London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Islam and Citizenship Education – Lessons learnt from pilot programmes delivered in Muslim schools and Madrassa in the UK

Author(s) Ryan, J. & Last, K.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2013  
Editor P. Cunningham (ed.) Identities and Citizenship Education: Controversy, crisis and challenges  
Age group -  
This paper explores some of the hurdles to be overcome for formal faith based citizenship education to be taught more widely in the UK. It evaluates the curriculum content and modes of delivery of a pilot Islam and Citizenship Education programme highlighting the significance of the particular locational contexts; Madrassa and Muslim schools. Following the 2005 bombings in London the UK government provided funding to support the creation of programmes to encourage social cohesion between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the UK. Seven years on some of these, including citizenship programmes, are still running and new programmes are being created. Our research studied the pilot of one of these programmes in 2012: ASDAN Islam and Citizen Education. The research took a mixed methodology approach including interviews, focus groups, observations and documentary analysis, evaluating the programme in the formal and informal teaching settings of Muslim Schools and Madrassa. Privately funded, Muslim faith schools follow the UK national curriculum and Madrassa are usually informal settings teaching young Muslims the readings of the Qur’an. The research studied five of these settings as they implemented the accredited ASDAN programme. A stated intention of which was to provide nationally recognised accreditation for Islamic studies carried out in the Madrassa and Muslim schools. Introducing such programmes into mainstream schools as a vehicle for improving social cohesion is an underlying objective of this and other faith based citizenship programmes. The research concluded that there were several issues and challenges that needed to be addressed before such programmes could successfully be used by both Muslim and non-Muslim populations. The main areas highlighted within this research include; learning and teaching approaches, human and physical resources and funding and community support. Similar issues and challenges could equally apply to other faith based citizenship learning programmes. Keywords: Citizenship Education, Islam, curriculum, teaching and learning

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