Every teacher in the UK needs to read this. It gives space to voices of people otherwise under-represented in education research and helps to explain so much about the engagement and attainment of Muslim pupils. It should be a staple read for schools, with Muslim students, who are interested in research-informed teaching that works alongside other important education research about learning and engagement.
It truly offers transformational insight.
SJ Khan – Assistant Head Teacher, SLE for RS & PSHE (Secondary, Buckinghamshire) December 2020
‘In the wake of the hysteria of school jihadi brides and terrorist sons this timely and well researched book ‘lifts the veil’ on the mythology of ‘bad Muslim mothers’ with powerful stories of love and educational commitment against the odds.’
–Heidi Safia Mirza, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London & Professor Emerita in Equalities Studies at the UCL Institute of Education, and Visiting Professor in Social Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE)
‘This groundbreaking book gives us a rare and compelling insight into the views of Muslim mothers about their children’s education at a time when there is a paucity of research in this area. It is an essential read for all professionals who work in education and wish to understand better the needs of the increasingly diverse pupil population they serve.’
—Sameena Choudry, Founder of Equitable Education, Co-founder of #WomenEd and author of Equitable Education: What Everyone Working in Education Should Know about Closing the Attainment Gap for All Pupils
Suma Din has penned an exceptional book that rightfully explores an important area of research and policy thinking. The findings of her study are of great importance, not just to policymakers but also Muslim communities in general.
The voices of Muslim women in relation to their children s schooling are told in an articulate and insightful manner, all in a process to help improve understanding, trust and engagement. This book is highly recommended for teachers, parents, policymakers and researchers, all working away to understand the myriad issues facing mothers, children and the education system.
—Professor Tahir Abbas, Chair in Radicalisation Studies at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University in The Hague Visiting Senior Fellow at the Department of Government at the LSE.
‘This book is well worth perusing. Din undertook this research as a Muslim mother and educator; her insider researcher position is evident adding value to the work.
Her writing makes for a superb read: her ideas flow smoothly and logically while presenting a thoroughly theoretically underpinned discourse. While Din is a first time researcher she eloquently takes the reader through each step of the methodology enabling greater comprehension and replicability. For this reason I would strongly recommend that those new to education research should read this book.
The critical point of this work is that the voices of over 50 Muslim Mothers, from five locations across England, can be heard. As a teacher I learnt so many things and made me think, deeply, about ways that could enable addressing communication issues between school and home. Din’s analysis of the qualitative data is reflexive and grounded from a constructivist point of departure.
The final chapter ‘Narrative bridges’ provides the reader with valuable strategies to take this work forward. For example there is a sub-section on ‘Regarding and re-guarding capital’ that reiterated just one of the many significant messages captured in this work; ‘Retrospective, introspective: perspective’ is another such sub-section. While this work highlights the voices of Muslim Mothers, many of the views resonate with me, also from a different cultural background. These views could provide a useful framework for deconstruction in a workshop with staff and/or parents and even members of the community.
This book is a must for teachers and headteachers, other educators and researchers: the message is powerful, whilst being erudite.’
— Dr Lyn Haynes, Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
The title of this book might suggest a generic characterisation of a group, often considered to be ‘hard to reach’. But inside we meet a collection of individuals who robustly challenge the essentialized concepts of Muslim women and the negative stereotypes so often portrayed in the media.
Suma Din respectfully enables the participants in her study to tell their own stories, and engages multiple voices in exploring the diversity within Muslim motherhood. She locates her analysis within a helpful framework of emotional and aspirational capitals. The one common theme that emerges is the centrality of the mothers’ faith identity, which underpins the importance of the holistic education that they all seek for their children.
This book is itself part of the process that the participants want to achieve; building narrative bridges between Muslim mothers and teachers, educators and policy makers.’
– Dr Alison Davies, Associate lecturer in Education Studies, The Open University