Islamic ethics as alternative epistemology in intercultural education: Educators’ situated knowledges

Hamza R'BOUL, Osman Z. BARNAWI, Benachour SAIDI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the epistemological affordances of Islamic ethics as alternative knowledge within intercultural education. Despite the calls for epistemological plurality in intercultural education that centre epistemologies of the South, educators may find it hard to reaffirm their situated knowledges and practices because they may have been overwhelmed by the wide endorsements of the mainstream literature. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 25 EFL teachers, this study aims to (a) unpack educators’ perspectives around the adoption of alternative knowledges anchored in local epistemologies and sensibilities, (b) foreground educators’ epistemic positioning around alternative knowledges and how they are perceived as sites for cognitive and pedagogical renewal to account for local particularities and conditions and (c) examine inter-epistemic tensions within educators’ reasoning in terms of how they navigate (in)congruencies between the mainstream and Islamic philosophy at the conceptual, pedagogical and practical levels. Findings reveal that educators acknowledge the legitimacy of Islamic ethics and their epistemological/pedagogical significance in intercultural education. However, some factors may problematize educators’ attempts at making use of Islamic ethics including the additional burden of reflecting alternative knowledges while attending to contextual factors (class size, the course’s orientation, exams, time constraints, etc.) and the lack of sufficient training in intercultural education. Copyright © 2023 Society for Educational Studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Early online dateSept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sept 2023

Citation

R’boul, H., Barnawi, O. Z., & Saidi, B. (2023). Islamic ethics as alternative epistemology in intercultural education: Educators’ situated knowledges. British Journal of Educational Studies. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2023.2254373

Keywords

  • Islamic ethics
  • Intercultural education
  • Alternative epistemology
  • Educators’ knowledges
  • Mainstream literature
  • Thinking otherwise

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