Conference Overview: Why Social Justice?

The theme of the 4th Annual Australian Islamic Schooling Conference and Forum is social justice in Islamic schooling. It’s hard to imagine a timelier and more relevant theme than that of social justice.

Islamic schooling has grown and continues to grow rapidly. Just as the establishment of Islamic schools in Australia was a reflection of the maturity of local Muslim communities, so too are we witnessing a maturity within the field of Islamic schooling. At this juncture, attention to social justice could hardly be more critical.

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This year’s event will provide researchers, educators, parents and other community members with the opportunity to discuss their most pressing social justice issues, as well as policies, processes, pedagogies, and other practices that either enhance or diminish social justice in Islamic school education.

The Conference and Forum include a broad range of sessions, including examinations of social justice and how it impacts or intersects with educational policy; debates around equity and diversity; the marginalisation and vulnerability of Muslim learners; Islamophobia and racism; and debates around privileged knowledge in curriculum.

AAISC4 Keynote Speakers include:

Professor Syed Farid Alatas, The Social Dimension of Justice in Islam: The Contribution of Theology (National University of Singapore)

Professor Alatas will examine justice or adâlah in the Islamic context, explaining its key concepts of balance or mîzân and moderation or wasatiyah.  His keynote presentation will include an examination of the different dimensions of moderation in society that would together define social justice, focusing on specific dichotomies such as zahir-batin, tradition-modernity, private-public, and autonomy and regulation in order to develop a contemporary understanding of moderation that satisfies the requirements for social justice.

Professor Stephen Dobson, The most important demand placed upon all education (Victoria University of Wellington)

Professor Dobson will explore the notion that teaching knowledge and skills means nothing if it results in pupils and later adults who undertake acts of racism, violence, persecution and bullying.  His keynote presentation will examine what this means in education as we come to terms with Christchurch (New Zealand) and many other violent instances around the world. What are those so-called soft 21st century skills we need?

Afeefa Syeed, What teaching for social justice looks like in an American Islamic School (Al Fatih Academy, USA)

Al-Fatih Academy is grounded with a curriculum based on integrating peace and civic education. As a cultural anthropologist, Afeefa has worked for the past 25 years in government and non-profits on areas of educational innovation, social justice, and gender inclusion. Her keynote will illustrate practical ways that teaching for social justice have been weaved across the curriculum, learning and teaching and in both primary and secondary years of an Islamic school.

Registrations Now Open!

Conference date: 13-14 July 2019

Conference Venue: The University of Melbourne.

Registration for the 2 days of Conference and Forum (incl. food/refreshments) is $250.00 per person

Attendance at the Conference Gala Dinner is $50 per person, hosted by the Islamic Museum of Australia.

Register for this year’s event via Eventbrite