The Outreach Center draws on the Harvard community to promote a critical understanding of the diversity of the Middle East region for educators and the general public through professional development programs, online resources, and public events.
The Outreach Center fulfills the Center for Middle Eastern Studies' mandate as a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center to serve as a conduit for scholarship to local and regional primary and secondary school instructors and to the general public. The Outreach Center accomplishes this mission by offering webinars, seminars, and talks to schools and teachers in the Boston region and throughout New England. The Outreach Center also operates a library that teachers throughout the region can use to locate resources to inform their lesson plans with regard to topics pertaining to the Middle East region on which they are teaching.
Click here for a complete program list for 2011–2012.
How We Work
Middle and high school teachers at a graphic novel workshop and author talk, 2011.
The Outreach Center uses modern scholarship to foster a better understanding of the great diversity of peoples, cultures, and views held by people in the Middle East and about them in areas outside of the Middle East. Our academic approach is rooted in the regional studies learning platform known as the cultural studies method. The assumption that undergirds the work of the Outreach Center with teachers is that they are scholars in their own right, responsible in turn for training their students in critical thinking. (A key component of the Common Core State Standards
is the training of students to engage critically with sources of information.) The Outreach Center does not take positions on issues related to the Middle East. The resources and training that we offer are opportunities for evaluation and critical response and reflection. The study of the Middle East is not an end in itself, but part of a regional approach to global citizenship. For further information on cultural studies in teaching see work by Professors Diane L. Moore and Ali S. Asani at Harvard University.
The Outreach Center is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.