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Past event

Education, Extremism and Criticality







Registration online is now closed. However if you would still like to attend this event please email

For all those involved in education, the seduction of extremism in all its various forms raises serious questions: How do we define extremism? What is educational interest in extremism? Does the sympathy for extremism, religious and far-right, among some young people reflect the failure of liberal education to enable young minds to critically interrogate the siren calls of violent extremist voices?  How has the neoliberalisation of mainstream education promoting a functionalist, market-orientated approach affected education’s capacity to build criticality? What is the relationship between official discourses, pedagogies and curricula of ‘citizenship’ and the lived experience of being a young British citizen?

Organised by the Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education (CREME) at the UCL Institute of Education in partnership with BERA (SIG on Religious and Moral Education) and Middlesex University, this one day conference will bring together academics, educationalists, practitioners, policy makers, community organisations and others to explore this important issue.

08:30 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:10 Welcome to the UCL Institute of Education: Dr Clare Brooks, Head, Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
09:10 – 09:25 Introduction to the Conference: Dr Farid Panjwani, Director, CREME
09:25 – 10:00 Keynote address: Professor Humayun Ansari (Royal Holloway, University of London)
10:00 – 10:20 Break
10:20 – 11:50 Parallel Sessions 1
Panel 1: Rethinking Criticality: an under-used resource in countering ‘extremism’?   
Dr Matthew Wilkinson (Curriculum for Cohesion and UCL Institute of Education): A philosophical framework to address extremism through humanities education: Islamic critical realism
Angus Slater (Lancaster University): A Matter of Legitimacy: An Alternative Approach to Challenging Extremism
Panel 2: Views from the Chalkface: Muslimness and Practical Pedagogies
Angela Quartermaine (University of Warwick): Discussing Extremism, Preventing Terrorism: A pupil-inspired guide to UK counter-terrorism policy implementation in Religious Education classrooms in England
Dr Phillip Wood (Aga Khan University): Reading Ibn Ishaq¹s Sira Rasul Allah: Muslim common knowledge in the classroom
Dr Shamim Miah (University of Huddersfield): Trojan Horse and the ‘Preventing of Schooling’: Race, Religion and Securitization
Panel 3: Contested Values: Citizenship, ‘Counter-Radicalisation’, and ‘British Values’
Dr Nadya Ali (University of Reading): Counter-Radicalisation and Muslim Pedagogy: Citizenship Education in Britain’s Madrassas
Bill Bolloten and Robin Richardson (Insted Consultancy): Fundamental British Values’ in challenges to extremism – the origins, features and dangers of a current key concept
Dr Lynn Revell (Canterbury Christ Church University): Criticality, extremism and Fundamental British Values in schools
12:00 – 12:40 Keynote address: Dr Joyce Miller (University of Warwick)
12:40 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Parallel Sessions 2
Panel 1: Gender, Criticality and Social Class: Fieldwork Perspectives on ‘Radicalisation’ in Northern Nigeria
Louise Wetheridge (UCL Institute of Education): ‘Western education is forbidden’: discourses, data and divergence around girls’ education in Northern Nigeria
Dr Elaine Unterhalter (UCL Institute of Education), Chidi Ezegwu (Independent Researcher, Abuja), Adewole Adedokun (Jigawa State College of Education), Mulika Lamido Dodo (Federal College of Education Binchi, Kano) and Wadata Dangaladim (Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto): The myth of a homogenised Muslim education: Student teacher engagements with aspects of education, gender equality and criticality in three northern Nigerian states
Chidi Ezegwu (Independent Researcher, Abuja) and Adewole Adedokun (Jigawa State College of Education): Integration of Almajiri Education, ‘Dis-attraction’ of Western Education and ‘Boko-Haramization’ of Northern Nigerian Street Children
Panel 2: Philosophical, Comparative and Historical Perspectives on ‘Extremism’
Dr John O’Regan (UCL Institute of Education) and Dr Anne Betzel (Kingston University, London): A dialectical-relational approach to discourses of extremism and multiculturalism
Dr Daryoush Mohammad Poor (Institute of Ismaili Studies): Self-Other Binaries and the Lack of Critical Imagination
The Rev Canon John Austin White (St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle): Mine own familiar friend’ – education and extremism within historic culture
Panel 3: Institutional talks
Quilliam Foundation – Usama Hasan
Institute for Strategic Dialogue – Henry Tuck
15:30 – 15:50 Break
15:50 – 16:50 Parallel Sessions 3
Panel 1: Views from the Chalkface: Muslimness and Practical Pedagogies
Farah Ahmed (UCL Institute of Education): Countering ‘Extremism’ through Criticality in British Muslim Primary Schools: an exploration of Halaqa, an Islamic oral pedagogy
Jamie Pinnock (Canterbury Christ Church University): Pupil’s experiences of learning about Islam in Year 7: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Panel 2: Contested Values: Citizenship, ‘Counter-Radicalisation’, and ‘British Values’
Dr Reza Gholami (Middlesex University): Diaspora, Education and Citizenship in Late-Modernity: Exploring Muslims modes of education and criticality in contemporary Britain
Dr Robert Bowie (Canterbury Christ Church University): The Virtues and Vices of Tolerance
Panel 3: Rethinking Criticality: an under-used resource in countering ‘extremism’?
Ruben Elsinga (Lund University, Sweden): Dynamics and Tensions in Implementing ‘Interactive’, ‘Critical’ Education in the Syrian Education Crisis in Lebanon
Dr Mike Diboll (UCL Institute of Education): Neoliberal Education and Imagined Autonomy: the ISIS of the Imagination as the ISIS of False Consciousness
17:00 – 17:15 Concluding remarks and closure

For further details please visit CREME conference webpage. If you have any queries about the conference, please email:

Register by the 30th April 2015 to guarantee your place. This event is £10 for BERA Members and £20 for Non-Members to attend.