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ITEP Webinar_Islamic Whole Child Development_AlKouatli_2014MAY03

Islamic Studies as a Tool for Whole Child Development

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ITEP Webinar_Islamic Whole Child Development_AlKouatli_2014MAY03

  1. 1. In the name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful.
  2. 2. We will begin shortly
  3. 3. Just giving everyone a chance to log-in... We will begin in 2 minutes
  4. 4. Claire Alkouatli •  Graduate of the Islamic Teacher Education Program •  Master’s degree from UBC in Human Development, Learning and Culture •  Research explores how children develop and what strategies teachers can use to enhance child development •  Author, editor of various magazine •  Lead a playgroup for mothers and babies while living in Saudia Arabia •  Resulting research question: how to help nurture Muslim children into the global leaders of tomorrow with hearts firmly grounded in Islam?
  5. 5. Islamic Studies as a Tool for Total Human Development Welcome to our Online Webinar
  6. 6. “ Through others, we become ourselves.” —Vygotsky, 1987
  7. 7. Agenda •  Objectives & Challenges •  Terminology •  Environment •  Social Relations •  Cultural Tools •  Mediation •  A Developmental Approach toward Objectives
  8. 8. but first… Objectives of Islamic Education
  9. 9. •  Applied understanding of Islam, Iman and Ihsan •  Intrinsically motivated by Taqwa •  Operationalized into Adab Aware of the integrated nature of our position on earth in holding the responsibility of being equally a vicegerent (Khalifa) and a servant (Abd) of God. Objective of Islamic Education
  10. 10. and the challenges? that we face in meeting our objectives…
  11. 11. Ability to successfully function in a secular/Western dominated globalized, technological world as leaders and role models for humanity
  12. 12. The Muslim Child Thriving Muslim  Global Leader 
  13. 13. “Let there be no disputing about terminology.” —Jalal al-Mahali, quoted in Ajem & Memon, 2011
  14. 14. What is Human Development? Let’s look at it three ways…
  15. 15. —Dr. Larry Walker, Developmental Psychologist, UBC “The orderly and sequential (not progressive) changes in behaviour that occur with (not as a result of) the passage of time as an organism moves from conception to death, as a function of both biological and environmental influences.” 1. Standard Definition
  16. 16. •  Natural line as biological and elementary •  Cultural line as higher mental functions •  The two lines interweave + interact in the environment •  Mediated by culture —Wertsch, 1985  2. Natural and Cultural Lines of Development
  17. 17. 3. Sociocultural Definition “We learn and develop through emotional experience, in social relationships, with language and cultural semiotics.” —Vadeboncoeur & Collie, 2013, p. 222 
  18. 18. Table 1 — 5 Forces of Human Development The Environment “through emotional experience” Social Relationships “in social relationships” Cultural Tools “and cultural semiotics” Mediation “with language” Instructional Strategies “We learn and develop”
  19. 19. Table 2 — Short Definitions 5 Forces of Human Development The Environment The source of development Social Relationships The social origins of higher mental functions Cultural Tools The systems we use to make sense of the world Mediation Making meaning + interpreting Instructional Strategies Learning draws development forward
  20. 20. 1. The Environment Both the source and the site of human development.
  21. 21. •  Children are embedded within environments characterized by physical, social and cultural elements. •  Interactions between the child and his/her environment actually come to bear on development.
  22. 22. 2 Important Points •  Change: Both the child and the environment change over time, environmental impact upon the child depends on the child’s developmental phase.
  23. 23. •  Final form: a unique characteristic of child development is that the final forms of development exist in the environment from day one, and impact upon the child from day one.
  24. 24. Mother  speaks in  final form  Baby  babbles  Toddler  speaks  Child  speaks in  final form  Final/Ideal forms •  are present in a child’s environment from day one •  interact and impact upon the child from day one —Vygotsky, 1994 
  25. 25. Table 3 – The Environment Links to the Deen Educational Implications Islam, Iman, Ihsan The home, school and classroom environments should contain myriad examples of the ideal forms that we want our children to internalize. Adab In environments characterized by love and logic, children observe, participate, appropriate and, eventually, internalize.
  26. 26. Principles of Islamic Pedagogy 1.  Conviction of the primal purpose and universal trust assigned to humankind. 2.  The primacy of knowledge and of seeking it 3.  The learning environment is sacred, disciplined, caring, and functional —Ajem & Memon, 2011 
  27. 27. Take Home Question Do the social environments we create in our schools and classrooms reflect, embody + teach the things we want children to learn?
  28. 28. 2. Social Relationships The social origins of higher mental functions.
  29. 29. General Genetic Law of Cultural Development “Any function in the child’s cultural development appears twice or on two planes. First it appears on the social plane, and then on the psychological plane.” —Vygotsky, 1981, as quoted in Wertsch, 1985, p. 60 
  30. 30. “In Jannah, Woof will be real…” We rent the words of others —Woof: his brother’s beloved stuffed dog 
  31. 31. Others speak  to us +  around us  Social speech  becomes  internal speech  Internal  speech  becomes  thoughts  Thoughts  become  acWons 
  32. 32. Social influence outside of an individual transforms to become social influence inside of an individual. —Wertsch, 1985 
  33. 33. Table 4 – Social Relationships Links to the Deen Educational Implications “Each child is born in a state of Fitrah, then his parents make him/her a Jew, Christian or Zoroastrian…” —Prophet Muhammad; Al-Bukhari and Muslim The social relationships our children inhabit are extremely important because they will draw from them to develop themselves. Taqwa Surrounding ourselves and our children with people more experienced/advanced than ourselves raises the bar of our development.
  34. 34. Principles of Islamic Pedagogy 6·Instruction is in accordance with students’ aptitude, pace, + learning style —Ajem & Memon, 2011 
  35. 35. Take Home Question Are we providing for our children role models in the form of more experienced others who can nurture their cognitive and spiritual development in engaged relationship?
  36. 36. 3. Cultural Tools The signs, symbols, systems, products and processes held valuable by our culture, by which we learn and develop.
  37. 37. Cognitive differences between cultures are due to differences in cultural tools and how we acquire them. —Kozulin, 1998 
  38. 38. A Canadian illustration of cultural tools •  “The principles aim to prepare students to become competent, informed global citizens – citizens who are literate and numerate, who are competent thinkers and communicators, and who are personally and socially competent in all areas of their lives.” Describing the principles of a revised provincial curriculum. —
  39. 39. Conceptual Literacy •  thinking in decontextualized abstract ways •  using analogical reasoning •  transferring cognitive strategies across contexts •  problem solving •  using metacognitive functions— thinking/planning thinking
  40. 40. Islamic Literacy •  understanding the cultural tools that characterize the different parts of the Islamic deen: ibadat, fiqh, etc •  nuanced use of these tools •  rituals of congregational prayer, private prayer and the specific prayers of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
  41. 41. “Symbolic systems specific for a given culture that when internalized by individual learners become their inner cognitive tools.” —Kozulin et al., 2003. p. 3 
  42. 42. The transformative process of individualizing cultural tools through participation in social practices. —Vadeboncoeur et al., 2011  Internalization
  43. 43. Table 5 – Cultural Tools Links to the Deen Educational Implications Each aspect of Islamic Studies has unique cultural tools: material elements and, more importantly, symbols and processes of functioning. Islamic Studies teachers should think about the cultural tools of the Deen and the best ways to work with them in the classroom. The cultural tools Prophetic period are best. The cultural tools of the global community are ones that our children will need to succeed. How can we best approach them with our children?
  44. 44. Principles of Islamic Pedagogy 4·The responsibility to act upon what one learns and teaches —Ajem & Memon, 2011 
  45. 45. Take Home Questions What are the cultural tools unique to each aspect of Islamic Studies—both products and processes—and how close are they to the Prophetic ideal? What are the cultural tools of the global community most important for our children to learn? Can they be learned without causing damage to Islamic knowledge and identity? Better yet, could they be learned through Islamic Studies?
  46. 46. 4. Mediation The ways we interpret and make meaning of our world.
  47. 47. Mediated Learning Experiences •  helping children pay attention to important details •  helping children make connections between concepts •  drawing deeper meaning out of a situation •  an effective human mediator can enrich learning experiences by working at the highest end of a child’s ability.
  48. 48. In dynamic, dialogic relationship, the Prophet, peace be upon him, worked with each of his companions, taking into consideration their individual characteristics, and investing in them as individuals. He evolved a pedagogy through which he encouraged his companions to develop their critical faculties, express their talents, and mature in his presence. —Ramadan, 2007 
  49. 49. Table 6 – Mediation Links to the Deen Educational Implications The Prophet Muhammad as mediator of the Quran to his companions. The link between the external + the internal. As educators, we are important mediators—pointing out what’s important in constant analysis. As the signs of God are everywhere, we need to help children see them. Cross-contextual mediation: finding the Islamic in the non-Islamic.
  50. 50. Principles of Islamic Pedagogy 2·The primacy of knowledge and of seeking it 5·The religious responsibility for self-assessment and accountability —Ajem & Memon, 2011 
  51. 51. Take Home Question Are we as educators sufficiently providing mediated learning environments for our children?
  52. 52. Instructional Strategies Teaching/learning stimulates development.
  53. 53. In Conclusion! Applying a sociocultural perspective of human development to the education of Muslim children.
  54. 54. An example Developing cognition using the Quran as a medium does more than teach the basic of a religion: through individual study, mediated learning and social speech, the Quran weaves itself into the child’s inner speech, thoughts and higher mental functions, as thought is not simply expressed in words, it actually comes to exist through them. Then thoughts and words become actions.
  55. 55. environment  social relaWons  cultural tools  media&on  environment  internaliza&on  cultural tools  par&cipa&on teaching/learning 
  56. 56. “The primary reason that no one can reach the station of companions of the Prophet is that direct connection with the Prophet is immeasurable and no transmission is complete without actual human contact.” —Montasser Azam, personal communicaWon, February 2013 
  57. 57. Implications •  learning and development happen through human relationships •  we need to surround ourselves with ‘more experienced others’ •  we need to develop our own selves in order to be ‘more experienced others’ to children
  58. 58. The Goal Using the environment, social relationships, cultural tools and mediation to nurture our children’s development within an Islamic framework.
  59. 59. Islamic Studies as the ONLY Tool for the Total Human Development of Muslim Children The real title:
  60. 60. Thank you
  61. 61. I would appreciate all feedback directly!

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Islamic Studies as a Tool for Whole Child Development


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