The project aims to bridge the gap in the ability of science teachers across the Muslim World to address questions at the intersection of science and Islam. Recent research suggests that pupils are often confused about how science relates with religion and vice versa and teachers are least equipped to answer such questions. More fundamentally, no educational framework has been given to teachers and students to deal with such topics and situations.
This planning project seeks to prepare the various elements (content, participation, logistics) to allow us to run a 3-year multi-country project to train hundreds of teachers across four (4) target Muslim majority countries with large young populations, namely, Indonesia, Pakistan, Jordan, and Algeria. Many in these are threatened by modernity and science and are unable to fit them with the general culture, education, and social norms thus creating potential flash-points within the society.
Not only do Muslim societies fail to address these questions at the interface of science and theology clearly and consistently, but science is often taught as a set of narrow fields with no understanding of history, philosophy and pedagogy that allows a teacher or student to connect what is taught/learned with the broader discourse in the world.
The proposed intervention will produce an impact by clarifying the nature of science and religion to teachers, by showing how science draws from and adds to a wide spectrum of knowledge, and by constructing not only a clear framework of harmonization of science and Islam (an Islamic Humility in Theology framework) but also providing the pedagogical tools necessary for guiding students and satisfying their queries.
Teachers are critical to addressing these challenges and creating long-term impact.
Owing to the complexity and enormity of the challenge at hand, a year-long planning project is being proposed to properly design, plan, and pilot test the intervention being proposed.