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Title: Pedagogy as dialogue between cultures : exploring halaqah : an Islamic dialogic pedagogy that acts as a vehicle for developing Muslim children's shakhsiyah (personhood, autonomy, identity) in a pluralist society
Author: Ahmed, Farah
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis presents an argument for the use of dialogic halaqah to develop the personal autonomy of young Muslims in twenty-first century Britain. It begins by developing a theoretical grounding for Islamic conceptualisations of personal autonomy and dialogic pedagogy. In doing so, it aims to generate dialogue between Islamic and ‘western’ educational traditions, and to clarify the theoretical foundation of halaqah, a traditional Islamic oral pedagogy, that has been adapted to meet the educational needs of Muslim children in contemporary Britain. Dialogic halaqah is daily practice in two independent British Muslim faith-schools, providing a safe space for young Muslims to cumulatively explore challenging issues, in order to facilitate the development of selfhood, hybrid identity and personal autonomy, theorised as shakhsiyah Islamiyah. This thesis examines the relationship between thought, language, and the development of personal autonomy in neo-Ghazalian, Vygotskian and Bakhtinian traditions, and suggests the possibility of understanding shakhsiyah Islamiyah as a dialogical Muslim-self. This theoretical work underpins an empirical study of data generated through dialogic halaqah held with groups of schoolchildren and young people. Using established analytic schemes, data from these sessions are subjected to both thematic and dialogue analyses. Emergent themes relating to autonomy and choice, independent and critical thinking, navigating authority, peer pressure, and choosing to be Muslim are explored. Themes related to halaqah as dialogic pedagogy, whether and how it supports the development of agency, resilience and independent thinking, and teacher and learner roles in halaqah, are examined. Moreover, findings from dialogue analysis, which evaluates the quality of educational dialogue generated within halaqah, that is, participants’ capacity to engage in dialogue with each other, as well as with an imagined secular other, are presented. The quality of the dialogic interactions is evaluated, as is evidence of individual participant’s autonomy in their communicative actions.
Supervisor: Hargreaves, Linda Sponsor: Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Dialogic ; educational dialogue ; classroom talk ; oral pedagogy ; culture ; Islamic education ; Muslim schools ; Muslim children ; Muslim youth ; character ; autonomy ; shakhsiyah ; halaqah ; tarbiyah ; t’alim ; t’adib ; fundamental British values ; British Muslim ; identity ; double-consciousness ; dialogical-self ; liminal ; aporia ; al-Ghazali ; al-Attas ; liberal-communitarian ; culturally relevant ; indigenous knowledge ; critical pedagogy ; critical thinking