Science Teaching in Contemporary Islamic Societies

This workshop was sponsored by the McGill Centre for Islam and Science (MCIS) at McGill University, Montreal, 22-24 October 2015

The McGill Centre for Islam and Science hosted a 3-day international workshop on Science Teaching in Contemporary Islamic Societies.The purpose of the workshop was to critically analyze some of the most pressing issues regarding science education in contemporary Islamic societies; to discuss ways to address these challenges; and to offer recommendations to inform the current efforts to enhance scientific literacy in contemporary Muslim societies.

Our participants – international experts in science, science education, history of science, and education policy – discussed these issues from historical, social, and policy perspectives.

 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

Day 1:

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Prof. Ahmad Dallal (Dept. of History & Archaeology, American University of Beirut):

The Cultural Imperative: Towards Purposeful Science Research Agendas in the Contemporary Muslim World

 

Day 2:

WELCOMING REMARKS

  • Jamil Ragep (co-director, MCIS/Islamic Studies, McGill)
  • Anila Asghar (co-director, MCIS/Education, McGill)

PANEL 1: Science Policy & Education

CHAIR: Ehab Abouheif (co-director, MCIS/Biology, McGill)

  • Anila Asghar (MCIS/Education, McGill): Science Education Discourses in Contemporary Muslim Societies
  • Saouma BouJaoude (Director, Center for Teaching & Learning, American University of Beirut): Educational Implications of Cross-cultural Studies on the Relationships between Conceptions of the Theory of Evolution and Religious Affiliation
  • Nelofer Halai (Educational Development, Aga Khan Univ., Karachi): Scientific Reasoning and Science Teaching in the Classroom
  • Fouad Abd-El-Khalick (Assoc. Dean for Research & Education, Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Integration, Intersection, Disjunction: Toward an Empirical Research Programme on the Question(s) of Islam and Science

PANEL 2: Hot Issues in Science Education

CHAIR: Sally Ragep (MCIS/Islamic Studies, McGill)

  • Mustafa Yavuz (History of Science, Istanbul Medeniyet Univ.): An Evaluation of Studies on Teaching Evolution Theory among High Schools and Universities in Turkey
  • Fateme Savadi (Islamic Studies, McGill): The Development of Modern Science Teaching in Iran
  • Abdul Matteen Rafiqi (Biology, McGill): Challenges of Reconciling Islam and Evolution
  • Ehab Abouheif (MCIS/Biology, McGill): Why is it Important for Muslims to Embrace Evolution?

 

Day 3:

PANEL 3: Historical Context & its Relevance

CHAIR: Jamil Ragep (MCIS/Islamic Studies, McGill)

  • Sally Ragep (MCIS/Islamic Studies, McGill): An Historical Overview of Critical Issues in Science Teaching in Islam
  • Ahmed Djebbar (Science & Technology, Université de Lille I, France): L’enseignement des sciences au Maghreb: Des leçons du passé aux expériences contemporaines

RESPONSES: On the Relevance & Integration of the History of Science for Science Education Today

  • Ahmad Dallal (History & Archaeology, American University of Beirut)
  • Ihsan Fazlioglu (Dean, Faculty of Letters, Istanbul Medeniyet Univ.)

 

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Prof. Fouad Abd-El-Khalick (Assoc. Dean for Research & Education, Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Science Education and Practice
  • Prof. Ehab Abouheif (MCIS/Biology, McGill Univ.): Evolutionary Biology
  • Prof. Anila Asghar (MCIS/Education, McGill Univ.): Science Education and Practice: Science Education and Practice
  • Prof. Saouma BouJaoude (Director, Center for Teaching & Learning, American University of Beirut): Science Education and Practice
  • Prof. Ahmad Dallal (History & Archaeology, American University of Beirut): History of Science, Interactions of Science and Religion in Muslim Societies
  • Prof. Emeritus Ahmed Djebbar (Science & Technology, Université de Lille I, France): History of Islamic Science & Science Education
  • Prof. Ihsan Fazlioglu (Dean, Faculty of Letters, Istanbul Medeniyet Univ.): History of Science and Philosophy in Islam
  • Prof. Nelofer Halai (Educational Development, Aga Khan Univ., Karachi): Science Education and Practice
  • Dr. Abdul Matteen Rafiqi (Biology, McGill Univ.): Evolutionary Biology
  • Prof. F. Jamil Ragep (MCIS/Islamic Studies, McGill Univ.): History of Islamic Science; Interactions of Science and Religion in premodern Muslim Societies
  • Dr. Sally P. Ragep (MCIS/Islamic Studies, McGill Univ.): History of Science and Science Education in Islam
  • Ms. Fateme Savadi (Islamic Studies, McGill Univ.): History of Islamic Science; Science Education in Iran
  • Prof. Shaheen Shariff (Education, McGill Univ.): Intersection of Law, Education and Technologies; Diversity and Pluralism
  • Prof. Mustafa Yavuz (History of Science, Istanbul Medeniyet Univ.): Teaching Evolution Theory in Turkey

This workshop was part of an international collaborative project, “Science Teaching in Pre-Modern and Modern Islamic Societies: Pedagogical Approaches in Religious, Institutional, and Geographical Contexts,” with funding from a SSHRC partnership development grant, plus additional support from the McGill Centre for Islam and Science (MCIS), the State of Qatar, and three partner institutions: the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; Medeniyet Univ., Istanbul; and Univ. of California, Berkeley.