Exit Menu

Islamic private schools in UK: What is "Islamic" and why does it matter

Ongoing

Project description

This research has an exploratory purpose to problematise, unpack and analyse the religious nature of Islamic private schools in the United Kingdom to find out 'What makes a school Islamic'? and 'Why does it matter?'.

The project aims to study the case of private Islamic schools in the United Kingdom from three interrelated perspectives: 

Curriculum and pedagogy

  • Analyse the effectiveness, justification and impact of the religious curriculum.
  • To evaluate the fundamental objective of a religious pedagogy in Islamic schools which is based on an ‘Islamocentric approach’.
  • Analyse the effectiveness, justification and impact of the religious curriculum.
  • An in-depth analysis of a ‘religious’ pedagogy enacted with reference to curriculum, hidden curriculum, teachers teaching methodologies and the ways in which ‘religious’ materials are interpreted.
  • To analyse the effect of such pedagogical materials and activities in shaping or nurturing a distinctive ‘religious’ identity among the Muslim pupils.

Intentions/values and attitudes

  • Parents: To identify the intentional reasonings, choices and desired values of Muslim parents in terms of their preference for an Islamic private school.
  • Stakeholders: to investigate the intentions, attitudes and justifications of stakeholders who are responsible for the formulation of such a curriculum.
  • To unpack the ways in which such stakeholders evaluate and measure the success of ‘religious’ schooling.
  • To observe, what sacrifices such stakeholders would make and at what cost. For example, to see if moral satisfaction of parents fulfills at a cost of their children’s lower academic attainment, or if such schools act as ‘safe environment’ at a cost of un-natural sexual segregation at single-sex schools.

Outcomes and effects

  • To seek if a ‘religious’ curriculum of an Islamic private school is compatible or detrimental with a liberal democracy.
  • To analyse and measure the compatibility of a distinctive ‘Islamic’ pedagogy with mainstream mechanism for measuring academic success e.g. in UK public examinations.

The potential outcome of this study would not only fill the gap within the contemporary limited literature on Islamic schooling, but it also crystallises the dynamics of Islamic faith schools, which can help parents, stakeholders, educators and policymakers to better understand the pedagogical, environmental and intentionality of such schools. The ultimate goal of this research is to contribute towards better educational provisions for Muslim pupils in the United Kingdom.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Mr Sulaiman Haqpana - Sulaiman Haqpana is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Education. His research aims to explore the distinctive religious nature of Islamic private schools in the United Kingdom from three major perspectives: Curriculum and pedagogy, Intentions/values and attitudes, and outcomes and effects of such schools. He has been actively involved in private tutoring and is a regular guest lecturer for MSc Education, Power and Social Change at Birkbeck university of London.  Sulaiman did a BA in 'Global politics and International Relations' at Birkbeck university of London. After his undergraduate studies, he received a scholarship to complete his Master’s degree in Social policy and Development from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is the winner of LSE's 'Richard Titmuss Award' for outstanding dissertation in the MSc in Social Policy and Development (Non-Governmental Organisations). His main field of work and study is Social policy and development with a particular focus on Educational policy and research. He has 7 years of professional experience working for United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and International rescue committee (IRC). His involvement in social research and activities, enabled him to get selected as an action partner for Oxfam International Youth Parliament (OIYP-2007) and to attend the International Youth Parliament in Sydney Australia.