MA Education (Muslim Societies and Civilisations) modules
STEP is subject to development, arising out of an exciting curriculum review process. A number of changes are underway to make the programme better fit the contexts of Ismaili religious education teachers, the needs of the ITREBs and students’ learning needs. It is important for applicants to note that the descriptions of the modules that follow are indicative and may be subject to change.
Year 1: Core Modules
Year 1: Option Modules
Year 2: Core Modules
This module introduces participants to the IIS Secondary Curriculum framework, its overarching rationale and philosophy and its pedagogical underpinnings. It examines the central characteristic of the IIS Secondary Curriculum, namely the interweaving of humanistic, civilisational and normative approaches. This characteristic is explored through a broad introduction to the historical aspects of Islamic civilisations, their pluralistic composition, their interactions with diverse societies across time and geography, as well as their achievements in the sciences, arts and culture, including the establishment of institutions of learning and education.
This module examines core aspects of religious traditions: revelation, hermeneutics, the inherent pluralism that results and its expression in community practice. The module studies the question of what constitutes ‘Islam’ for the diverse Muslim traditions that compose the Muslim world. The module will prepare course participants to facilitate this examination through the study of the Qur’an and expressions of faith and practice in Muslim communities and through the application of tools of enquiry and analysis that will equip them to develop informed perspectives on these subjects.
Students may choose between various option modules, including the following:
The literature of Muslim societies has traditionally been categorised by language. Hence one studies Arabic literature, Persian literature, etc. However, this module begins with the recognition of a shared literary culture among the various linguistic contexts within Muslim societies and civilisations. This shared culture is evidenced by similarity of genres, topoi, and intertextual references within diverse linguistic contexts. This module examines such shared genres as devotional literature, mystical poetry, individual prayers, epics, courtly literature, belles-lettres, prose, biography, autobiography, and social critique. During this module participants will also explore, where appropriate, elements of literary culture which are unique to linguistic contexts. This examination aims to develop an appreciation for the role that literary culture has played in forming cultural memory.
This module continues the examination of Muslim societies from the perspective of the humanities, in particular the historical narrative into the present, which began in the core module Religious Education and the Humanities in Secondary Education. Participants will examine the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mogul dynasties of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and continue on to selected aspects of the contemporary Muslim present. A key aspect of this module is an exploration of the notions of modern, modernity and modernism. Through discussions of various episodes, personalities, and movements from the late eighteenth century to the present, the module will survey a period of rapid political, economic, social, and intellectual change that continues to this day. In so doing, the module aims to provide participants with contemporary subject matter that will be relevant to their classroom teaching.
Year 2 Core Modules:
Cultural education is an essential aspect of the secondary curricula of contemporary pluralistic societies. This module seeks to engage participants in the examination of how cultural products are socially constituted during “cultural encounters”, and then to examine selected case studies of such encounters during critical periods of Muslim history (including the contemporary period) in diverse Muslim societies.
All major world civilisations engage in the pursuit of knowledge - so as to understand the world around them - and to utilise this knowledge for practical purposes, whether to improve the world, or to attain personal fulfilment. This module examines Islamic civilisations’ rich heritage of philosophical enquiry, the sociological and philosophical foundations of law, and the pursuit of the natural sciences and humanities. The module adopts an analytical stance towards this heritage and requires evaluation of the contemporary relevance of these inherited intellectual traditions. The module explores the praxis of the ethics of faith with particular attention to issues of inequity and social injustice in society with the aim of utilising these issues to engage and develop moral reasoning in adolescent learners.
The MA Report/Dissertation provides students with the opportunity to engage in empirical research in a topic related to the needs of their home context. A research supervisor is allocated to each student to guide them in planning, preparing and writing up their reports.