Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2022 Issue »

    Muslim Educators’ Pedagogies

    Tools for Self, Social, and Spiritual Transformation

    Claire Alkouatli

    In this interpretive research study, Claire Alkouatli inquires into the pedagogical activities Sunni Muslim educators employ in sites of Islamic education that are often marginalized by stereotypes, misperceptions, and charges of anachronism and indoctrination. She invited thirty-five Muslim Canadian educators to share their perspectives on their pedagogies around teaching Islam to children and youth. Her thematic analysis of participants’ variegated descriptions coalesced into a three-theme pedagogical typology. Distinct from mainstream secular pedagogies at the levels of ontology, epistemology, and developmental psychology, Islamic pedagogies are situated within a wider conceptual paradigm. Recognizing their qualities of holism and “double cultural relevance,” they are functionally significant in teachers’ repertoires for helping young Muslims think across paradigms and may contribute to both sociocultural continuity and more equal inter-epistemic interaction in heterogeneous societies.

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    Claire Alkouatli (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9717-9614) is an adjunct research fellow at the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education at the University of South Australia. She also consults for Princess Nourah University, Saudi Arabia. Her qualitative research focuses on the roles of culture, relationships, and pedagogies in human development across the lifespan—including imaginative play, dialogue, inquiry, and challenge—and holistic well-being in children, youth, women, and families.
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