Teachers’ understanding and managing of religious and cultural diversity in an independent Islamic school

Kagee, Mogamat Habib (2012-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)-- Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore teachers‟ understanding of inclusive education within an independent Islamic school. The research was designed to explore the way the values and principles of tolerance and respect for religious and cultural diversity might be accommodated or promoted within an independent Islamic school in South Africa. Such schools are guided by the aims and objectives of Islamic education, as defined at the First World Conference on Muslim Education held in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 1977. However, such schools are also bound by the aims and objectives of inclusive education, as propagated by the Department of Education, which strives to promote religious and cultural diversity within a democratic society. In this study the views and experiences of nine teachers with regard to inclusivity, cultural and religious tolerance and democratic citizenship were researched. It was argued that teachers and schools represent the earliest opportunity for learners to develop meaningful relationships with and positive attitudes towards others; this enables learners to feel valued and included as citizens within a democratic and diverse society. This qualitative study was limited to one independent Islamic school in the Western Cape. The data was collected through semi-structured personal and focus group interviews and was analysed within an interpretive paradigm. The findings were that whilst the participants agreed that access to the school should be open to all learners irrespective of religion, most felt that non-Muslim learners should be taught separately. Though a school environment should promote tolerance and respectful attitudes towards learners from different cultures and backgrounds, the participants supported a school ethos that was founded on Islamic principles. The main recommendation of this study is that the independent Islamic schools should give careful consideration to their role within society if they wish to create a democratic citizenry and promote religious and cultural diversity.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om onderwysers se begrip van insluitende opvoeding binne ‟n onafhanklike Islamitiese skool te eksploreer. Die navorsing was ontwerp om te eksploreer hoe die waardes en beginsels van verdraagsaamheid en respek vir godsdiens en kulturele diversiteit geakkommodeer en bevorder kan word binne ‟n Islamitiese skool in Suid-Afrika. Hierdie tipe skole volg die doelwitte en doelstellings van Islamitiese opvoeding, soos gedefinieer by die Eerste Wêreld Konferensie oor Moslem Opvoeding in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 1977. Hierdie skole is wel ook verbonde aan die doelwitte en doelstellings van inklusiewe opvoeding, soos voorgeskryf deur die Onderwysdepartement, wat streef vir die bevordering van godsdiens en kulturele diversiteit binne ‟n demokratiese samelewing. Die meninge en ervarings van nege opvoeders in verband met inklusiwiteit, godsdiens en kulturele verdraagsaamheid en demokratiese burgerskap was ondersoek. Die argument was dat opvoeders en skole verteenwoordig was van die vroegste geleenthede vir leerders om waardevolle verhoudings met positiewe houdings teenoor ander te ontwikkel. Dit stel leerders in staat om waardevol en ingesluit te voel as burgers binne ‟n demokratiese en diverse samelewing. Hierdie kwalitatiewe studie was afgebaken tot een onafhanklike Islamitiese skool in die Weskaap. Die data was ingesamel deur semi-gestruktureerde persoonlike en fokus groep onderhoude en was geanaliseer binne ‟n interpretatiewe paradigma. Die uitkomste was dat deelnemers daarmee saamgestem het dat die skool oop moet wees vir alle leerders ongeag van hul godsdiens. Die meerderheid het wel gevoel dat nie-Moslem leerders aparte onderrig moet ontvang; alhoewel ‟n skool ‟n omgewing moet bevorder vir verdraagsaamheid en respekvolle houdings teenoor leerders van verskillende kulture en agtergronde. Die deelnemers het ‟n skool etos ondersteun wat baseer is op Islamitiese beginsels. Die hoof aanbeveling van hierdie studie is dat onafhanklike Islamitiese skole versigtige oorweging moet gee aan hul rol binne ‟n samelewing indien hul ‟n demokratiese burgerskap wil skep en godsdiens en kulturele diversiteit wil bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19966
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