Powerpoint presentation Dr Sadaf Rizvi


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Powerpoint presentation Dr Sadaf Rizvi

  1. 1. Muslim schools in Britain: Socialization, identity and integration <ul><li>LLAKES Seminar, 1 st March 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Sadaf Rizvi </li></ul><ul><li>University of London – Institute of Education </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 2. Muslims in Britain <ul><li>History of Muslims’ arrival in Britain can be traced back to medieval times, however, a mass influx took place in 1950s and 1960s following the 2 nd World War </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, there are 1.6 million Muslims in UK comprising the second largest faith group after Christians. (UK 2001 National Census) </li></ul><ul><li>There are about 500,000 school age children of Muslim parents in England, a vast majority is in state-maintained schools. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Muslim Schools in Britain <ul><li>Not madrassas – provide British National Curriculum education along with the teaching of some Islamic subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Began to establish in 1980s by a group of ‘concerned’ Muslims, dissatisfied with the state schools system. </li></ul><ul><li>Low attainment of children </li></ul><ul><li>Difference of values </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of religious education </li></ul><ul><li>Sex education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed gender arrangement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Racism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criticized by policy makers, educationists, media and the wider public </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Criticisms of Muslim Schools <ul><li>Muslim schools are ‘sectarian’ schools educating children with a completely ‘separate’ ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim schools are reproducing male dominance and widening gender gaps, thus leading to the oppression of girls </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of schools is unsatisfactory </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-faith schools - a better solution to the problems </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>). ‘ The rise of Islamic schools is a potential threat to Britain’s sense of national identity...Schools needed to protect the cohesion of an inclusive, multicultural society….(and) in some Muslim schools that is not happening to a sufficient degree. ’ </li></ul><ul><li>David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools in England (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Muslim schools citizenship warning, Independent Muslim schools must make greater efforts to show pupils a British “common heritage”, says the education watchdog for England’ </li></ul><ul><li> (BBC News, 17 January 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  6. 6. A response to criticisms… <ul><li>The proponents of Muslim schools regard the critics’ comments as misconceptions and an example of Islamophobia. </li></ul><ul><li>Islamic schools are a result of failure of multi-racial, multi-faith state schools in promoting cultural harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim school are addressing the problems of institutional racism, low attainment, lack of Islamic education and identity crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim schools are promoting values of mutual respect and tolerance and are thus building bridges towards a more socially cohesive society. </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim schools are preparing girls to go to universities rather than kitchens </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Despite the criticisms and the fears attached to Muslim schools, the number has continued to grow </li></ul><ul><li>In 1989, the number of independent registered Muslim schools was 15; in 2001 it was recorded as 70; in 2006 it grew to 120 and in 2011 it was 168. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>By 2006, the schools were catering to the needs of about 5% of the Muslim children </li></ul><ul><li>The schools demonstrate considerable diversity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansive schools with 2000 children to home based schools with 5-6 children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary single sex schools and primary mixed schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boarding schools and day schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schools with less and high emphasis on Islam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mono-ethnic and multi-ethnic schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private and state funded (7) schools </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. State funding of Muslim schools <ul><li>In 2006, about a third of maintained schools were faith schools. There were around 6,867 faith-based schools (Bolton and Gillie,2009): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Church of England schools 4716 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman Catholic 2110 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewish 32 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodist 28 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muslim 5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greek Orthodox 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seventh Day Adventist 1 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Voices of Muslim pupils remained invisible!!! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Research Questions <ul><li>Why do some Muslim families prefer to send their children to ‘separate’ Muslim schools? </li></ul><ul><li>How are children socialized in a Muslim school? </li></ul><ul><li>How do Muslim children perceive their schooling experiences? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Methodology <ul><li>Ethnographic research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethnography of a Muslim school </li></ul><ul><li>Narratives of Muslim girls </li></ul><ul><li>School visits (primary/secondary, girls’/boys’, state/ independant, multi/mono ethnic) </li></ul>
  13. 13. A Muslim School in England <ul><li>Established in 2003 as an independent girls’ secondary school to provide full-time national curriculum and Islamic education </li></ul><ul><li>Initiated by a Trust comprising members from mosques, local community and parents (men and women), supported by donations and fee </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible to pupils from all faiths, though all students were Muslims (60 girls in year 7, 8 and 9) </li></ul><ul><li>Staff comprised Muslims as well as Non Muslim teachers </li></ul><ul><li>(3 out of 11 teachers were Non Muslims) </li></ul><ul><li>School faced serious financial problems </li></ul>
  14. 14. Curriculum <ul><li>National Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Islamic Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Islamicised Curriculum </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>National Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>The school complied with all DfES requirements for teaching national curriculum subjects (80% - english, mathematics, science, ICT, humanities, religious education, art and design, regional languages, physical education) and providing the linked co-curricular activities. </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>Islamic Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching of Islamic subjects including Islamic studies, Arabic, Tajweed, Nasheed, Hadith and Ibadah </li></ul>
