Islamic Studies Curriculum Projects
CITE in partnership with the Islamic Schools Association of Australia (ISAA) as well as curriculum partners Nationally and Internationally are leading the design and development of an Islamic Studies Curriculum (Prep – Grade 10) and a Senior Islamic Studies Syllabus known as Applied Islam (Grade 11 – 12). The Islamic Studies Curriculum (P – 10) will align with the Australian Curriculum in structure and both this and the Senior Islamic Studies Applied Islam Syllabus propose to authentically integrate the Islamic sciences such that they are relevant to student’s lives, responsive to the Australian context, and age appropriate with scope for inquiry, critical thinking and reflective assessment. CITE and project partners will lead the consultative design and implementation phases.
Young Australian Muslims are faced with various challenges that impact on, and make them question, their faith and identity. These challenges can include religious, social, political and cultural dimensions. In an age of nihilism, narcissism, and violence in the name of Islam, these challenges seem insurmountable and difficult to counter. Furthermore, given the absence of an alternative narrative that is grounded in the sacred tradition, and an understanding of contemporary issues, our young people are left without the necessary knowledge and skills to overcome such mighty challenges. While Islamic schools, madrassas and mosques in the Western context offer some relief, they are often not equipped to provide valid Islamic answers to these challenges. This leaves our most valued, yet most vulnerable, group of young people lost amidst the turmoil of modern society, searching for deeper meaning to these questions and their place as emerging Australian Muslims. Applied Islam has been designed to fill this vacuum, and begin to quench the thirst of these young people by providing them with the much needed answers.
Applied Islam is tailor made to meet the needs and expectations of emerging young Australian Muslims to equip them with the necessary knowledge, insight and experience to meet the aforementioned challenges. The program utilises traditional sacred sciences combined with an understanding of contemporary issues, established on social science methods, aimed at answering questions related to faith, identity, modernity, secularism, existence, cultural norms and practices and their relation to Sacred Law. The program also explores the historical context of Islam, including the biography of the Prophet, and derives lessons for modern challenges. Furthermore, the program exposes students to the meaning, scope and application of Sharia, the legacy of the Islamic civilisation and its tremendous contributions to the various fields of knowledge, and the active contributions Muslims had with non-Muslims throughout the ages.
Applied Islam allows students to navigate through the many contemporary issues they encounter with an Islamic lens embedded within an Islamic worldview that is cognisant of the modern world. The Applied Islam project was delivered over 2 years in Brisbane, Australia, and is currently being delivered to a number of Islamic schools in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
Dignified Way is a whole-community approach to character education and classroom management within a Prophetic pedagogical framework for quality teaching and learning and building of strong school culture. Dignified Way offers a purpose fit model aligning with the principles of Islamic education for Islamic schools and Madrassah. The Dignified Way philosophy prioritises transformation over compliance, incorporating notions of authenticity, presence, dignity, empathy, justice and mercy. Dignified Way proposes to 1) assist in the alignment of the purpose of learning with the pedagogy of the classroom; 2) develop strong and positive school culture emanating from the classroom; and 3) inculcate the essential ingredient of adab in the learning partnership between teachers, students, school leaders and parents.
inspiredNAFSi is a 13-weeks personal leadership program, underpinned by a strength-based approach and Muslim worldview, that uses the Yarning Circle Tool to create self-awareness in individuals facing daily life challenges and struggle with articulating their thoughts and views. The program empowers them with skills to heal any trauma and empower themselves; thereby reducing their isolation and reintegrating them into workplaces/society as a way forward. Individuals gain practical skills that assist them in decision-making processes and links them up with various support and services that exist within their communities.
Islamic School Renewal
School reviews, evaluations and appraisals; school satisfaction reports; action-research projects, staff induction, teacher training and professional development and learning, curriculum renewal, pedagogical practice and whole-school solutions for renewal and school improvement support within Islamic schools.
Annual Workshops provide quality induction for new teachers in Islamic schools (both Muslim teachers and teachers who do not identify as Muslim) to enhance the educational experience of Australian Muslim students. The workshop covers religious and cultural competency in Muslim communities and Islamic schools; Islamic education principles, perspective and philosophies; responsive pedagogy for teaching Muslim students; and contemporary issues in the Australian Islamic school classroom.
Leadership Processes in Islamic Organisations
This project deals with processes of leadership across organisations, which entails the leaders’ and followers’ behaviours, actions, attitudes and the perceptions concerning the leadership process among various stakeholders.
This program focuses on Islamic finance as an alternative financing model in the Australian and global finance markets. The program is designed for teaching and research at under- and post-graduate levels and incorporates the understanding of new paradigms in ethical finance premised on Islamic legal criteria, comparative studies of conventional commercial and tax laws. These paradigms resonate with Islamic trade practices and alternative investment practices that fall under the general rubric of ethical finance.