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Mrs Farah Ahmed
Appointment
  • Tutor for MA in Education
  • IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
  • UCL Institute of Education
Research Summary

I am an honorary research associate at the Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education. My academic work draws on over twenty years experience teaching in and leading Islamic faith-based schools in the UK. In this time, I have led action-research and developed a range of courses for teachers who want to understand Islamic philosophies of education and how they can be translated into practice. I see myself as a practitioner-researcher and my research focuses on pedagogy and practice in Islamic schools. I look at how Muslim educators are addressing issues of cultural relevance in two ways. First, in terms of the relevance of traditional Islamic education to the modern context and secondly issues around the relevance of mainstream education to the needs of Muslim pupils. I am interested in models of holistic Islamic education that attempt to appropriate contemporary pedagogy and subject matter into traditional Islamic educational paradigms, for example sociocultural theory and Islamic conceptions of oracy or Islamic Montessori settings. In exploring these practices I am also interested in understanding how Islamic notions of autonomy impact teaching and learning in Islamic schools.

In the past I have looked at how teachers conceptualize 'holistic Islamic education' as they attempt to synthesize Islamic and contemporary educational approaches. I explored their understanding of education as tarbiyah (upbringing / character education) and how they attempt to engage in tarbiyah as teachers in full-time Islamic schools. I have also completed some work on developing culturally relevant research methodologies in this study.

My current project involves looking at autonomy and oracy in the practice of halaqah (a type of circle-time) as a form of dialogic pedagogy.  In comparing the Islamic educational theory of Naquib al Attas with Vygotskian sociocultural theory, I aim to explore how halaqah can contribute to research on enhancing the quality of classroom talk for learning and learner autonomy.

I am also interested in the area of cultural interaction at the research and education levels. I am interested in epistemologies and research methodologies from the ‘global South’ including critical and indigenous research methods particularly their ontological, epistemological and theoretical frameworks and how these overlap with normative academic research. My work has involved developing culturally coherent Islamic research models drawing on approaches taken in indigenous research and the Islamic epistemological tradition. 

Teaching Summary

Tutor MA Education 

Optional Module (To be offered in 2017)

Muslims and ‘Islamic’ Education in Western Contexts: Theories, Pedagogies and Practice



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