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Islamic Education and Ethics Textbooks for Character Formation: A Case Study From Pakistan

Abstract

Education and character-building complement each other and the Government of Pakistan made Ethics and Islamic Education (IE), a core subject for all pupils, Muslims, and non-Muslims (from primary to higher secondary education stages) with the sole intention of using religion to support the character formation of students. This study analyzed all Ethics and IE textbooks published by the state/provincial textbook authorities in Pakistan to analyze the messages communicated to pupils through descriptive and narrative texts. This study is embedded in the constructivist paradigm and the analytical framework was extracted from education policies, Ethics, and IE curriculum documents and textbooks. The categories of ‘Inner peace’, ‘Social and cultural peace’, and ‘Peace with nature’ were derived from these documents and used to analyze the textbooks’ content. This study analyzed 36 textbooks (Ethics and IE) and the textbooks’ content was analyzed using qualitative content analysis method. This study also found that pupils are taught that peace is rooted in religion and ‘Inner peace’ and ‘Social and cultural peace’ were given a lot of space in the textbooks while ‘Peace with nature’ was given very little space. This study suggests a broader perspective to be used to design Ethics and IE curriculum and textbooks and only by making it an inclusive exercise (by engaging experts from all religions), the textbook content will contribute to cultivating peace at the micro (inner peace) and macro levels (community, society, and global) and become holistic citizens of multireligious and multicultural Pakistan and the world.

Keywords

peace education, Values, textbook analysis, Ethics textbook, Islamic Education textbook, Pakistan

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Author Biography

Ashar Johnson Khokhar

DR. ASHAR JOHNSON KHOKHAR is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education in the Forman Christian College which is a Chartered University in Pakistan. You can contact him at Email: asharkhokhar@fccollege.edu.pk, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3964-819X


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