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Developing religious identities of Muslim students in the classroom: a case study from Finland

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Abstract

In the Finnish National core curricula for religions, the aims of religious socialisation have been replaced with aims of personal identity development. This shift of aims is also prevalent in many other countries, but the practical implications of it are not clear. This paper presents the results of a case study examining different ways of supporting the development of Muslim students’ religious identities in the classroom, and discusses these observations in the light of different interpretations concerning the possibilities and practices of religious identity development in liberal religious education.

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... Specifically, Islamic identity is critical in the self-perception of Muslims and could influence their attitudes (Alghorani, 2003). The concept of identity formation is considered as the process through which individual and group identities are constructed (Rissanen, 2014). ...
... As such, the environment is an important factor in determining identity formation. The concept of identity formation is complex (Rissanen, 2014) and, therefore, understanding the religious structure of the population and its relationship with the immediate social environment is helpful in revealing religious identity (Borisov et al., 2016). Identity formation involves numerous psychological and social domains, including education, religious beliefs, political beliefs, occupational choices, and interpersonal relationships. ...
... Previous studies have investigated the issue of identity formation in various facets and dimensions. For example, Rissanen (2014) conducted a case study to examine different ways of supporting the development of Muslim students' religious identities in the classroom. According to the study, the teachers demonstrated their belief in collective Muslim identity, and hence promoted unity in the heterogeneous class. ...
Article
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The relationship between Islamic values and foreign languages in the school environment offers a relatively good example of the challenging aspects of Islamic identity formation amongst the students. Therefore, this study aims to explore the influence of English language learning and environment in the process of Islamic self-identity formation. Focus group interviews were conducted with 90 students and 15 teachers from selected religious secondary schools in Malaysia. The study found that environment is influential in the process of Islamic self-identity formation among the students, and English language learning does not have a negative influence on the process. Instead, certain virtues such as respect, self-confidence, cooperation, teamwork, diligence, and decency are inculcated in the students' self-identity during the English language learning process. Teachers and educational administrators should put more effort toward the best educational provisions for the students' religious identities through exposure to the values of self-identity beyond the scope of textbooks.
... Specifically, Islamic identity is critical in the self-perception of Muslims which could influence their attitudes (Alghorani, 2003). The concept of identity formation is considered as the process through which individual and group identities are constructed (Rissanen, 2014). ...
... This is because students, in particular, are exposed to different norms especially through secular public education (Janson, 2012). Identity formation has been investigated from educational, psychological and socio-cultural perspectives (Abu-Ras et al., 2013;Borisov et al., 2016;Miedema, 2014;Omar, 2012;Rissanen;. Therefore, this study focuses on self-identity formation among Muslim learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) in relation to English language learning and the school environment. The study aims to explore the teachers' perceptions with regard to the influence of English language learning and the environment in the process of Islamic self-identity formation among religious secondary school students, particularly in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. ...
... As such, the environment is an important factor in determining people's identity formation. The concept of identity formation is complex (Rissanen, 2014), and therefore, understanding the religious structure of the population and its relationship with the immediate social environment is helpful in revealing people's religious identity (Borisov et al., 2016). Identity formation occurs in numerous psychological and social domains, including education, religious beliefs, political beliefs, occupational choices, and interpersonal relationships. ...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between Islamic values and foreign languages in the school environment offers a relatively good example of the challenging aspects of Islamic identity formation amongst the students. Via focused group interviews, this study aimed to explore the teachers' perceptions with regard to the influence of English language learning and the environment in the process of Islamic self-identity formation among religious secondary school students in Terengganu, Malaysia. The study employed a qualitative approach in which 15 religious secondary school teachers in the Terengganu State of Malaysia were selected using purposive sampling technique. The study found that the school environment is influential in the process of Islamic self-identity formation among the students, and English language learning does not have a negative influence on the process. Instead, certain virtues, such as respect, self-confidence, diligence, and decency are inculcated in the students' self-identity during the English language teaching and learning process. Teachers and educational administrators should put more effort toward the best educational provisions for the students' religious identity through exposure to the values of self-identity beyond the scope of textbooks.
... The wealth of questions raised by Muslim students in Finnish Islamic education can be used to elucidate why one of the most important starting points is to understand the needs of religious minorities and the identity negotiations these diverse students and groups, who are positioned differently in a multicultural society, are going through. In my dissertation study (Rissanen 2014a(Rissanen , 2014b(Rissanen , 2012a(Rissanen , 2012b(Rissanen , 2012c) I examined Islamic religious education (IRE) in Finnish schools. This was a qualitative case study and its data included observations of three courses of IRE in comprehensive and upper secondary schools in the metropolitan area of helsinki, interviews with the teachers (n=3) and interviews with some of the students (n=16). ...
