Education professor Judith Cochran pens new book on Middle East. Cochran will present her book Oct. 6 at UMSL.

In a new book, University of Missouri–St. Louis examines the influence education has on establishing a strong democratic country.

Judith Cochran, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor in Tutorial Education at UMSL, explores the impact of religion and education in the Middle East in her latest book, “Democracy in the Middle East: The Impact of Religion and Education.” A book launch presentation will begin at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in 331 Social Sciences & Business Building at UMSL. A Q&A will start at 4 p.m. Copies of “Democracy in the Middle East” will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Beginning with a history of religious education through contemporary institutions, Cochran explains the existing conditions throughout the Middle East. She discusses how ancient Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions expanded their impact on the region through control of their religious and educational systems. Cochran profiles the interaction among religions, education and political control in the contemporary Middle East through interviews with media, political, religious and educational leaders along with classroom observations and competency measures of graduates.

Cochran’s expertise in Middle East education spans almost 30 years. She earned a J. William Fulbright Scholar award in 1980 to study in Egypt. While there for three years, she served as the director of the English Language Department at the American University in Cairo.  Cochran also wrote “Educational Roots of Political Crisis in Egypt,” which was published in 2008.

The book launch and presentation is sponsored by the Center for International Studies, College of Education and the Gender Studies program at UMSL.

Cochran received her bachelor’s degree in English and speech from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has published three books and over 30 articles on education. She serves as the director of the E. Desmond Lee Regional Institute of Tutorial Education at UMSL, which is an educational collaborative of six universities and 10 of the largest youth-serving agencies and public school districts in the area.

The 256-page book was published by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. “Democracy in the Middle East” was released last month and retails for $70.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton