Holistic Teaching of Science in the Muslim World
August 1, 2022 - July 31, 2025
Core Funding Area:
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Director: Athar OsamaInstitution: World Science Collaborative Ltd
Curiosity and critical inquiry are attitudes crucial to the advancement of science and of human flourishing. With the dominance of siloed, out-of-touch science teaching in Muslim school systems, it can be challenging to inspire students to adopt these attitudes in the Muslim World. Through various workshops and tools, the Holistic Science Teaching project aims to help junior high school teachers in Pakistan, Indonesia and Qatar consider how knowledge from various disciplines including science, philosophy, history, ethics and religion can be brought together to create a holistic approach to learning.
This project builds upon and expands a successful pilot-project funded by the John Templeton Foundation (JTF) in 2019-2021. With a new grant from TWCF, the next phase of the project includes:
- Firmly establishing the Holistic Science Curriculum in Pakistan, which will be used as an initial home and priority country for scaling the program. During the first phase of this project, a base has been built there with a strong network of schools, allowing the project to reach and train a large population of Muslim teachers
- Incentivizing teachers to deploy the curriculum in their classrooms by engaging them in lesson planning, and subsequently supporting them through classroom observations and impact assessment
- Introducing the program in Indonesia and Qatar, which includes adapting the program to the specific educational, social, cultural, and language settings of the country
- Developing appropriate assessment tools that teachers can use to ensure that students have appropriately understood and digested the program's key ideas
- Further development and refinement of the existing minimally viable version of the online portal
While this phase of the project will expand and extend its prior curricula in significant ways, its most critical contribution will be to produce data and rigorous evidence about the effectiveness of this new pedagogy. This is essential to its future wider acceptance among science teachers, the academic community of education researchers, and educational planners and policymakers. The project will seek to engage educational leaders in the 3 target countries and beyond for the incorporation of elements of this novel approach. It will also explore the extent to which online workshops can quantitatively scale up this training.
Led by Athar Osama at World Science Collaborative Ltd, the project team brings together a group of scholars and practitioners –science educators, natural and social scientists, technology experts - from the Muslim World and a highly erudite advisory committee to ensure a robustness of the methodology and its implementation. Several members of the team have worked together in the past, particularly during the pilot-project and will build upon this critical experience. The team also has cooperation of some of the most prestigious universities, schools of education, and teacher training programs, such as The Aga Khan University’s Institute of Educational Development (AKU-IED), the School of Education at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the Department of Education at Qatar University (QU), and a regional center for teacher education in Indonesia (SEAQIS), with strong educational expertise and significant national influence.
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