Capturing Green Curriculum Spaces in the Maktab: Implications for Environmental Teaching and Learning
Environmental education has been put forward as one of the primary conduits for translating the ecological ethic of Islam into action. This theocentric ethic, drawn from sacred texts, traditions and contemporary thought, regards humankind as both a trustee of God on earth and a partner of Creation. One action space which has been utilised to great effect by the ecoIslamic movement is the extensive network of educational institutions in Islam. This environmental education process should reflect, in my view, the central components of the educational philosophy of Islam: reflective engagement with all ecological knowledge (ta‘līm), the Words and Works of the Creator; responsible environmental action (tarbiyyah); and social activism (ta’dīb). The findings presented here, based on doctoral research, looks at the ways in which maktab education represents the ecological ethic of Islam. A curriculum review examined the ways in which environmental elements are displayed in two sets of curriculum materials, produced in South Africa and implemented worldwide. It confirmed that while the curricula under review introduced Muslim learners to some of the fundamental environmental teachings of Islam, they fall short in bringing out the holistic knowledge-structure and action-oriented or lived spirituality which this theology embodies. Makātib continue to thrive amid the continuing demand to introduce Muslim learners to the beliefs, values and practices of their religious tradition. They can therefore play a vital role in awakening the ecological consciousness of Muslims; instilling in learners the importance of just, responsible and respectful interaction between humans and nature.
KeywordsCurriculum Ecological ethics Ecotheology Environmental education Educational philosophy Islam Islamic education Madrasah Madrasatul Quds Maktab South Africa
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