... The teachers emphasized to the students that the fact that society grants them the right to have their own religious education is an important act of recognition which means that Muslim identities are truly considered legitimate in school and in society. the interviews with the students showed that they too had internalized this understanding of the right to IRE as an act of recognition confirming their right to bring their 'Muslimness' to school (Rissanen 2014b). The message of the teachers was clear: Finnish Muslims can commit to Finnish citizenship without contradictions-being a good Muslim indicates being a good citizen. ...
... The success of different forms of religious education in promoting social cohesion relies on the ability to create safe spaces where nobody feels that their identity is being threatened, and willingness to self-criticism and dialogue can be developed. Finnish IRE seems to meet these requirements rather well: not having to defend their religion to outsiders was one of the reasons the Muslim students enjoyed religious education classes (Rissanen 2014b). However, the challenge here is that different students regard different forms of religious education as safe spaces: while most of the Muslim students in my study appreciated the current Finnish approach for giving them a chance to meet other Muslims and ask difficult questions without having to think about what kind of image they are giving of their tradition to outsiders, it is known that some minority students might feel more at home in an inter-faith classroom. ...
Chapter
In many European countries religious education in school, regardless of its organizational model, is commonly given two important tasks: supporting students’ identity development and educating for tolerance. This is the case also in Finland, where there is a general consensus that religious education should contribute to social cohesion, but at the same time different opinions on what approach to RE would most likely meet this aim. However, challenges related to identity and tolerance are distinct for the majority and minorities in a society, and developing successful and legitimate forms of religious education requires paying attention to these particular challenges. This article discusses issues related to organizing legitimate and successful forms of religious education in European contexts by concentrating on minority perspective and drawing from the results of a study about Islamic education in Finnish schools. First, contemporary European ideals of religious education as well as identity negotiations and educational needs of Muslim students are explored. After that, the Finnish approach to religious education and observations on Finnish Islamic religious education are presented and implications for the future development of religious education discussed.
... 31 As Rissanen (2014) holds, this view of identity can be seen as liberal, supporting modern socialization and the development of a personal identity. 32 The Finnish RE curriculum has also moved from a traditional to a more individual approach. The curriculum articulates the aims of supporting students' identities through "focusing on life's religious and ethical dimension (…) from the standpoint of students' own growth." ...
... 35 Despite this development, research shows that Finnish RE includes problematic issues and tensions regarding how it supports students' identities. 36 Hella & Wright (2009) and Rissanen (2014) argue that the relationship between confessionalism and liberalism in education is not clear and that the aim of personal development in the Finnish curricula is open to interpretation. 37 This has been highlighted particularly within minority RE. ...
... Teachers may also have strong congregational bonds, which are reflected in their teaching. 39 In a recent study of Islam RE, Rissanen (2014) argues that socialization into tradition was strongly present even if attempts to incorporate liberal values in the education were also found. 40 The fact that participation in the minority RE class is decided according to parental religious belonging has been criticized for not adequately reflecting the plural identities of students. ...
Article
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The comprehensive school in Finland offers religious education (RE) according to the religious belonging of students. The current system of RE is under debate partly with respect to how education aims at supporting students’ identities. This study investigates minority RE teachers’ views on the significance of RE. Teachers’ perspectives are sought through an interview study of 23 minority teachers in the comprehensive school Grades 1-6. The results show how teachers view RE as importantly supporting minority religious belonging. The presence of strong elements of socialization into religious tradition stand out as problematic in regards to the general curricular aims of the comprehensive school. Full publication: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/PAw6MUpXFyTW2WiZyy3q/full
... English Language and Literature Studies Vol. 11, No. 1;2021 other than religious motives. ...
... Besides, Islamic self-identity formation among students is influenced by the school environment. These findings concur with a few previous studies on Islamic self-identity (Dewi, 2011;Rissanen, 2014). In Malaysia, identities are likely to be preserved due to the restrictive nature of the environment and the people's unique cultural background (Utaberta, 2015). ...
Article
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Self-identity formation becomes increasingly challenging for students as they are exposed to different norms in the school environment. Education, language, and religion are crucial in the process of self-identity formation. Therefore, this study aims to explore how English language learning and the school environment influence Islamic self-identity formation among students in selected religious secondary schools in Terengganu, Malaysia. The study employed a qualitative approach in which 90 religious secondary school students in the State of Terengganu were selected using a purposive sampling technique. Focus group interviews were used as a data-gathering instrument. The students were divided across different sessions to ease the process of data collection. The data were transcribed and analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. The study found that English language learning does not influence the students’ Islamic self-identity formation negatively. Instead, certain morals such as respect, self-esteem, and cooperation, are instilled in the students’ self-identity. This study provides evidence on the students’ ability to construct Islamic self-identity despite the challenges of second language learning.
