The first half of this Editorial examines the implications of the close link between morality and religion in Islamic thinking. There is no separate discipline of ethics in Islam, and the comparative importance of reason and revelation in determining moral values is open to debate. For most Muslims, what is considered halāl (permitted) and harām (forbidden) in Islam is understood in terms of what God defines as right and good. There are three main kinds of values: (a) akhlāq, which refers (...) to the duties and responsibilities set out in the shari‘ah and in Islamic teaching generally; (b) adab, which refers to the manners associated with good breeding; and (c) the qualities of character possessed by a good Muslim, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad. Among the main differences between Islamic and western morality are the emphasis on timeless religious principles, the role of the law in enforcing morality, the different understanding of rights, the rejection of moral autonomy as a goal of moral education and the stress on reward in the Hereafter as a motivator of moral behaviour. The remainder of the Editorial is concerned with the two main aspects of moral education in Islam: disseminating knowledge of what people should and should not do, and motivating them to act in accordance with that knowledge. Ultimately, moral education is about inner change, which is a spiritual matter and comes about through the internalisation of universal Islamic values. (shrink)
This absorbing and accessible book provides an analysis of the principles, policy and practice of sex education. Utilizing unpublished research, the authors critically examine sex education within the growing discourse on the teaching of values and citizenship education.
Focusing on the disagreements between Muslims and homosexuals over sexuality education, this article highlights the need in liberal societies for respectful dialogue between groups that hold diametrically opposed beliefs and values. The article argues that it should be possible for Muslims to set out a religious perspective that is critical of homosexual behaviour without being accused of homophobia, just as it is possible for homosexuals to criticise Islamic teaching about sexual behaviour without being accused of Islamophobia. It further argues that (...) any attempt to force Muslims to accept Western attitudes towards sexuality might run the risk of becoming a new form of cultural domination. Genuine respect (which is a major goal of moral education) requires a willingness to listen to others and to accept people for what they are. (shrink)
This is the last of the four essays in Part II of the book on liberalism and traditionalist education; all four are by authors who would like to find ways for the liberal state to honour the self-definitions of traditional cultures and to find ways of avoiding a confrontation with differences. One of the tasks of the book is to separate out different kinds of affiliation and the extent to which the arguments made about cultural recognition can be extended to (...) other objects of affiliation. Mark Halstead’s chapter on schooling and cultural maintenance for religious minorities in the liberal state provides a catalogue of the different types of groups that are to be found in liberal societies, and the different kinds of cultural and educational claims that are typically attached to each of them. His definition of minority group is useful in conceptualizing many of the papers in the volume. The chapter falls into three sections: Section 10.1, which looks at four types of disadvantaged minorities, attempts to distinguish non-Western fundamentalist religious minorities living in the West from other minorities that may experience disadvantage of various kinds in liberal societies; Section 10.2, on religious minorities in the liberal state, explores some of the educational and other difficulties encountered by such religious minorities in more detail, and typical liberal responses; Section 10.3, on rethinking the liberal response, contains some proposals that are designed to meet the educational needs of both the liberal state and the religious minorities at the same time. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Origins and Issues A Liberal Vision of Multicultural Education Shared Concerns: The Possibility of Universal Moral Action Cultural Integrity and Complexity Toward a Deep Humanism.
After a brief discussion of the concept of love and contemporary attitudes towards it, the article examines previously unpublished findings about children's ways of thinking about love, using evidence drawn from a research project on the developing sexual values of 9 and 10 year-old children. Love features extensively in their discussions and appears central to their worldview. They are aware of some of the complexities of love, and would value opportunities to discuss it further. The article concludes with a discussion (...) of current inadequacies and future possibilities in schools' provision. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: The Common School, Culture and Religion Justifications for the Common School Burdens and Dilemmas of the Common School Responding to Cultural Difference Conclusion References.
This paper presents an autobiographical narrative of two aspects of my history; two events that permeated my moral consciousness and influenced my political development and a sequence of changes in my dominant theoretical and epistemological perspectives. The two events were, as a teenager, the intense experience of briefly witnessing Apartheid culture and, as a young adult, becoming deeply engaged in feminist activism. My intellectual journey began in cognitive developmental theory and progressed to a cultural, discursive perspective in which the role (...) of affect is seen as integrated. The paper explores the intersection of these two strands of my moral and intellectual development and concludes with a preliminary model of action and engagement. (shrink)
Drawing substantially on the arguments put forward by the contributors to this Special Issue, this final article examines the two main purposes of the common school in contemporary western societies: to develop a set of shared values and a unified sense of citizenship, on the one hand, and to iron out disadvantage and equalise opportunities, on the other. Four main justifications for the common school are discussed—its symbolic value, its compatibility with liberal values, its inclusiveness and its provision of practical (...) opportunities to learn to live together. Nevertheless, the common school faces a number of challenges, including how much freedom of choice to allow parents, how to interpret the principle of equality in practice, how to devise a common curriculum that meets the needs of all students and how to respond to the apparent inequalities of the neighbourhood school. It is argued that the biggest dilemma facing the common school is a cultural one: that is, finding a balance between the need to respect the diverse cultural identities of its students and the need to develop a common set of loyalties and shared national identity at the same time. An examination of the case of Muslims in England suggests that intentionally or otherwise the common school is still in the business of assimilating minorities into a new identity through processes very similar to those of the melting pot. The article concludes by warning that continuing this policy may result in stronger resistance in the future. (shrink)