Advancing education

Advancing education doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it requires transformation that is systemic and comprehensive. Taking a holistic approach to investing in education through evidence based research and grounding in IIIT’s long history of reforming Islamic thought, AEMS sees as part of its vision to influence the following areas of education:

Educational policy

Involves decision-making processes at the highest levels of educational systems.  This area impacts educational systems that set the bar for standards, guiding principles, teacher qualifications and accreditation, and curriculum among others. Reform on that level will ensure a “trickledown” effect into other areas and levels of education.


Involves the decisions on what do students learn, how, and why. Many countries in the Muslim world struggle with demands to reform the curriculum without taking into consideration the need for an organic process of creating curriculum guidelines and materials that are authentic and reflect the context of students in K-12 and in higher education settings.


AEMS believes in the power of teaching that is learner centered and addresses the needs and learning styles of students of all ages. Preparing teachers to respond to the academic, as well as the socioemotional learning of students (in K-12 and higher education) is an integral part of AEMS’s vision to advance education in Muslim societies.


Transforming educational systems begins with the leaders in the field who hold keys to teachers, parents, and students. They also constitute the link between policy makers and schools as well as higher education institutions. Addressing their roles and needs and creating collaborative initiatives inspired by the research and evidence from the field will promote the reform movement in education.


Many of the countries around the world struggle with the design and implementation of assessment tools that not only measure academic attainment but also socioemotional gains in students. Authentic measures based on students’ actual performance and evaluations of functionality and effectiveness of educational systems while keeping in mind the local contexts will guide the process of educational transformation that is informed and evidence based.

The areas described above have similar weights in the reform efforts, but the focus may vary based on needs of each country as well as access provided to the research team. This will be determined with local partners in each country and the expressed needs of the ministries, schools, and or universities we are collaborating with. As such, AEMS research agenda is dynamic and non-imposing and has a unique contribution to Muslim countries’ education systems by: 1. Collaborating with formal and non-formal education institutions and research entities; 2. Engaging religious institutions, scholars, and decision makers in the different localities, and 3. Partnering with local researchers with the intent to build capacity, strengthen the research platform, and the quality of empirical studies.