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Education in the Muslim World
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Education in the Muslim World

different perspectives


2006 paperback 344 pages, £34.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-55-7

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About the book

This collection of articles is an eclectic selection of studies of a range of educational situations relating to Muslim populations in different parts of the world. It is intended as a selection and in no way contains any overarching theme, other than illustrating the wide diversity of situations and issues relating to education in Muslim societies. The contributors provide a wide and fascinating range of insights and problems, many of which apply to other communities as well; there is much to be shared and celebrated between ‘east’ and ‘west’, but only with greater understanding. It is hoped this book will contribute something towards that understanding.


Rosarii Griffin. Introduction and Overview

S.P. Singh. The Interface between Islam and the West in Politics, and Intellectual Awakening and Education in the Middle Ages

Ken Shaw. Muslim Education in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia: selected issues

André Elias Mazawi. State Power, Faculty Recruitment and the Emergence of Political Constituencies in Saudi Arabia

Sarfaroz Niyozov. Education in Tajikistan: a window to understanding change through continuity

Ozcam Demirel. Education in Turkey

Lila Zia Levers. Ideology and Change in Iranian Education

Serra Kirdar. The Development of Women’s Education in the Arab World

Colin Brock, James Dada & Tida Jatta. Selected Perspectives on Education in West Africa, with Special Reference to the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria

Su-Ann Oh & Rebecca Roberts. Palestinians and Education in Lebanon

David Galloway. Educational Reconstruction in the Aftermath of War: some observations from the work of aid agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jeffrey Ayala Milligan. Between the Cross and the Crescent Moon: the education of Muslims in the Southern Philippines

Ann Doyle. Educational Equality, Religion and the Education of Muslim Pupils: a comparative study of France and England

Yahia Bahia. The Politics of Higher Education in Contemporary Afghanistan: the post-Taliban experience

Fayez M. Mina. Teacher Education in Egypt: visions and reality


Yahia Bahia was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and completed his elementary and secondary education in Kabul. In 1999, he won a three-year scholarship from the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), London, an academic institution of the Aga Khan Development Network. The scholarship enabled him to complete his two-year postgraduate degree in Islamic Studies and Humanities at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and the IIS. His ambitions to contribute to the education system of Afghanistan led him to obtain his master’s in Educational Research Methodology, from University of Oxford, where he now completes his research on the education system of Afghanistan for his doctoral degree in educational studies.

Colin Brock is UNESCO Chair in ‘Education as a Humanitarian Response’, and Senior Research fellow at the University of Oxford, having previously been on the staff of the universities of Hull, Leeds and Reading in the field of international educational development. Over the past 35 years Colin Brock has also worked for the major development agencies (e.g. the World Bank, the European Commission, United Nations Development Programme and Department for International Development) on educational projects in all main zones of the developing world (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the tropical island zones of the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and South Pacific). More recently he has been lead consultant to the ‘InTeach’ project in Jordan. For 10 years (198898) Colin Brock was Editor/Co-Editor of Compare, and since 1999 has been Co-Editor of the Symposium Books series ‘Monographs in International Education’.

James Dada’s early education had been in Northern Nigeria during the periods Dada lived among the Muslim communities and experienced the Muslim way of life and its laws. Dada taught in Teachers’ College in Kaltungo, Kagoro Secondary School and Titcombe College. During Dada’s teaching career in Nigeria he was headmaster of schools which were of both Muslim and Christian faith. Dada has a Master of Education degree from the University of Hull (1983) and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Kent (1986).

Özcan Demirel graduated from Gazi Teacher Training College, Ankara, in 1964 and was awarded his PhD degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1979. He has been working at the Faculty of Education, Hacettepe University, for 30 years. He is the Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and is the author of 15 books on education and the co-author of 10 books on English and English language teaching. He has also presented and published about 80 articles and papers on curriculum development, teacher education and English language teaching. He worked in different educational projects of the World Bank, UNESCO; UNICEF, the European Union and the Council of Europe. At present, he is the national coordinator for Turkey in the Council of Europe, Language Policy Division, vice-president of the Balkan Society of Pedagogy and Education and head of the Turkish Chapter of the World Council on Curriculum and Instruction.