... Therefore, one key concept in this article is Islamic identity development. Although research has been conducted into identity development and IRE teacher praxis at public schools and Islamic schools, these studies remain explorative and are largely confined to West-European countries (Ahmed 2012;Berglund 2009Berglund , 2013Berglund , 2018de Souza et al. 2006, de Souza 2014Merry and Driessen 2016;Halstead 2004;Jackson 2003;Kimanen 2016;Merry 2014;Sahin 2005Sahin , 2013aSahin , 2013bRissanen 2014aRissanen , 2014b. ...
... 19); and the religious and social role of the mosque. As underlined by Hargreaves (2003), teaching is not only a matter of technique and of transmission of rules (Rissanen 2012(Rissanen , 2014a(Rissanen , 2014b and course content, but also constitutes a sincere contribution to personality development, and makes up a moral and social duty of IRE teachers (Shakeel 2018). ...
Article
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Islamic tradition promotes a holistic approach of personality development in which, we argue, three educational concepts take the centre stage: tarbiyah, ta’leem and ta’deeb. Looking through the lens of these concepts, we analyse two Islamic religious education (IRE) curricula: the 2001 and 2012 curricula for Flemish public secondary education provided by the Representative Body for IRE. We conduct a systematic thematic document analysis of the 2001 and 2012 curricula to map curricula elements that potentially contribute to Islamic personality development through IRE classes. Crucially, this article seeks to investigate whether the 2001 and 2012 curricula for Flemish public secondary education are in line with these central IRE concepts. We observe that the 2012 curriculum does contain relevant anchor points to work on tarbiyah, ta’leem and ta’deeb and to strengthen an Islamic personality in Muslim pupils. Hence, we argue that there is an urgent need for a new, adequate and sufficiently comprehensive IRE curriculum for Flemish public secondary education, developed by an expert committee—which should include Belgian-educated educational experts—in order to meet the expectations of all the stakeholders. Since in our view, this is the first step for a qualitative update of Flemish IRE. Further reflections on both curricula and recommendations for a new IRE curriculum are outlined in the discussion and conclusion sections.
... The study aimed to build an understanding of how the common aims of liberal religious education in contemporary European multicultural societies can be pursued in a single-faith approach to religious education, and what kind of negotiation processes are involved in teaching and studying Islam in a modern liberal context. This understanding was sought by analysing 1) how pupils' identities were supported in the classroom (Rissanen, 2014b), 2) how pupils' willingness to deal with difference was supported in the classroom (Rissanen, 2012a), 3) how pupils deal with religious and cultural difference (Rissanen, 2012b) and 4) teachers' negotiations in mediating the contested meanings and practices of Islam alongside the values and ideals of liberal democracies (Rissanen, 2012c). ...
... Many pupils appeared to perceive Islamic religious education lessons as a safe space where they could ask questions that might be too delicate to discuss with their parents or in the education spaces of religious communities. It was important for them to have a space where they felt no necessity to defend their religion to outsiders and could have some peer-support from other Muslims of their own age (Rissanen, 2014b). ...
Chapter
In many European societies, including Finland, negotiations around pluralism and secularism often revolve around the question of Islam and Muslims. In the Finnish context, questions on the inclusion of Muslims are particularly acute due to the exceptionally negative attitudes among Finns toward Islam and Muslims. In this chapter I will bring together perspectives from my studies in Islamic religious education in Finnish schools, the inclusion of Muslims through school-family collaboration and the role of Muslim cultural brokers in promoting Muslim inclusion. My findings have enabled me to develop discussions concerning the agency of Finnish Muslims to negotiate the terms of inclusion and the development of multicultural citizenship in school. The studies depict school communities where dialogic collaboration with Muslim families is developed as interesting laboratories for the development of a multicultural and multi-faith society.
... Data were analysed by means of inductive qualitative content analysis. The Finnish data has previously been analysed from the perspective of students' identity and value negotiations and how teachers supported these in the classroom (Rissanen 2012a(Rissanen , 2012b(Rissanen , 2012c(Rissanen , 2014. In this article, our comparative study discusses how social cohesion is promoted in Finnish and Irish IRE classrooms, with a focus on three main aspects. ...
