The 2nd Islamic Schooling Conference was held at Mt Lofty on 11-12 July 2017. The focus of the Conference was on curriculum development following the Melbourne Declaration on the Educational needs of Young Australians and the work of ACARA, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. There was much in-depth examination of progress towards an Islamic school curriculum for Australia to suit primary and secondary education models, along with appropriate education in Arabic and integration of Islamic faith into the curriculum – the outcome of which is young Australians who contribute to the welfare of Australia by way of industry, productivity, and participation in Australian society.
Adab is a concept familiar to members of the Australian Islamic education community. In the Islamic tradition, adab can
be viewed as an essential part of the process as well as the outcome of an education. Adab relates to a search for
and the manifestation of one’s own humanity.
Adab also relates to justice and the proper order of things under the one Great Creator.
In this spirit and with the intention of acknowledging the proper place of things, the Centre for
Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples as the first peoples of Australia; as the traditional custodians of the land and
recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community.
The CITE acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians
of the lands on which our university is located and where we conduct
our business. The CITE further acknowledges that on the occasion
of this 2nd Annual Australian Islamic Schooling Conference
we meet on the lands of the Kaurna people.
We respectfully recognise that as Australian
Muslims we conduct business and worship
faithfully, hopeful of mercy descending on land
that was taken unlawfully. We affirm a commitment
to stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples and all peoples in this nation, in what is
just and good, as fellow Australians.
The CITE acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and
communities for their resilience and commitment to healing and positive
shared futures in Australia. We recognise such qualities in the face of oppression,
injustice and struggle.
We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. We pay tribute
to and honour their enduring stewardship of this country, and
honour the ongoing contribution of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples to the environmental, social,
cultural, political and economic fabric of our
The Annual Islamic Schooling Conference serves to build the rigor of educational research informing best practices in Islamic schooling. Educational research that is grounded in the Islamic tradition and educational heritage, aligned with contemporary educational practice, cognisant of the educational context and substantiated by evidence based empirical research.
Islamic Schools in Australia: Vision Statements
Curriculum is a broad concept often explained simply as what is taught. Curriculum represents a key focus in education discourse based on its importance to quality teaching and learning. Islamic schooling circles have long recognised the importance of curriculum. Testament to this was the ground breaking Second World Conference on Muslim Education in Islamabad in 1980 which investigated the theme of integrated Islamic curricula. The iconic conference captured wide spread concerns in the field regarding the quality and appropriateness of existing curricular and added impetus to discussions around future directions for curricular in Islamic schooling.
How much progress has been made in the area of curriculum within Islamic schooling? To what extent have we achieved an ‘Islamic’ curriculum? What does this mean? Are curricular relevant and contextual and how do they align with National/Ministerial curriculum? How equipped is the field of Islamic schooling to manage necessary curriculum renewal? What progress has been made in the area of integrated curricular? What does integration in the context of Islamic schooling deliver for quality teaching and learning? Do existing curricular meet the needs of Western Muslim students?
Islamic Schools in Australia – Values
These now whole-of-field gatherings hosted by the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) aim to assist in the transition from the establishment phase in the field of Islamic schooling to an exciting phase of renewal, bolstering the momentum needed to forge best practice across the sector.
So far, the response to the call for renewal has witnessed the gathering of minds from Australia, the USA, Canada, the Sultanate of Oman, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada and from around Australia.
The two-day learning and networking fest was a stunning success with many delegates expressing how insightful and motivating the plenary session presentations and panel discussions were.
A defining moment on this path toward renewal was of course the first annual Islamic schooling conference in 2016, where more than 220 stakeholders gathered in Melbourne.
It was reinforced that the Australian Curriculum was intended to offer a framework from which teachers could enact in the context of their schools and their student’s needs.
This paved the way for presentations that inspired those in attendance to continue with efforts to engage in innovative efforts toward curriculum renewal.
Naturally a reoccurring theme related to approaches to the integration of beliefs, values and traditions within Islamic schools.
The conference also explored other curriculum sub themes around worldview and curriculum, historical and contemporary models, contested spaces, inter-faith perspectives, innovative practice in Arabic and Islamic studies and the importance of pedagogy as well as leadership for enactment of quality curriculum.