Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein
Greetings for a healthy and meaningful new year and spring term 2019. I’m pleased to be back with a short update of what’s been happening with Muslim Mothers – the book over the past year.
2018 was dominated with taking up a yearlong post in Family Learning, Bucks Adult Education, running courses for parents and supporting the Quality processes. Engaging with parents in various schools and community locations, reinforced the vital need to support better home-school relations and communication. As always, it’s fulfilling to see parents take positive steps towards growing their confidence and skills at the same time as learning about ways to support their children’s education.
In parallel, Muslim Mothers and their Children’s Schooling (MMCS) has valued opportunities in the past year working with teachers and undergraduates on bettering the understanding of Muslim mothers’ views, challenges and experiences. Participating in a focus group discussion at Warwick University on the subject of Muslim mothers’ contributions in the UK, for example, honed in on the relevance of this research for discourses around motherhood, womanhood and inter-cultural dialogue.
Here’s a short round up of activities in 2018 and I look forward to a year dedicated largely to further collaborations in 2019 to serve the needs of organisations and institutions where my work will compliment their objectives.
October 2018: A second visit to the Norwegian Study Centre (NSC), University of York.
Experienced school teachers, newly qualified teachers and undergraduates from Sociology modules attended my lecture and three seminars over the course of the day. The lecture set the context for the research with Muslim mothers, by focusing on who Muslim woman are in the public imagination, taking a whistle stop tour of the repetitive, tedious media profile; the monolithic media profile; the homogenous media profile: you get the drift…
In contrast, a few real and varied voices were presented as a bird’s eye view of a landscape we went on to explore in the seminars. Having digested Suhaiymah Manzoor Khan’s This is Not A Humanising Poem and the trailer from a forthcoming anthology I have contributed to, the rationale and broad research findings from the book were presented.
The feedback from the staff and students was phenomenal! Their sentiments went beyond the aims and objectives of the seminars, to use the NSC’s director’s words:
‘An immensely valuable experience for these teachers, who are taking home something really transformative.’ Dr Tonning.
November 2018 – Diversifying the Ivory Tower
It was a privilege to be invited to Brunel University’s student led ‘Liberated Library’ launch. The project, now in its third year improves student’s access to varied literature and speakers. Truly diverse stories, experiences, open mic poetry performances by current students made the evening an unforgettable experience. The panel is reviewing new books to add to the library with MMCS on the list and hopefully on the library shelf soon too!
Brunel University https://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/student-success/Liberated-Library