... The teachers educated about liberal educational values such as autonomy and tolerance by representing these as Islamic virtues. Furthermore, they seemed to actively promote the students' loyalty to their country by emphasising the right to IRE as an act of recognition by the state, in addition to informing them that their Muslim identities were legitimate and supported by the state (Rissanen 2014 In contrast, given the heterogeneity of Muslim students in the Irish classrooms, some of whom were not born in Ireland, the teachers did not emphasise the importance of an Irish Muslim identity. However, one of the expectations of the DES concerning RE is that it should instil values that promoted a willingness to contribute to the general good of society, and this was done in a similar manner to Finnish IRE. ...
Article
Full-text available
Based on classroom observations and semi-structured interviews with teachers, parents and students, this comparative study looks at how social cohesion is promoted in Islamic Religious Education (IRE) lessons in Muslim schools in Ireland and non-faith schools in Finland. The study analyses teaching in the following areas: intra-religious cohesion; inter-religious cohesion and commitment to society. The findings reveal that despite differences in the governance of IRE as a subject taught in both types of schools, the IRE classroom emerges as a space, whereby teachers use power as agents for internal governance of religion. The authors conclude with some implications and offer some considerations for future research and practice.
... Recently a few studies have been made of religious education in Islam. In a participatory study in one upper secondary school class Rissanen (2014) showed that instead of pursuing individual identity construction the teacher guided the students towards acquiring a deep understanding of the religious tradition. The education aimed at strengthening belonging and identification. ...
Thesis
The purpose of this doctoral thesis is to explore how education in minority religions and secular ethics supports students identities and inclusion in the Finnish comprehensive school. The focus is on students in grades 1 6 (age 7 13) in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The identities of the students are viewed from a constructivist perspective as their conceptions of themselves in the context of the instruction group and the school. The student s different identities, including his or her religious and non-religious identities, are examined as part of an intercultural educational context. In this context student inclusion is viewed as the student s experiences of him- or herself as equal and integrated. This article-based thesis takes a qualitative approach and is based on four articles, each targeting one sub-question which aims at answering the research problem. Article I focused on how students experience instruction in their own minority religious education or in secular ethics, and how they perceive themselves as part of the overall school culture. This study was based on a participant observation study in 2009 10 undertaken in five different minority religion and secular ethics classes in one comprehensive school. The findings indicated that minority students generally found having their own group to be a positive experience. However, the study also showed that students expressed a negative sense of difference in relation to majority students and that there were several practical concerns in the organization of the classes. The subsequent articles, Articles II IV, were based on interviews with 31 teachers and 3 teacher coordinators in 2011. Article II focused on how minority religion and secular ethics teachers view the task of supporting and including plurality within the classroom. Article III focused on how teachers and teacher coordinators view the inclusion of minority religious education in the school culture. The final article, Article IV, focused on how teachers of minority religions view the significance of education in supporting students identities. The findings within these articles illuminated how students identities were embedded in the educational context, which included both supportive and challenging aspects. The supportive aspects that the teachers and teacher coordinators emphasized included a sense of belonging and community in the group, the inclusion of students with immigrant backgrounds, as well as the support given to students diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. The support given to students backgrounds was strongly dependent on the size and structure of the mixed age class and the teachers capacities to take all students into account. A central challenging aspect included structural discrimination in the education. In teachers views, some minority students also felt separated and isolated in relation to majority students and were subject to instances of discrimination. Furthermore, the overall lack of dialogue within the schools and between the classes emerged as a challenge for including the minority students in the school cultures. The findings moreover indicated that the way minority religious education supports students identities includes challenges. The current system of education appears strong with regard to supporting students identities within a given tradition. However, it does not always take into account modern plurality and the individual identities of students. In teachers views students identities were frequently seen as bound to a particular tradition, and socialization into the religious tradition was clearly present. This puts into question the adequacy of the current model and educational practice. For the future development of religious education it is vital that the challenges in the educational context are met and that students identities are viewed as open to change and individual development. Full publication: https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/144143
... However, it should be noted that the line between constructing a personal identity and socialization is not clear cut. As Rissanen (2013) argues, it can be claimed that non-directive education into a unique individuality in religious education is not even possible. Educating for individual identity development also presupposes certain implicit values of individuality and criticalness, which are directive, just as traditional socialization emphasizes the values of the community and of commitment. ...
