Muslim Mothers and their Children's Schooling

Paperback / softback, 152 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
31 Jan 2017
Trentham Books

Price: £24.99

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This book brings the voices of Muslim mothers into the discourse on parent–school relations. What they say is essential reading for teachers, student teachers, sociology of education students, policymakers and those working with families.

Suma Din's study gives voice to over 50 women from a wide range of African, Arab and Asian backgrounds, all social classes, some of them immigrants but many of them born in the UK. They speak about the hijab, choice of schools, religious festivals, the curriculum, the Prevent strategy, sex and relationship education and much else.

The book sheds light on their identities, experiences and challenges as they support their children through state schools in Britain.

  • Suma Din

    Suma Din is a writer, researcher and educator who has worked with parents in the Adult Learning sector. She has over two decades' experience in the voluntary sector, supporting women and children's projects and interfaith work.

CONTENTS: 1. In sight and in mind: Finding the mother; 2. Who and how?; 3. Hide and seek: The re-searched and the searcher; 4. Identities, education and school choice; 5. Home–school relationships: From playground pariahs to inclusion governor; 6. Who’s watching who? Parents’ evening, SRE and security; 7. Narrative bridges

'In the wake of the hysteria of school jihadi brides and terrorist sons this timely and well researched book "lifts the veil" on the mythology of "bad Muslim mothers" with powerful stories of love and educational commitment against the odds.'

Heidi Safia Mirza, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London

'This book is well worth perusing. Din undertook this research as a Muslim mother and educator; her insider researcher position is evident adding value to the work. Her writing makes for a superb read: her ideas flow smoothly and logically while presenting a thoroughly theoretically underpinned discourse. While Din is a first time researcher she eloquently takes the reader through each step of the methodology enabling greater comprehension and replicability. For this reason I would strongly recommend that those new to education research should read this book.

The critical point of this work is that the voices of over 50 Muslim Mothers, from five locations across England, can be heard. As a teacher I learnt so many things and made me think, deeply, about ways that could enable addressing communication issues between school and home. Din’s analysis of the qualitative data is reflexive and grounded from a constructivist point of departure.

The final chapter ‘Narrative bridges’ provides the reader with valuable strategies to take this work forward. For example there is a sub-section on ‘Regarding and re-guarding capital’ that reiterated just one of the many significant messages captured in this work; ‘Retrospective, introspective: perspective’ is another such sub-section. While this work highlights the voices of Muslim Mothers, many of the views resonate with me, also from a different cultural background. These views could provide a useful framework for deconstruction in a workshop with staff and/or parents and even members of the community.

This book is a must for teachers and headteachers, other educators and researchers: the message is powerful, whilst being erudite.'

Dr Lyn Haynes, Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University

‘This groundbreaking book gives us a rare and compelling insight into the views of Muslim mothers about their children's education at a time when there is a paucity of research in this area. It is an essential read for all professionals who work in education and wish to understand better the needs of the increasingly diverse pupil population they serve.’

Sameena Choudry, Founder of Equitable Education

'Suma Din has penned an exceptional book that rightfully explores an important area of research and policy thinking. The findings of her study are of great importance, not just to policymakers but also Muslim communities in general. The voices of Muslim women in relation to their children’s schooling are told in an articulate and insightful manner, all in a process to help improve understanding, trust and engagement. This book is highly recommended for teachers, parents, policymakers and researchers, all working away to understand the myriad issues facing mothers, children and the education system.'

Professor Tahir Abbas, Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London