Meet the fifth blogger we will be hearing from this year on the Craft of Teaching blog, Jawad Qureshi (Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, American Islamic College)!
With our cohort introduced, their own contributions will be beginning next week.
CoT: What was your area of focus and year of graduation (or expected graduation) at the Divinity School?
JQ: I am a PhD candidate in the Islamic Studies program, aiming to graduate Spring 2017.
CoT: What do you most wish you had learned about teaching as a doctoral student? (and/or) What surprised you the most as a new faculty member?
JQ: I wish there was more guidance and mentoring on syllabus design, specifically in relation to course objectives, learning outcomes, and assessment. As students, we have probably read dozens if not hundreds of syllabi, but we have rarely been called upon to write one and perhaps no feedback if we did have to write one. As a new faculty member, I was surprised by how important syllabi are to the department and college.
CoT: Briefly describe a course you’ve never taught but would like to.
JQ: There are so many! I would love to teach a course on the concept of tradition in the study of religion. I would explore the writings of Talal Asad and Alasdair MacIntyre, putting them in conversation with Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic authors who also wrote on tradition.
CoT: Who was a teacher you had as an undergraduate who inspires how you teach today?
JQ: The professor that has left the most lasting impact on me from my undergraduate years was Jill Raitt. She taught me how to read ancient and medieval authors in a fresh and relevant way to my own intellectual and personal queries. Specifically it was mastery of the material and her critical engagement with these texts in an honest and rigorous manner that has stuck with me. This course made me change my undergraduate focus to the study of religion and remains a model for how I want to teach.
CoT: If you could co-teach a course with any person alive or dead, who would it be and why?
JQ: I would love to co-teach a course with Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) and Sunni theology and legal theory. (Who am I kidding, I would more likely sit under the master and learn!)
CoT: You’ve been bitten by a radioactive _____ and your new superpower of _____ has instantly made you a more effective teacher.
JQ: You’ve been bitten by a radioactive _mango_ and your new superpower of _slowing down time_ has instantly made you a more effective teacher.