Chapter
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The Finnish comprehensive school offers a range of different instruction alternatives for education in worldviews depending on the students’ religious or non-religious background. The separate classes are commonly argued for on the basis that they support students’ ‘own’ religion and worldview. This chapter raises the question whether the current educational model actually fulfils the goals of identity development aimed for in the curriculum. Drawing from my doctoral thesis on students’ identities and inclusion in minority religious education and ethics a number of problematic issues are shown to be of concern regarding students’ identities in segregated education. These issues include structural inequality, lack of choice, the essentialization of students’ identities, confessional elements, exclusion and discrimination. Furthermore, recent curricular developments and changes in the religious landscape create increasing pressure on the current model of education. In closing, the ambition to create a pluralistic model of worldview education is discussed.
... According to the study, translation of Islam would be a more appropriate term than transmission because a religion is not a static entity that can be transmitted as such from one generation to another but is adjusted to local circumstances. In Finland, Rissanen (2014a) observed an IRE class where the teacher both emphasised the student's freedom of choice and wished to provide an understanding of what it is like to be an active member of the religious community. Zilliacus and Holm (2013) interviewed both teachers and pupils of many minority religions about their RE classes. ...
Article
Confessionality is a term which is seldom defined but often used. One of its meanings is enhancing the religiosity of pupils. In Finland, pupils are provided with religious education in their own religion. Does this produce more religious young people than a neutral or multi-religious education would produce? Interviews with 15-16-year-old Muslim pupils at three different Finnish comprehensive schools are examined in order to answer this question. The young Muslims themselves usually regarded their families as the most important factor in their religious identity, although they also acknowledged and valued the impact of school. For them, knowledge of Islam was an important asset. Some peer group influence could also be detected, although the interviewees stressed the fact that their faith was a matter of individual choice. Islamic religious education certainly provides an arena for developing religious attitudes and models of behaviour, but other factors determine whether these models are received or not. The focus of defining the degree of confessionality should be shifted from the outcomes to the process of teaching, and in particular the question as to whether the religious education class can be seen as a safe space for every pupil.
... Students are still entitled to instruction in their own faith (with a minimum of three children), but the teacher is no longer obliged to adhere to the religion being taught (Kääriäinen 2011). In 2014, 13 different curriculums are taught and those who do not belong to any faith community receive instruction in ethics and philosophy (Rissanen 2014). Public schools constitute a core in the Nordic welfare model, and they are trying different ways to deal with and accommodate the increasing religious diversity. ...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the changing Nordic religion–state relations. Since the 1980s, formal separations between the Lutheran majority churches and the state have taken place in several countries. All the Nordic states have a system of recognition of minority religions, and various forms of symbolic and financial support of religion. While the symbolic support of (mostly majority) religion in terms of holiday and blasphemy laws has been reduced, there has been some increase in the presence of religion in state institutions. This chapter also discusses the role of religion in legitimating the state and ends with an analysis of Swedish debates on religion in primary schools. The results are discussed in light of differentiation between religion and state, and illustrate the complexity in these relations.
... Teaching ethics in a nearly homogenous society has some concerns (Siipi 2006), but Finland has handled them well. For example, since the 1980s, Finland has accommodated 13 different religions into the national education program, including Islam (Rissanen 2014). ...
Article
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This research details a pilot study of Finnish college students and their views on the academic ethics (cheating). Finland is an unexamined population on this issue. In the current project, we surveyed students (n = 119) in the spring of 2014. We found unethical behavior is common on projects but less common on exams. We also found students are unwilling to report wrongdoing by other students. We examined differences between students’ attitudes on cheating based on several demographic factors, including gender, age and major. We conclude by discussing the implications for further research in this area.
