Islamic society is founded on the principle of belief and rigghteous conduct. This connection between values and practice lies at the very heart of the islamic way of life. To be a Muslim requires that one's faith be reflected in one's practice and daily moral conduct with other people. We have the beautiful teachings of the Holy Qur'an and Prophetic Sunnah, and we have many mosques, islamic schools and organizations.
Islamic religious instruction, in the recent centuries, has been taught primarily as a body of information , rather than as a body of experiences. The islamic values education curiculum called for here focuses or personality and character development of children, close attention to the real needs and concerns of students, and preparation of students, with the critical thinking and problem-sloving skills needed to fuction successfully as Muslims in society. They will become moral individuals by cultivating their minds and hearts, and by having opportunities to actually see and apply islamic values in practice.
The future will depend on how well we educate our children today and to what extent we are successful in transferring to them the acred vision of life we have as Muslims. Islamic schools have a crucial role to play in providing concrete solutions and programs that will foster this understanding among students and in promoting the role and responsibility of the family in the process of islamic tarbiyah. This essay outlines a new vision of islamic education which is capable of producing Muslim youth with a level of understanding, commitment and social responsibility that will both motivate and enable them to serve islam and humanity effectively.
Islam education must be done in a way that links this content to the natural concerns of students as well as the larger issues facing the world in which they live.
The goal of islamic education is not to fill our children's mind with information about islam but rather to teach them about being muslim. Islamic education, firts and foremost, must focus on teaching values and omphasize issues of identy and self-esteem.
In developing our approach, we should not hesitate to benefit from educational research. This research suggests that several factors are essential for effective teaching and learning to occur. They are meaning ful, integrative, value-based,challenging adn active.
- Effective islamic teaching and learning must be meaningful. When learning is meaningful and relevan, students are intrinsically motivated to learn. Students must be led to discover the larger connections between the khowledge and skill they are learning.
- Effective islamic teaching and learning must also be integrated. it must encompass and angage the whole child, spritually, emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically.
- Most important of all, effective islamic teaching and learning must be value-based. Teachers must therefore develop a better awareness of their owm values and how those values influence their behavior as role- models and what students ultimately learn from these experiences, about others and about islam.
- Effective islamic teaching and learning must also be challenging . Students must be challenged to thoughtfully examine the topic they are studying, to participate assertively in group discussions, to work productively in cooperative learning activities, and to come to grips with controversial issues.
- Finally, effective islamic teaching and learning must be active. Learning must be active by emphasizing hands-on and minds-on activities that call for students to react to what they are learning and to use it in their lives in some meaningful way.