Responding to the global crisis in education, the IIIT has initiated its Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS) project to identify and address issues that will develop and enhance the teaching and learning experience. Recognizing the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the task, the IIIT is undertaking a research work plan focused on offering policy makers and educators evidence-based and data-driven information concerning education in Muslim societies. The AEMS project aspires to provide effective research and means to develop students into becoming knowledgeable, empowered and productive by instilling in them values and morals that contribute to the betterment of their societies and humanity at large.
AEMS identifies its research within the so called “Third Space” which means that education serves more than just acquiring knowledge and skills; it also serves as a vehicle for a meaningful and holistic life. Based on this framework, education functions as a means for transformation and hope for a better future. An in-depth literature review reveals a wealth of information and programs on education for employment and citizenship in Muslim societies. However, there is a lack of research on the socio-emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual in the “Third Space.”
To address the gaps in the research, the AEMS team is designing a conceptual framework and a robust research agenda that takes the “Third Space” into consideration. “Mapping the Terrain,” as named by the AEMS team, attempts to investigate the conditions and status of education in Muslim societies while focusing on the person as a whole and more specifically at the socio-emotional and spiritual aspects of his/her being. It is about “learning to be” where education is not only about knowledge and skills but also about being a human being.
The four central constructs of “Mapping the Terrain”: