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What Do We Do with a Difference?
What Do We Do with a Difference?

What Do We Do with a Difference?

France and the Debate over Headscarves in Schools


160 Pages

EPUB, $13.95 (US $13.95) (CA $18.99)

Publication Date: September 2013

ISBN 9781940457031

Rights: WOR

Facing History and Ourselves (Sep 2013)

Not yet published. Ships 9/10/2013.


The debate in France over the wearing of veils by Islamic girls in schools has served for nearly two decades as a nexus for emotional controversy and debate. Religion and secularism in public schools. Immigration and assimilation. Gender and ethnicity. Participation in democracy and public debate. Rapid social change and cherished cultural traditions. Personal, collective, and national identities.  Using a unique mix of scholarly insights, first-person stories, interviews with school-age students, plus multimedia resources and examples from popular culture, What Do We Do with a Difference? uses that national debate as a way to develop an educational framework for integration, tolerance, and cultural acceptance.


"This study reminds us that before we can understand the meaning of tolerance, respect, or anti-racism, we must also understand history. In this case the very different histories of French secularism and American separation of church and state... [This book is] an indispensable guide not only to the battle about headscarves in France but to the relationship of religion and public education in multiple contexts." — James W. Fraser, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Professor of Educational History

Author Biography

Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make connections between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. John. R. Bowen is the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor of Art and Science at Washington University in St. Louis.