ABSTRACT

For the neo-colonized Muslim ummah1 (“nation”) without a place to fully practice Islam since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, there is pressing demand in the Muslim world for an Islamic pedagogy extracted from the Qur’an and Sunnah (and the rich scholarship that exists concerning them) that illustrates the Islamic perspective of knowledge and morality and how it could be practiced in the various disciplines of the educational system to promote human development (Cook 1999; Cook 2001). Re-newed identification of the general public of Muslims with pre-colonization identities has been particularly on the rise since the 1970s-which is commonly known as the beginning of the “Islamic Awakening” in the Muslim world (Cook, 2001, p.381; Haddad and Esposito, 1991, p.1). However, similar to many other institutions in most modern day Muslim countries, formal education mostly consists of teaching methods inherited from previous colonizers, like rote memorization (Gesink, 2006, pgs. 328-329; Ofori- Attah, 2008, pgs.15, 18). This dissonance of values is perpetuated by corrupt authoritarian puppet regimes who seek to maintain their power by supporting Western hegemony in the region; hence, providing quality education that enhances critical thinking skills that might challenge the status quo is not an initiative that receives much support (Kincheloe and Steinberg, 2004, p.149).

While teachers in the Muslim world, in places like Egypt, often teach Islamic and positivistic empirical sciences, both are taught through a banking theory approach that does little to develop critical thinking skills, let alone master basic conceptual knowledge. Aside from the ineffectiveness of such methods, such a teaching philosophy spreads a passive slave-like mentality to education which does not cultivate active citizens who will work for social justice2 . How one teaches reflects their values. The following exemplar of an Islamic pedagogy hopes to offer a culturally relevant solution. The intent of this research is to develop an Islamic pedagogy that inspires an active approach to creating change in one’s society by changing oneself and working to be an active contribution to societal change simultaneously. This thesis focuses on Islamic Pedagogy as it relates to two branches-developing caring student/teacher relationships and utilizing these relationships to apply a case-based learning approach where students learn how to apply knowledge directly from the educator and from their peers. While this research is mostly theoretical and could possibly be valid for many parts of the Muslim world, the main geographical intent for application is Egypt.