Zentrum für Islamische Theologie (ZITh)

Activities of the ILM project in fall 2022

The “Religious Education Teacher Training Program: Internationalizing, Learning and Mentoring” (ILM), initiated and led by Dr. Mujadad Zaman, aims to create opportunities for German student teachers of Islamic Theology to learn from and engage with other European experiences with teaching Islam in schools, specifically with the UK and Bosnia. This fall, the project carried out an excursion to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and held a workshop in Tübingen.

As part of the ILM program, seven students of Islamic Religious Pedagogy visited Sarajevo from 18 to 23 September 2022. Accompanied by Dr. Mujadad Zaman and Lea Schlenker, they learned from local professors and teachers about Islamic religious education in Bosnia and engaged with the local history and culture. The Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo, a partner university of the ZITh, organized a number of insightful lectures, ranging from the history of Muslim education in Bosnia, values of Muslim youth in Bosnia today, benefits and challenges of confessional religious education, to teaching approaches in schools and maktabs. In addition, the group visited different madrasas and attended a class of religious education in a high school. Guided trips to Srebrenica and to Mostar gave students the opportunity to learn about Bosnian history and culture. The excursion was an invaluable experience, which prompted in-depth conversations and reflections about the nature and means of teaching Islamic religious education, not only in Bosnia, but also in application to the German context. We would like to thank our hosts from the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo for their time and efforts to facilitate our stay.

In October the ILM Project hosted its third event of the year and first Pedagogy Workshop. The weekend event (October, 21st-23rd) offered a unique opportunity for students to work alongside leading teachers of religious Islamic education from the UK. The Project hosted Mrs. Elif Ucar and Mr. Kay Kokabi (Luton Sixth Form College, UK), Mr. Annis Araim (Richard Challoner School, UK) and guest moderator, Jun-Prof. Dr. ‪Jörg Imran Schröter (Adolf-Reichwein-Schule and Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg). Amongst the topics covered included curriculum development, creating educational materials, understanding the needs of students and learning to become more humane through the process of teaching. Specific attention was given to sessions on the role of Islamic studies teachers; the classroom as a community; Behaviour Management – A Humane Approach; Identifying one’s ‘Teacher Identity’ as well as ongoing CPD at school. The event was organised to maximise fruitful interactions between students and presenters, and thus care was taken to ensure sessions, breaks and meals were taken together. By helping students to further see their roles as teachers both in terms of transmitters of knowledge as well as curators for classroom flourishment, the weekend Pedagogy Workshop offered them international expertise in seeing their profession in new ways.