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In this section we will publish various academic and practitioner research articles that relate to Islamic education and education for Muslims in the contemporary world. These also include practitioner essays or action research from the Shakhsiyah Teacher Education Course.



Farah Ahmed was asked to contribute to the Quest Foundation’s conference journal in 2007. Her article was entitled: Nurturing the Shakhsiyah Islamiyah in the Young Child. Read the article here.



June 2012:

Farah Ahmed’s paper 'Tarbiyah for Shakhsiyah (Educating for Identity): Seeking Out Culturally Coherent Pedagogy for Muslims in Britain' is published in the prestigious academic journal Compare: the official journal of the British Association for International Comparative Education, Volume 42, Issue 5, September 2012, pages 725-749.


Click here to read an ‘Accepted Manuscript’ of the article on this website for free. To read the article published by Taylor and Francis in the online journal click here. You will need a subscription to read this published version.




Sajjida Sarwar, an ITEC student 2012-2013 has had her essay published in The College of Teachers’ practitioner journal ‘Education Today, Volume 63, Number 4. Pages 25-29’. The essay was published under the title: ‘What is the motivation of 21st Century Muslim parents, to home-educate their children?’  Read the essay here.


February 2013:

Farah Ahmed’ paper 'Exploring Halaqah as research method: A tentative approach to developing Islamic research principles within a critical 'indigenous' framework' was published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 27, issue 5, pages 561-583.


Click here to read the paper on this website.


To read the paper in the online journal visit http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09518398.2013.805852#.U8PaUpRdVkk


To view a video of the presentation click here


June 2014:

Farah Ahmed has a chapter published in the newly released book Growing up between two cultures: Issues and problems of Muslim children edited by, F. Salili & R. Hoosain and published by IAP. The chapter is entitled: 'That's not what I want for my children': Islamic schools as a parental response to childhood experiences of mainstream British schooling'

For more information see http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Growing-Up-Between-Two-Cultures




Developing Understanding of Classroom Dialogue:

As part of her research into Halaqah, Farah is supporting research into classroom dialogue at the University of Cambridge. She has made some contribution to developing the Scheme for Educational Dialogue Analysis (SEDA) and is now working in a team developing the scheme for use by teachers, the T-SEDA Scheme. 


UKFIET Conference 2015: Learning for Sustainable Futures – Making the Connections held at the University of Oxford:

Farah Ahmed organised a symposium entitled: Drawing on Islamic and European educational traditions: developing hybrid pedagogies for a cohesive and sustainable future.  Her paper was entitled Pedagogy as Dialogue between Cultures: exploring Halaqah, an Islamic oral pedagogy used to generate culturally relevant dialogic education in UK Islamic primary schools.


MFAS Question concerning Education Part 2:

Farah Ahmed was invited to present a paper on the ‘Principles of Shakhsiyah Education’ for Part II of the course ‘The Question Concerning Education’ organized by the Muslim Faculty of Advanced Studies.

This was a unique dialogic course enabling a practical intellectual discourse for Muslim educators.

For more information see: http://themuslimfaculty.org/question-concerning-education


Conference: Education, Extremism and Criticality, Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education, UCL Institute of Education:

Farah Ahmed presented a paper entitled Countering ‘Extremism’ through Criticality in British Muslim Primary Schools: an exploration of Halaqah, an Islamic oral pedagogy at this conference.  As with many other papers at the conferenve, Farah’s paper began by questioning the government definition of and soloution to ‘extremism’. She outlined developments in PREVENT in schools and introduced Halaqah as an Islamic pedagogy that enables primary aged children’s exploration of identity and other complex issues in a safe space. The paper will be included in a published volume of conference proceedings.


For more information see: https://www.bera.ac.uk/event/education-extremism-and-criticality


'The Question Concerning Education - Setting the Scene':

Farah Ahmed was asked to contribute to the latest MFAS course entitled ‘The Question Concerning Education – Setting the Scene’. Farah was asked to reflect on the Trojan Horse affair and use this event to explore the relationship between the State and education. She used the experience of Shakhsiyah Schools attempt to develop an ‘alternative’ approach to education and the difficulty in achieving this as a registered independent school. Her presentation was in the context of how an exclusively capitalist, instrumental and technological approach to education is dominating all other conceptions of education in the post-enlightenment world. The course was highly interactive and the aim was to enable participants to draw conclusions and principles about a philosophy of education that could impact the Muslim experience of education in the contemporary world. The course will continue through a second weekend seminar format exploring ‘The Question Concerning Education: The Way Forward’ on 1st and 2nd August 2015.


British Association of Islamic Studies Conference:

Farah Ahmed presented at the second annual British Association of Islamic Studies conference. Her paper was entitled: Autonomy, authority and pedagogy in British Islamic schools: An exploration of Halaqah (Circle Time), an oral pedagogy that uses reflexivity and dialogue to develop autonomy in the Muslim learner.


IOE Blog Entry Published on 'Education, Criticism and Criticality':

Farah Ahmed has published a blog entry about the forthcoming CREME conference on ‘Education, Criticism and Criticality’ to be held at the Institute of Education, University of London on 8th May 2015.


Seminar: Catholic Values in Education, UCL Institute of Education:

Farah Ahmed was invited in her capacity as Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education, UCL Institute of Education to act as a Discussant in the seminar entitled: ‘Catholic Values in Education’ featuring Professor Gerald Grace. Farah was asked to give some comparisons relating to Islamic values in education. 


Healing Fractures II - Beyond Birmingham, Educators Workshop, Norwich:

Farah Ahmed and Foziya Reddy were invited to participate in a workshop entitled: ‘Healing Fractures II – Beyond Birmingham’. The workshop organized by Werdelin Education aimed to “counter-balance recent events in Birmingham and elsewhere, this workshop aims at inspiring and enlightening relevant professionals in the education sector and local authority through the insights and experience of Muslim alternative educators.” This workshop was a refreshing change from the ‘Trojan Horse’ narrative dominating the media. It provided a safe space for Muslim and non-Muslim educators to engage in a full and frank dialogue about the issues surrounding education, ‘extremism’ and community cohesion.


Academic Workshop: Inclusion of Muslims in European Education Systems:

Farah Ahmed and Tahreem Sabir were invited to give an insider perspective into the issue of Muslim education in the European context. Farah and Tahreem presented a paper called: Countering ‘Extremism’ through Criticality in British Muslim Primary Schools at the workshop entitled: The Inclusion of Muslims in Western European Education Systems: Together or Separate? This workshop was held at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Studies, Mannheim University and was attended by academics from across Europe researching the integration and schooling of Muslim communities into a range of European countries. The presentation was incredibly well received and generated a detailed discussion on the introduction of ‘British Values’ into the English education system. In particular these were contrasted with the ‘Fundamental Values’ that have been part of the Swedish education system for many decades. Unlike the ‘British Values’ the Swedish ‘Fundamental Values’ have no political dimension and are not linked to ‘countering extremism’.


Conference, Children's Personal Epistemologies, University of Cambridge:

Farah Ahmed attended the ChiPE conference at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge to learn more about EU funded research into dialogic projects to support disadvantaged communities. The conference highlighted that children's thinking about knowledge is an important factor in their learning.


Civilizations in Contact, University of Cambridge:

Farah Ahmed attended a meeting with Professor Sally Church of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge to share ideas. Farah shared some Shakhsiyah Curricular resources and the Inventions Fair Guide for Teachers. Sally demonstrated some of the resources that are still in production for the ‘Civilizations in Contact’ project. We hope this meeting will form the foundation for future collaboration.


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