Friday, 25 February 2011

Muslim Pedagogy?

Dear Friends
One of the precursors and continuous determinants for a successful democracy is education especially higher education. In the western world higher education is supposed to inculcate independent thinking coupled with life long learning. Thus education is a process and product. Both learned helplessness and dependence are combated through a mixture of dynamic curriculums and cutting edge pedagogy.

Thus for democracy to work in the Muslim world there must be a revolution in pedagogy since most Muslim professionals and students I have worked with suffer from myopic thinking. Independent and creative thinking are frowned upon and students are at the whim of educators. Educational establishments are merely vehicles to enrich poorly educated entrepreneurs who routinely sacrifice quality and curriculums are at the mercy of Mullahs.

The irony is that this negative state of affairs is at logger heads with Muslim history and the Quran which requests Men and women to think and therefore debate, including scripture. The great Muslim colleges of medieval Andalucía were pioneers and beacons of knowledge and were modelled by and influenced continental institutions such the Sorbonne and Oxbridge.  Also Ijtehad or legal reasoning was a normal activity.

Only modern day Turkey comes close to the Andalucía miracle and credit is due to the great reformer Ataturk. Today Turkey is a member of the elite G20 and its higher education is world class.

ربِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

Rabi Zidni ilma…Allah increase my knowledge…(20:114)



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