Given the political, social and economic impact of education of British Muslim youth, yesterday’s Islamic Education Conference was suitably located at the high end QEII Conference Centre across from Parliament and featured the Chairman of Conservative Muslim Forum Lord Sheikh of Cornhill in the City of London, Shadow Education Minister Rushanara Ali, as well as a wide range of religious leaders and thinkers from UK and abroad, Heads of outstanding Muslim schools, tertiary researchers and independent curriculum developers. See conference programme for more information.
However, from all sides, three ubiquitous topics completely dominated the discourse in addresses from the Sunday VIP dinner and up to my own afternoon seminar the following day:
1. Generating outstanding attainment.
2. Preservation of Islamic identity and religion.
3. And that both have the broader aim of benefiting wider society.
Given my own seminar started with Sir Ken Robinson’s point that 1 and 2 – economic survival and preservation of cultural DNA – is the drive for a global shift in education towards Student-Centred Learning, and ended on how Muslims should use Cooperative Learning with insight to achieve both of these aims AND benefit the UK – beyond worldly success through outstanding attainment – by generating tools to form successful cohesive communities that may potentially be employed by other struggling communities in Britain – I gratefully felt that the previous speakers had conspired to prepare the ground for me.
We are going to be busy with workshops in Norwich and Leicester this month, but I will endeavor to upload a some of key points from the talk before – hopefully – getting an edited version online at some point in the future. I also hope to share some thoughts on other speakers and conversations with delegates.