  17. 20. Islamicised Curriculum <ul><li>Islamic ethos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>embedded in the entire teaching and learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inculcation of Islamic values within an Islamic environment (e.g. mutual respect, truthfulness, cleanliness) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some aspects of Islamic ethos stated as fulfillment of Islamic obligations (e.g. prayer, fasting, Islamic dress code) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Blending’ Islamic education with national curriculum education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bringing in Islamic perspectives into the topics taught </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on finding ‘similarities’ </li></ul></ul>
  18. 21. <ul><li>Qur’an explains human reproduction. It says, ‘He makes you in the wombs of your mothers in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness’. (Sura 39:6). The staging of human embryo described in the 20 th century suggests that an embryo does exist within three layers, (1) The anterior abdominal wall, (2) the uterine wall, (3) the amniochorionic membrane. Then the Qur’an says, ‘Then We made it into a leech-like structure’ (sura 23:14). The human embryo clings to the uterus in the same way as leech clings to the skin. It is remarkable how much the embryo of 3-4 weeks resembles a leech. </li></ul>
  19. 24. Links with ‘outside’ community <ul><li>Inter-faith dialogues </li></ul><ul><li>Visits to synagogues and churches,and talks by scholars from other religions </li></ul><ul><li>Community events (campaigns / fund raising) </li></ul><ul><li>Response to specific events </li></ul>
  20. 25. Muslim girls...... <ul><li>The girls demonstrated considerable diversity in their social background, and strong variation in ways they negotiate and conceive the school curriculum. </li></ul>
  21. 26. Country of origin/ethnicity No of girls Pakistan 23 Bangladesh 17 Somalia 3 Saudi Arabia 1 Palestine 1 Algeria 1 Chechnya 1 Afghanistan 1 England (White) 1 Mixed 5 54 Classification British born 38 Born in country of origin 13 Born elsewhere 3 Total 54
  22. 27. Primary / past schooling State schools 47 Private schools in UK 5 Islamic schools 1 Home school 1 Total 54
  23. 28. Categorizing girls in ways they negotiate and conceive the Islamic curriculum …. <ul><li>‘ faith girls’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ diffident girls’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ rebellious girls’ </li></ul>
  24. 29. Faith girls…. <ul><li>Demonstrate a strong commitment to Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Not only perform Islamic rituals but also observe values as emphasized in Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain positive relations with members of staff, rarely show behavioural problems </li></ul><ul><li>Serve as ‘transmitters’ of Islamic knowledge both inside and outside the school context </li></ul><ul><li>Form a mixed ability group </li></ul>
  25. 30. <ul><li>I think going to a Muslim school at this age will benefit us on top of getting more reward by Allah and it will give us more. We’ll be standing out for the next generation, we are showing us like good Muslims. </li></ul><ul><li>If my mum and dad tell me I can’t do something, I just accept it. Because if you are making your mum and dad happy, you are making Allah happy. If you are upsetting your mum and dad, you are upsetting Allah </li></ul><ul><li>In France girls are not allowed to wear the hijaab; can we do something about it? </li></ul>
  26. 31. Diffident girls … <ul><li>Show fluctuations in terms of behaviour, academic performance and religious observance </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by company (both faith girls and rebels, friends from previous schools), family circumstances, ‘clash of cultures’ and perceived media influence. </li></ul>
  27. 32. Rebellious girls …. <ul><li>Show strong resistance to Islamic values imparted at the school </li></ul><ul><li>Confrontational and disruptive in the class </li></ul><ul><li>Often maintain a disrespectful attitude towards staff and pupils </li></ul><ul><li>Rebel differently (bullying, becoming involved in minor thefts, skipping prayers, not wearing hijaab) </li></ul>
  28. 33. Perceptions of self <ul><li>Religion, Britain and school are used to define and negotiate identity </li></ul><ul><li>Q: If someone asks you ‘who are you’, what would you say? </li></ul><ul><li>A: I would say I am a Muslim…….I would then say, I am </li></ul><ul><li> British </li></ul><ul><li>Q: But you are from Bangladesh </li></ul><ul><li>A: My parents are, not me, I was born here so this is my </li></ul><ul><li>country…….oh yes, and I would also add that I study in </li></ul><ul><li>this school </li></ul>
  29. 34. <ul><li>Tendency to deny connection with parents’ countries of origin </li></ul><ul><li>Hold strong career plans for the future; idealize women who are educated, career oriented and balance career with family and religious obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Rebel against cultural ideas as well as British values </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for being in a Muslim school are: seeking knowledge about Islam and avoiding ‘problems’ faced in previous schools </li></ul>
  30. 35. <ul><li>Finding out more about my religion has helped me interact more in the society </li></ul><ul><li>There you looked different because of the scarf. You were not one of them … </li></ul><ul><li>My mother thinks I have become more smart and brainy…... I love this school. It takes me about two hours to get here but I still want to come to this school. </li></ul>
  31. 36. Conclusions <ul><li>The Muslim school seems to enable girls to experience a common identity while offering greater compatibility between home and school, and providing opportunity to learn and practice Islam. </li></ul><ul><li>The girls keep shifting and constructing their multiple and multilayered identity around ‘British’, ‘Muslim’ and ‘British Muslim’. </li></ul><ul><li>The diversity amongst Muslim girls is a result of a complex interplay of religious, cultural, familial and individual factors. </li></ul><ul><li>The girls do not appear to be subjugated in a patriarchal system and seem to enjoy the ‘autonomy’ in making decisions pertaining to their education, career choices and religious practice. </li></ul><ul><li>The above exists independently of social class or ethnicity. </li></ul>
  32. 37. <ul><li>The Muslim school does not seem to alienate Muslim pupils or socialize them with a ‘separate’ ideology. </li></ul><ul><li>The environment of the school demonstrates a richness of activities which is not acknowledged by the critics. </li></ul><ul><li>The school does have problems but these are of an entirely different nature than those identified by the critics </li></ul>
  33. 38. <ul><li>The research confirms a range of theoretical assumptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognizes that structure and agency as complementary forces (Foucault 1978, 1980) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlights the significance of considering culture as a changeable phenomenon in the discourse of multiculturalism (Grillo 2001, Werbner 2002) </li></ul></ul>