PreK-12 education (for children aged 3-18 years) in Muslim contexts internationally is bifurcated into an ossified 'madrasah' model and a managerialist neoliberal model. Most Muslim children attend mainstream ‘secular’ schools during the day and also attend after-school or weekend Qur’an and religion classes. Both models are currently failing to nurture awe and wonder of the natural and social world or appreciation of the depths and potentialities of the human person, in Muslim children and young people. Yet, the Islamic educational tradition has the capacity and conceptual resources, e.g., concept of tarbiyah , t’adib and tazkiyah to offer updated models. Developing and implementing such models is a complex process that requires expert theological scholarship, rigorous educational research, meaningful teacher education, and culturally-specific curricular and pedagogical innovation.
This project combines these strands through an international online platform for teacher research exchange. The platform will gather scholars, subject and pedagogical experts, and teacher educators to create six teacher professional development courses on Dialogue, Character and Human Personhood; Nurturing Awe, Wonder and Intellectual Humility; Islam and Science; and Islamic Art, Craft, Design and Technology aiming to reaching thousands of teachers across 30+ countries. These activities will produce five outputs: 1) three academic papers 2) a book 3) six online courses with accompanying videos and resources 4) an annual online conference and 5) an international community of teacher-researchers. Sustainability will be built into the two-year funded project to ensure that the courses are able to run for a further three years at least, ideally well beyond that time frame.