By Dr. Matthew Wilkinson
Saturday, 22nd September
Dr. Matthew Tariq Wilkinson delivered a keynote address at the 2012 Muslim Council of Britain’s Education Conference, Raising Muslim Achievement: Parents, Curriculum and Schools.
Matthew’s paper was entitled, Towards a Muslim-Inclusive Curriculum and it highlighted the role that History Education and Religious Education can play in creating a dynamic both of national inclusion and, vitally, self-inclusion for Muslim young people.
The paper suggested that the Muslim historical contribution needs to be included as part of mainstream historical narratives in the National Curriculum in order to improve the quality of history provision for all pupils, rather than being sectioned-off artificially as ‘Islamic’ history. Also, an effective History-for-Citizenship will help Muslim young people understand how and why secularism came about and therefore enable them to include themselves in important national debates.
Matthew also suggested that rich, effective Religious Education is a non-negotiable for Muslim young people whose religious identifier is characteristically very strong. This needs to be a Religious Education that allows Muslim young people to justify and critique their faith inwardly to self and the Muslim community and to articulate it clearly and rationally outwardly to school and society.
The paper generated a lot of discussion and favourable feedback from delegates.