Monday 17th March 2014, 09:30-12:30
This workshop aims at inspiring and enlightening relevant professionals in the education sector and local authority through the insights and experience of Muslim alternative educators regarding the potential application of the vast heritage of Islam’s holistic educational philosophy in solving the current crisis in UK education.
We begin by defining systemic issues preventing schools from meeting the requirements set by the DfE in relation to attainment and social skills. In particular we aim to explore two themes.
The first theme is the pertinent question of the purpose of education in late post-modernity and the importance of meta-narratives in forming a cohesive human society; this includes looking at trends in education since the 60s compared to the traditional understanding of the human being and its role in the cosmos, as well as the interpersonal relationships of teachers/students, parents/offspring and children/adults. How does this impacts on social skills among learners, and by extension, the society as a whole?
Throughout, lines will be drawn between Islamic traditional curricula and English history and educational philosophy, as reflected in the Trivium and Quadrivium.
The second theme is the current paradigm shift in education, specifically the transition from teacher-centred learning to Student-Centred Learning (SCL). After defining some of the key features of SCL, we will discuss some of the potential challenges and opportunities of this paradigm shift (using as a case study the impact of the hyper-speed implementation of SCL upon culture and national identity in the United Arab Emirates).
Finally, fusing the original question of the purpose of education with the social constructivism inherent in Student-Centred Learning, we look at practical implementation of SCL that might provide a return to some of the more profound and holistic understanding of the human being to benefit and empower our children and communities.
Using the above presentations as a springboard, the workshop closes with a sketch of a possible future curriculum and didactic strategy to meet the quest for a cohesive narrative through conscious and responsible use of Student-Centred learning to intend whole, responsible and capable human beings above and beyond the A-C band of GCSEs.
The format of the workshop itself aims to give participants a practical taste of the potential effectiveness of Student-Centred Learning as a means to search for meanings, discuss problems, uncover alternative solutions and organize knowledge sharing.
Aside from giving participants original food for thought, a further aim is leveraging the content of this workshop to draw positive attention to the struggling Norfolk education sector by forming a group of educators looking for a more holistic approach to teaching without compromising achievement.
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