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Uskonto, kasvatus ja katsomus 2 (1) https://journal.fi/ukk/article/view/115215 Uskonto, katsomus ja kasvatus on vuonna 2021 perustettu tieteellinen aikakauskirja. Julkaisun tarkoituksena on tukea ja edistää uskontojen ja katsomusten sekä kasvatuksen laaja-alaista ja monitieteistä tutkimusta. Religion, Worldviews, and Education is a scientific journal founded in 2021. The purpose of the publication is to support and promote wide-ranging and multidisciplinary research on religions, worldviews, and education. This article addresses discourses used to express openness in the three most recent curricula of Finnish Lutheran confirmation classes (2017, 2001 and 1980) and religious education (RE) in schools (2014, 2004 and 1994). These discourses are analysed to determine the positions, rights and duties they construct for teachers and learners. The RE curricula used a discourse of general knowledge that constructs the position of an educated observer. More committed identities were also constructed, but the related discourses were conflicting and ambiguous. The confirmation school curricula have shifted from helping students to embrace faith to a discourse of participation, both in decision-making about their learning (agency) and as members of their faith community (belonging). Participation understood as agency encouraged openness; as belonging, it set a closed, socialising goal. Hence, for both school RE and confirmation classes, agency could be a useful concept to describe young people’s freedom to choose their faith commitment. Tässä artikkelissa tarkastellaan diskursseja, joilla perusopetuksen uskonnonopetuksen ja luterilaisen kirkon rippikoulun viimeaikaisissa opetussuunnitelmissa ilmaistaan tavoitteiden avoimuutta. Löydettyjä diskursseja analysoidaan siitä näkökulmasta, millaisia asemia, oikeuksia ja velvollisuuksia ne rakentavat opetukselle ja oppijalle. Tutkimuksen kohteena ovat peruskoulun opetussuunnitelmat vuosilta 2014, 2004 ja 1994. Rippikoulusuunnitelmat ovat vuosilta 2017, 2001 ja 1980. Tarkastelluissa perusopetuksen uskonnon opetussuunnitelmissa käytettiin kaikissa yleissivistyksen diskurssia, joka rakentaa sivistyneen tarkkailijan asemaa. Sitoutuneempiakin identiteettejä rakennettiin, mutta nämä diskurssit olivat ristiriitaisia ja monitulkintaisia. Rippikoulun opetussuunnitelmissa on siirrytty uskon omaksumisessa auttamisen diskurssista osallisuuden diskurssiin. Toimijuuden merkityksessä osallisuus toimi hyvin avoimuuden ilmaisemisessa, sen sijaan kuulumisen merkityksessä osallisuus muodosti suljetun, sosiaalistavan tavoitteen. Toimijuus olisikin sekä koulun uskonnonopetukselle että rippikoululle hyvä käsite kuvaamaan nuoren vapautta ratkaista itse, mihin sitoutuu.
Article
This paper examines, through a non-probability sample of 451 Finnish lower secondary-school pupils belonging to the 15- to 16-year-old age group, how interreligious sensitivity is related to religiousness profiles of Finnish youth. The data were gathered in two geographical locations: Helsinki, Finland’s capital, and a smaller municipality in the western part of Finland. The pupils’ self-reported attitudes to interreligious sensitivity were measured using the Interreligious Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire IRRSSQ. The four religiousness profiles identified were strongly religious, culturally religious, personally religious and non-religious. The profiles were related to pupils’ interreligious sensitivity. The non-religious group’s interreligious sensitivity differed from the other profiles, as these pupils were more in denial and less at the level of acceptance. The results of the study are discussed in the context of the Finnish religious landscape.
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This research was a descriptive qualitative study aiming to describe the values of Islamic education within the tradition of Kokaria community in Wadaga District, located in Muna, a regency of Southeast Sulawesi. The result suggests that Kokaria tradition is one of the indigenous customs that has unique characteristics to educate the teachings of Islam to young Muslims, namely by confinement for four days and four nights or more. In confinement, the participants of Kokaria are educated and taught moral values and ethics to be able to adapt later to the society where they live. The steps of Kokaria ceremonial procession includes Kaghombo (to hide in a closed room), Katoba (to listen to advises) and Linda (to dance). Linda is the last procession performed by the Kokaria participants after going through the process of Kaghombo and Katoba, as a proof of successful completion of Kokaria traditional ceremony. The values of Islamic education in Kokaria tradition comprised the value of faith, honesty, and patience. The Islamic Education in Kokaria tradition is elaborated through examples and advice.
Thesis
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Interfaith dialogues have been identified as urgent and necessary activities for Singapore’s increasingly globalised and pluralistic society in both political discourse and a more academic sociological discourse. Much has been published about how interfaith dialogues should and can take place, supported by both philosophical and/or empirical evidence. However, there is a lack of an exploration of interfaith dialogues as interactional activities, focusing on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ one does interfaith dialogue. Further, there is an emerging secular-oriented interfaith dialogue developing from highly pluralistic societies, together with the more traditional religious-oriented interfaith dialogues: How they differ from each other remains to be explored. This thesis fills in the gaps, by looking at how secular and religious oriented dialogues differ, and if one practice might learn from the other. It also examines how interfaith dialogue practitioners negotiate identities in the flow of a dialogic activity, bringing in their moral stance at different moments, and producing a series of aggregative performative identities that are called upon as they engage and manage the topics developing in talk. The first finding is that Religious Dialogues are found to be more emotionally expressive; proceed in thinking linearly, rather than holistically; tend towards finding a closure to discussion, rather than connections; seek consensus, rather than debate— when compared to its secular counterparts. The second finding is that practitioners perform identity work by setting up pairs of identity positions for other people, with each identity position implicated in a mutual responsibility, after some culturally-valued forms of expectations, and then positioning her own attitude towards those cultural expectations. Different ways of performing this identity work are called upon by the different modes of engagement, while doing interfaith dialogue and talking about it. The final finding is that practitioners manage their topics and identity positions in different ways, each producing different results. Changing the conceptual frames of thought produces creative solutions. Exploring different meanings of an identity category produces a greater understanding of the relationships between identity categories and the different contexts in which they are displayed — in all, deepening a knowledge of the self. By keeping a consistent story of who one is, a practitioner performs maintaining an integrity that is characterised by being able to adapt flexibly to different situations, while applying the same principles across those situations. Complex and hybrid social belonging is a rich resource to draw upon in interfaith conversations. Likewise, language itself is a resource to shape attitudes and relationships between a speaker, audience, and topic — through stimulating an imagined spatial sense towards those elements.
