Shifiting Notions of Morality and Muslimness in a Egyptian Schools

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Instituto Paulo Freire - Portugal./ IV Encontro Internacional Fórum Paulo Freire
In Egypt, a in much of the world, education policies are being oriented toward the education of a global citizenship. Yet, despite certain standardizing and globalizing policies, the 'upbringing' component of state monitored formal schooling in Egypt serves as a way of ensuring that indigenous cultural aspects, which include the transmission of specifically Islamic tenets and codes of morality, are incorporated into national, and tacitly 'secular' education programs. Adults involved in the educational field consider it squarely within their right - if not duty- to enter into the domain of students' moral upbringing. Through a host of 'morality' policies at schools such as religion and morality classes, sex segregation, surveillance of youth behavior in and outside schools, enforcing dress codes and discouraging music and sports, adults try to guide youth towards what they consider acceptable moral behavior within the context of a Muslim, Arab society. This paper, based on extended ethnographic investigations into four Egyptian schools, will consider how notions of multiculturalism and global citizenship takes shape in the context of formal, schooling in a contemporary Muslim society.
Apresentado no IV Encontro Internacional do Fórum Paulo Freire, realizado na cidade do Porto em Portugal, durante os dias 19 e 22 de setembro de 2004.