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3.5 IDEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CURRICULUM

A system of ideas characterizing a party, class and culture is called ideology.

Curriculum ideologies are defined as beliefs about what schools should teach, for what ends, and for what reasons.

All schools have at least one ideology and usually more than one – that provides direction to their functions. An ideology can be tacit rather than explicit.

In some ways, curricular ideologies derive from what might be regarded as world views.

Ideologies are typically regarded as value-laden commitments, while theories in the social sciences are frequently idealized as merely descriptions of the world rather than an expression of what is to be valued.However, theories can also influence what is to be valued.

The most influential ideologies are not those formally acknowledged and publicly articulated, but rather those (such as theories) that are subliminally ingested as a part of general or professional socialization. Thus, understanding the covert ways in which ideologies operate becomes crucial.

Ideological positions pertaining to curriculum and to other aspects of education exist in a state of tension or conflict. They are what schools should teach and for what ends in a political marketplace Regardless of how powerful an ideological view may be in an individual’s or even group’s orientation to the world, it is seldom adequate to determine what the school curriculum shall be. There is a political process that inevitably must be employed to move from ideological commitment to practical action. In pluralistic societies, the process almost always leads to certain compromises. As a result, the public school curriculum seldom reflects a pure form of any single ideological position. Examples of “pure” ideologies in action in schools are rare.

Curricular ideologies are rarely presented in a public and articulate form. They do not display a uniform articulate ideological position that allows citizens to say this educational view is for me, that isn’t. What most citizens want are good schools.

The ideologies that make a difference for those in school are those that permeate their activities on daily basis – operational ideologies. A written manifesto of educational beliefs that never infuses the day-to-day operations of schools has no practical import for either teachers or students; such beliefs are window dressing.

The concept of God, man, knowledge, universe, truth, morality, values. and society are the fundamentals of any ideology. We as Muslims follow Islamic ideology.

Islamic ideology (Islamic philosophy)

✓Islam has unique and comprehensive fundamentals which are quite different from others religions and ideologies. Islam is primarily a matter of faith; such faith stands for certain beliefs. Such beliefs are;

  • Belief in the unity of God
  • Belief in the finality of the prophet hood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).
  • Belief in the prophets that Allah almighty commissioned from time to time..
  • Belief in the Holy Quran and other Holy books revealed to the prophets from time to time.
  • Belief in the angels.
  • Belief in the life after death..
  • Belief in the Day of Judgment.

✓ As the caliph of God, man must be able to fulfill his mission. In order to enable man to do this, Islam seeks discipline through

  • offering of prayers to god five times a day.
  • The observance of fast for one month in a year..
  • The giving of zakat on their assets for the welfare of the poor.
  • Undertaking pilgrimage (Hajj) to the Kabba at least once during life time.
  • Readiness to undertake “Jihad” in in the cause of God.

✓ Such disciplined people are to establish a social order characterized by special justice, public welfare and a high sense of social and moral virtues.

✓In the holy Quran Allah almighty refers to the Muslims as the best of community among mankind and Islam seeks to build up the Muslims as the model of humanity.

✓Islam is a way of life. This means that Islam is not concerned with mere religious rituals, it seeks to regulate human conduct in all fields of life and spheres of action.

✓Islam has set certain ideals. Such ideals are religious, social,moral, intellectual, cultural, political and international.

✓ The religious ideal is to establish belief in the unity of God and its prophet hood of Muhammad (SAW) throughout the world.

✓ The social ideal is to create a pattern of social order where under there are no distinctions of caste, creed, color, the rich and the poor.

✓ The moral ideal is to make every person an embodiment of moral virtues.

✓ The intellectual ideal is to promote the acquisition of knowledge.

✓The cultural ideal is to bring about a wholesome synthesis between the material and spiritual aspects of life.

✓ The political ideal is to establish a welfare state.

✓ The international ideal is to establish a universal state based on brotherhood of man.

✓ Islam represents a whole civilization, a complete culture and a comprehensive world order.

Islamic Concept of ValueThe Arabic nomenclature for value is “Qadr”. Literally it means “appropriate measure”. Practically value in Islam is a standard on which we judge an action to be right or wrong. These standards are helpful to differentiate between good and evil deeds. The “Ahkam” (commandments) of Islam are not mere judgments but values in themselves.

Different philosophies advocate different values. These depend upon the concept of “good” in a society. Some philosophies consider values as temporary and subject to change. But the value system of Islam is immutable and does not accept any change with time simply because Allah Almighty is immutable and the universe is working under permanent laws and principles set forth by Allah Almighty. Quran says “and you will never find any change in the way of Allah”.

Furthermore, the nature of man is also unchangeable. Hence the values are permanent. Whatever change time may bring, the values of Islam operate within the same framework. Islamic values are aligned with the nature of man and are conducive to his moral and spiritual education. Whatever blocks this path or acts as hurdle is considered to be a un- Islamic value.

Concept of Morality

Human actions can be divided into two categories

  • Intentional actions
  • Unintentional actions

In doing unintentional actions, man has no choice, authority and control, so he is not answerable to these actions. We cannot name them right or wrong actions. While in doing intentional actions, man has choice, authority and control, so he is answerable to these activities and we can name them right and wrong actions.

For the fulfillment of physical and psychological needs, man has to do these actions which may be right or wrong. Morality deals with these two aspects of actions. Morality may be defined as a science which interprets virtuous and mischievous, it describe how man should behave towards himself and others, what should be the aim of his actions. It also tells the ways of adopting virtuous and auciding mischievous.

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