited with influencing neoconservative promoters of the Iraq War (namely Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby). But there are devils aplenty in the details on Strauss’ writings, and Minowitz offers meticulously footnoted rebuttals to attacks on Strauss. At the same time, no admirer of Strauss gets off the hook here for championing “policies despite their grossly deficient knowledge of the relevant circumstances.”

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Peter Minowitz responds to questions from Harper’s Magazine. Read what he has to say here.