(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Researchers, practitioners and scholars in the field of Islamic education have launched a new international research network to share ideas and develop best practice in teaching Islam.
The network has evolved from the University’s popular Islamic education Summer Schools. Now in their second year, the Summer Schools, run by the Warwick Islamic Education Project, bring Muslim teachers, faith leaders, and community and youth workers together with academics to discuss current research and share ideas on teaching and learning Islam within the context of an increasingly plural and diverse contemporary world. Participants wanted to find a way to continue working together throughout the year.
Dr Abdullah Sahin, Reader in Islamic Education at the University of Warwick, whose research has been a central catalyst in the development of the network, said: “It is really exciting to see the formation of a new learning community, coming together as practitioners and researchers to found the new Islamic Education Research Network.
“There is a huge appetite and need for this kind of scholarly network, supporting the development of rigorous, research-based, reflective teaching practice, enabling the flow of ideas, and perhaps developing teaching resources to meet the needs of the new generation of learners who aren’t proficient in classical Arabic and so can’t engage with the Qur’an in traditional ways.”
Members of the network will work on collaborative research projects and encourage research-based reflective practice in Islamic education. The network will focus on equipping young Muslims living in Muslim-minority and majority societies with the tools to engage with and understand the Qur’an in a way which helps them relate their faith to the challenges they face in their everyday lives. The network will also contribute to intercultural and interfaith dialogue and understanding.
The University of Warwick is one of the first UK universities to recognise Islamic Education as an academic field of research and teaching. The Warwick Islamic Education Project aims to establish a hub of excellence in research and teaching on Islamic education, to open up professional development pathways for practitioners, and to encourage research-based, reflective practice in Islamic educational settings. It is part of the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU) within the Centre for Education Studies. The Project signifies a model university-community collaboration and aims to facilitate engagement with the educational challenges facing British and European Muslim communities, widening participation with mainstream higher education institutions, and contributing to the achievement of social cohesion and meaningful coexistence within the context of the modern world.