Title page for ETD etd-05262004-160620


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Al Kandari, Kalthoum Mohammed
Author's Email Address kkandari@vt.edu
URN etd-05262004-160620
Title Islamic School: Challenges and Potentials in the 21st Century a Case Study of Al-Amal, a Private Bilingual School in Kuwait
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hicks, David Committee Chair
Abraham, Jane L. Committee Member
Ochsenwald, William L. Committee Member
Tlou, Josiah S. Committee Member
Uttech, Melanie R. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Modernity
  • Globalization
  • Kuwait
  • Islamic schools
Date of Defense 2004-05-05
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Kalthoum Al Kandari - Abstract

This study seeks to explore, and in exploring to describe, and illuminate, Al-Amal a private bilingual school in Kuwait that adapts and implements a curriculum designed by U.S. educators in three main academic subjects (English, science, and mathematics), while at the same time, focuses extensively on an Islamic studies curriculum. The main incentive for selecting this focus was the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Since that date, the mass media have paid much attention to Islam and to Muslim society, particularly to its educational system, which has usually been viewed with skepticism (Charif, 2002; Rugh, 2002).

This study focuses on a single school, for the general insight it can offer into a number of related research questions: How do Islamic parents who send their children to this school define the spiritual and/or religious needs they want their children to possess, and what role does the school play in fulfilling such needs? How do spiritual/religious and academic needs intersect within the formal curriculum at the school, as a result of daily interactions between teachers and children? Finally, in the midst of increased westernization and globalization, how do the teachers of this school negotiate the influences of western values on their students and curriculum? By exploring the nature, philosophy, and context of one Islamic school, this study seeks to enable readers to understand more fully and accurately how those involved with such an institution cope with the various challenges they meet in the global sphere.

To reach its goal, this study utilizes a number of research methods and tools, including direct observation, interviews, a research diary and reflection, and a traditional literature review. Ultimately, this study suggests that Al - Amal possesses unique complexities and contradictions. Those characteristics derive from the institution's transformation of traditional Islamic schooling in order to prepare its students for life in the global arena and from its desire to develop both academically and spiritually a new generation of Muslims better able to cope with the challenges they confront in this arena.


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