Chapter
What is going on in the Religious Education classrooms? What themes are highlighted in research about the Religious Education practice? Comparably, there is a deficit of empirical research that looks into the classroom practice both in Religious Education and other subjects. A large number of the literature discussing the Religious Education classroom practice, how the subject ought to be designed and taught are not recommendations based on findings from empirical research. However, in this chapter, the reader will get an overview of international research and thus the current state of knowledge related to Religious Education with a special focus on empirical research concerning the Religious Education classroom practice. Both studies from confessional and non-confessional forms of Religious Education and from primary and secondary schools are included in this presentation.
Article
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The present analytical-inferential research sought to design a model of religious identity curriculum in the first grade of high school. The research corpus included the full text of the translation of al-Mizan interpretation, which was excluded from sampling due to the logic of its selection. The qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. The results showed that religious identity is an objectified Islamic culture in human beings and if we seek to design a curriculum model for it, the goals include three types of insights (knowing the circle of existence and creator, knowing the destination and ultimately, knowing the way and leaders of life, knowing oneself), tendency and action, and the content is a function of interwoven/spiral organization. In addition, "paying attention to the signs of God's Lordship in the horizons and systems of the universe, inviting self-reflection, explanation, reasoning and protest, interrogation, observation, allegory, reminder and teacher action" are among the teaching-learning methods emphasized in this model. The general evaluation approach is a "process" that, by considering religious implications and the type of special view on the intention, the student efforts, as well as using the three sides of the teacher, student and parents, identify possible shortcomings and serve learning more.
Book
This timely book focuses on the central issues and questions that emerge in relation to the teaching and learning of Islam in confessional and constructivist religious education. Considering the consequences of a lack of diversity in the Islamic Religious Education curriculum, the text also explores the challenges faced by Muslim pupils in connection with secularism and radical Islam. Through rich analysis of research carried out across Muslim and public secondary schools in the UK, this book develops a meaningful pedagogy of Islamic Religious Education. In particular, the volume investigates the benefits of Critical Religious Education and Variation Theory frameworks on students' learning in religious education classrooms and illustrates how these didactic frameworks can help ameliorate distinct problems seen across Islamic Religious Education. Chapters identify discrete pedagogical issues that arise in the confessional and constructivist approaches to Islamic Education, such as students' difficulties in relating to concept of Islam and progressive approaches taken in public schools. In addressing these, the text proposes a new theoretical and pedagogical approach to the teaching of Islam, which draws on the philosophy of Critical Realism, the theories of Critical Religious Education, and Variation Theory.
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The challenges of contemporary multicultural societies have resulted in changing aims for religious education and the necessity to adjust teacher education accordingly. The processes of negotiation related to the coexistence of different religious and cultural groups are intertwined in the Finnish curriculum for religious education. This case study examines three Islamic education teachers who negotiated intra- and inter-religious tensions as well as tensions between societal and religious orientations of education. Through their ideological, pedagogical and interpersonal negotiations teachers can mediate the contested practices of Islam as well as the ideals of liberal democracies and contribute to the emergence of Finnish Islam.
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This article considers the desirability and legitimacy of denominational schools from the perspective of socialisation theory. It examines the popular criticism that nowadays the common reason for the existence of denominational schools – the religious socialisation of children – is endorsed by a dwindling number of parents, which renders the existence of these schools obsolete. It is shown, however, that this popular criticism is based on a traditional understanding of religious socialisation as the transmission of faith. Counter to this traditional understanding, the article presents a more modern conception of socialisation as personality development. On the basis of this interpretation of socialisation, the pedagogical function of denominational schools is reconsidered. It is argued that the pedagogical task of denominational schools today is not so much to transmit faith but rather to facilitate the formation of personal identity as a core aspect of contemporary socialisation processes.