Ann Doyle works in the School of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London. She taught French and English at secondary level in Ireland and also taught English in France and Spain before joining the Institute. Her research interests are in comparative education, history of education, intercultural education and policy studies. Her doctoral thesis is in the area of comparative education and is focusing on the issues of equality and social integration within the French and English educational systems. Recent publications include: ‘Ethnocentrism and History Textbooks: representation of the Irish Famine 184549 in history textbooks in English secondary schools’, Intercultural Education, 13(3) (2002) and ‘Educational Equality, Religion, and Social Integration: France and England’, in J. Sprogøe & T. Winther-Jensen (Eds) Identity, Education and Citizenship – multiple interrelations (2006).

David Galloway is an Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Durham and Visiting Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway. He was Head of the School of Education at Durham from 1993 to 2000 and visited Bosnia and Herzegovina several times from 1997 to 2001. His main research interests are in motivation and special educational needs, with particular reference to school influences on children’s psychosocial development.

Rosarii Griffin is a graduate of University College Cork, Ireland where she undertook a BA in English and Philosophy, a Master’s in Education and a Higher Diploma in Education. As an ESRC Scholar to Oxford University, Rosarii completed an MSc and a DPhil in comparative and international education. She has worked as a lecturer and researcher at the universities of University College Cork, Oxford and Brussels. Prior to this, Rosarii was a secondary school teacher of English and French. She has published widely, including her edited book Education in Transition: the politics and processes of change (2002). Rosarii currently works as both a part-time Lecturer and Development Officer in the Centre for Adult Continuing Education, University College Cork, Ireland. Rosarii is also the Co-Editor of the Symposium Books series ‘Monographs in International Education’.

Tida Jatta was born in the Gambia, West Africa in 1972. Tida completed her university education at the University of Ghana, Legon and graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She has an M.Ed. degree from the University of Hull (2003). She then obtained an Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy from Rusland College in the United Kingdom and also an Advanced Diploma in Management and Administration from Cambridge International College. She now works at the Department of State for Education as the Principal Education Officer responsible for the Gender Education Unit, which is responsible for the education of boys and girls for the whole country.

Serra Kirdar is an academic and educator, with a deep interest and experience in cultural issues and challenges facing Arab women in local and global societies. Her focus is on education and the pivotal role of teachers in helping transform educational systems in the Arab world and the role of education in Arab women’s empowerment and leadership. Serra earned her BA in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford, an MSc in Comparative and International Education and a DPhil at St Antony’s College, Oxford in 2004 entitled: ‘Gender and Cross-cultural Experience with Reference to Elite Arab Women’. Serra, a founding member of the New Leaders Group for the Institute for International Education (IIE), founded the Initiative for Innovative Teaching (INTEACH) under the IIE and Oxford University Middle East Centre. INTEACH aims to develop tailor-made, locally geared professional training programmes for public sector teachers in the Arab world with the aim of enhancing pedagogical instruction in the region. She is currently the Director of INTEACH as well as a Foundation Life Fellow of St Antony’s College, Middle East Centre, Oxford University.

Lila Zia Levers was born in Tehran where she received her initial schooling at the Ecole Jean d’Arc, before moving to England and graduating in Politics at the University of Exeter. She subsequently held a series of posts in both education and administration, culminating in Administrator of the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Oxford. As a long-standing member of the British Association for Comparative and International Education, she has presented papers at its Conferences on aspects of education in Iran. She also presented at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London on ‘The Iranian Revolution: ten years later’. These papers have been published, and Lila is currently engaged on the editing of chapters for a forthcoming book in the series ‘Oxford Studies in Comparative Education’ on aspects of education in the Middle East which she is co-editing with Dr Colin Brock. These papers arise from a seminar series organised by Lila Zia Levers and Colin Brock at St Antony’s College, Oxford in 2005, the first of which – on Iran – was presented by Lila.

André Elias Mazawi is an associate professor at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada. He is a research associate at the Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training (CHET) at UBC and French editor of the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. A sociologist of education by training, he is currently engaged in a research project concerned with the impacts of the knowledge society and the knowledge economy on educational policies, governance and reforms (including in higher education) in the Arab states.

