The impact of religious studies on the education system is a subject that is increasingly making many education researchers and experts invest their time on, as the world goes global and multicultural education becomes popular. This subject is especially established in the higher education context, due to the interest multicultural education is increasingly raising to educationists. This paper examines the impact Islamic philosophy and Christian philosophy, the two major religious studies, have on higher education.
In spite of the fact that higher education has been increasingly becoming secularized since the late nineteenth century (Roberts and Turner, 2000), the impact the Islamic and the Christian philosophy has on higher education, globally, is immense. The Islamic philosophy, a division of Islamic studies whose main aim is synchronizing the Islamic faith and reason, draws its impact on the global higher education from Islamic religious principles and teachings.
This is the fundamental reason why the subject is a major tropic of interest in the education context, given the influence that Islamic teachings and practices have to the learning processes and strategies of a student. In his book, Philosophy of education: an encyclopedia, Joseph James Chambliss writes that one of the leading issues in the Islamic philosophy of education regards how religious teachings relate with secular knowledge, or other knowledge emanating from outside the Islamic religion.
Religious knowledge, for instance, is recognized by Islam as the most important source of knowledge, a fact that has a dominant influence on the education system in countries such as in the Middle East, where Islam is the religion practiced by the majority. Chambliss notes that although it is common belief that religious instructions and secular instructions are distinct, imitation of religious methods and practices is often seen in secular settings (Hoosain & Salili, 2006).
One way this happens is, for instance, the recitation by heart of chapters and quotations, a practice that is common in secular schools. This practice is also common in Christianity sectors, where many students imitate practices learnt in their However, certain practices and modes of culture may have adverse impacts to higher education. One feature of Islamic philosophy involves the modes of teaching religious knowledge, whereby the religious teacher is supposed to teach unchallenged by the students, who are not encouraged to raise difficult questions requiring clarification of more than technical ideas.
This is because the teacher is viewed as a transmitter of knowledge that is not supposed to be challenged, and any attempts to challenge it are taken as Islamic criticism. Under such an environment, it would seem unusual for a student to have information that would be of value. This greatly discourages student participation in the class. Moreover, the student imaginative capabilities are discouraged since by the teacher being the custodian of the truth, any imaginative attempts of the students would be viewed as a distortion of the truth .
the students are not supposed to another negative impact to the higher education is on (Chambliss, 1996). These ideas have a major impact on the higher education, since many students; in the global context make use of concepts and practices learnt in their formative years in their studies. The current trend in education, where more and more students are increasingly getting their higher education from overseas institutions, ensures that students are in touch with other students with such practices as aforementioned.
References Chambliss J, (1996 ). Philosophy of education: an encyclopedia Taylor & Francis, Retrieved April 1, 2009 from <http://books. google. co. ke/books? id=-YJlpiTbckgC&pg=RA1- PA314&dq=impact+of+islam+philosophy+on+higher+education Roberts T. J. & Turner J. (2000). The sacred and the secular university New Jersey :Princeton University Press, Salili, F. & Hoosain,. F. ( 2006) Religion in multicultural education IAP, Retrieved April 1, 2009 from <http://books. google. co. ke/books? id=N9qopdJnrnUC>
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