Every year, Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, publishes the Canadian University Report. The in-depth report looks not only at global prestige, rankings and research highlights, but at the educational experience as a whole. Over sixty campuses are profiled, and the special attractions of each university are noted. For the University of Toronto, regularly recognized as one of the top universities in the world, The Globe singled out the fact that Professor Shafique Virani teaches there as being one of its best attractions1. The report lauds many awards that this “hotshot” scholar “has won for innovative pedagogy and the use of multimedia and other technologies to enhance his history and religion classes.”
Holding the title of Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto, Professor Virani is the author of the landmark book, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A search for Salvation2. On November 23, 2014 in San Diego, California, The American Academy of Religion (AAR) will bestow on him its highest pedagogical honor, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and Professor Virani will address the gathering, responding to questions. The AAR is the world’s largest association of scholars in the field of Religious Studies and related topics, having some 10,000 members world-wide.
In the lead up to the award ceremony, Professor Virani was recently interviewed by Dr. Lerone Martin of the AAR. The inspirational and thought-provoking interview touches on themes ranging from the relationship between teaching, learning, emotion and facts, to the views expressed by some of the world’s greatest intellectual leaders, including John Steinbeck, Nasir al-Din Tusi, and His Highness the Aga Khan, about knowledge and education. The interview is a must-read for students, parents, professors, teachers and all who are connected with the field of education. It can be accessed by clicking here3.
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