Jeffrey Ayala Milligan is an assistant professor of Philosophy of Education and Sociocultural and International Development Education Studies in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University, USA. His research focuses on issues relating to tensions between religion and secular education. His work in the southern Philippines has been supported by the US Institute of Peace, a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Fulbright Program. It has been published in Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, Comparative Education Review, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies and in a recent book entitled Islamic Identity, Postcoloniality and Educational Policy: schooling and ethno-religious conflict in the Southern Philippines (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Fayez Mourad Mina was born in Sohag, Egypt in 1940. He received his BSc, Special Education Diploma and MA in Education from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt and his PhD in mathematics education from the University of London, United Kingdom. He is an Emeritus Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the Faculty of Education of Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. He worked as a mathematics teacher at the Universities of Tanta, Bahrain, Ain Shams, Cairo as well as being a visiting professor in the United Arab Emirates University. He has had more than 100 publications including books, articles, conference papers, and researches (individually and jointly) in the areas of curriculum, mathematics education, teacher education, comparative education, sociology of education, adult education, research methodology and futurology. He is the coordinator of the Mathematics Education into the 21st Century Project and he is a member of the Central Team of Project Egypt 2020.

Sarfaroz Niyozov was born in Badakhshan Tajikistan, obtained his BA in Arabic from Tajik State University in 1983, his Master’s degree in Education from the Aga Khan University and his PhD in Education from University in Toronto in 2001. He has worked as a translator in a number of Middle Eastern countries, as an Instructor at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan, as an Instructor at the Tajik and Khorog State Universities, and as a Research Fellow and Coordinator of the Central Asian Studies Unit at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, United Kingdom. Niyozov has authored and edited publications on Arab literary criticism, on education in Central Asia, and on the Central Asian Islam and Ismaili community. Since July 2005, Niyozov has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Su-Ann Oh is a sociologist specialising in education. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics and completed a PhD at the University of Oxford. She works as a research advisor to a non-governmental organisation in Thailand, looking specifically at the education of Karen refugees at the Thai–Burmese border. She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education, Singapore. Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral researcher and SKOPE Research Fellow (ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance) at the University of Oxford, Department of Educational Studies. Her research to date has examined the educational experience of Karen and Palestinian refugees and the needs of marginalised students in England and Singapore.

Rebecca Roberts is a senior researcher for the Assistance to Mine-affected Communities project (AMAC) at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Norway. She has a background in Middle Eastern studies and a PhD from the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU), University of York. She has extensive fieldwork experience in Cambodia, Lebanon, and Sudan and has presented widely on her research findings. In addition to working for AMAC, she continues to pursue research interests in Middle Eastern studies, refugee issues, and development.

Ken. E. Shaw is an Honorary University Research Fellow in the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. He publishes widely in journals relating to the MENA region and regularly visits the Gulf for supervision of candidates’ fieldwork, consultancies and research. His interests are chiefly in higher education, human resource accumulation and development in the Gulf and in Egypt. He works closely with the Arabic and Islamic Institute at Exeter and is located in their School of Education and Lifelong Learning.

S.P. Singh has been the member of the Society of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. He was the first recipient of the Indian Studies Visiting Dr L.M. Singhvi Fellowships at Hull and Oxford Universities, sponsored by the Indo-British Golden Jubilee Banquet in recognition of his academic career, which has been built up at premier institutions such as Moscow State University, Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. Professor Singh has worked as a Research Visitor at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London as well as the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London. Singh’s current research interests include India’s multifaceted relations with Russia, the USA and the Central Asian Republics during the post-Cold War period. Also of interest to him are the strategic dimensions of the challenges of political Islam in Central and South-West Asia during the last decade.

Related and recent books

Education in Transition ROSARII GRIFFIN

Aspects of Education in the Middle East and North Africa COLIN BROCK, LILA ZIA LEVERS

Globalisation and Higher Education in the Arab Gulf States GARI DONN, YAHYA AL MANTHRI

Education in South-East Asia COLIN BROCK, LORRAINE PE SYMACO

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa ROSARII GRIFFIN

Education in the Broader Middle East GARI DONN, YAHYA AL MANTHRI


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