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How should we deal with the process of secularisation, the plurality of cultures, and the dominance of thinking about education in terms of transmission, when religious education has to foster the development of personal identity formation of pupils? In answering this question the authors present a transactional epistemology and transformative view on (religious) education and learning which both have far-reaching consequences for our views on socialisation and individuation. In religious education the gaining of religious experiences and the cultivation of a religious attitude are seen as part of everyday life instead of only being connected to certain religious practices. The approach suggested here can stimulate the growth of the pupils' capacity to integrate different and differing perspectives - ideals, norms, values, knowledge, narratives - into their own personality.
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This book offers new theoretical concepts and a comprehensive and critical literature survey covering all major approaches to the psychology of religion. The advantages and limitations of depth-psychology and social-psychological data are discussed.
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The recently introduced and compulsory citizenship education in English schools seeks to prepare children for life in a liberal democracy and is concerned with far more than the acquisition of skills and knowledge; it privileges particular forms of action, behaviour and ways of thinking. I argue here that education for democratic citizenship (EDC) promotes commitments, dispositions and attitudes in children and I question the right of the secular state to foster allegiance to certain beliefs and values when the assumptions upon which they are based are generally hidden from children and are far from universally shared. I explore the importance of religious education (RE) for citizenship and draw attention to the tensions experienced by believers who cannot entirely endorse the liberal democratic values enshrined in citizenship education. Finally, I consider the cultural disinheritance of the Christian faith in citizenship education and propose ways forward which value the religious and cultural inheritance of young citizens.
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According to social identity theory, identity competition plays a central role in the inception and escalation of intergroup conflict, even when economic and political factors also are at play. Individual and group identity competition is considered a byproduct of individuals' efforts to satisfy basic human needs, including various psychological needs. Religions often serve these psychological needs more comprehensively and potently than other repositories of cultural meaning that contribute to the construction and maintenance of individual and group identities. Religions frequently supply cosmologies, moral frameworks, institutions, rituals, traditions, and other identity-supporting content that answers to individuals' needs for psychological stability in the form of a predictable world, a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and even self-actualization. The peculiar ability of religion to serve the human identity impulse thus may partially explain why intergroup conflict so frequently occurs along religious fault lines.
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This study explores the process of religious identity formation and examines the emergence of religion as the most salient source of personal and social identity for a group of second-generation Muslim Americans. Drawing on data gathered through participant observation, focus groups, and individual interviews with Muslim university students in New York and Colorado, three stages of religious identity development are presented: religion as ascribed identity; religion as chosen identity; and religion as declared identity. This research illustrates how religious identity emerges in social and historical context and demonstrates that its development is variable rather than static. Additionally, I discuss the impacts of September 11 and show how a crisis event can impel a particular identity - in this case, religious - to become even more central to an individual's concept of self. Through asserting the primacy of their religious identity over other forms of social identity, religion became a powerful base of personal identification and collective association for these young Muslims.
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The paper addresses the relationship between the twin tasks of enabling pupils both to learn about and learn from religion in the state education systems of Finland and the UK. Recognising that the relationship between these two tasks is the subject of considerable confusion, it is argued that the most appropriate way to view the connection is fundamentally ontological. In a plural society in which there is no basic agreement about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, there nevertheless remains a common concern to enable pupils to live flourishing lives in harmony with the ultimate order-of-things. The paper draws on phenomenography and the Variation Theory of Learning to unpack the pedagogic implications of this argument.
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The paper begins by exploring the problematic nature of philosophy in Islam. The second section examines the resources that are available for a systematic exploration of the principles of Islamic education. The third section discusses three dimensions of education in Islam, one focusing on individual development, one on social and moral education and one on the acquisition of knowledge. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of differences between Islamic and liberal ways of understanding education and of the possibility of future dialogue with western philosophies.
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This article provides an ethnographic analysis of the schooling experiences of Muslim youth in Canada who are committed to maintaining an Islamic lifestyle despite the pressures of conformity to the dominant culture. Little attention has been paid to how religious identity intersects with other forms of social difference, such as race and gender in the schooling experiences of minoritized youth. Using a case study often Muslim students and parents, this article demonstrates how Muslim students were able to negotiate and maintain their religious identities within secular public schools. The participants' narratives address the challenges of peer pressure, racism, and Islamophobia. Their stories reveal how Muslim students are located at the nexus of social difference based on their race, gender, and religious identity. The discussion further explores the dynamics through which these youth were able to negotiate the continuity of their Islamic identity and practices within schools despite the challenges that they faced. Building upon existing theories of identity maintenance and construction, this research demonstrates how the interplay of the core factors of ambivalence, role performance, and interaction and isolation are implicated in the way Muslim students negotiate the politics of religious identity in their schooling experiences.
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