This article is reshared from the Jan 2022 issue of Data Digest published by the Institute of social policy and understanding. The original article can be found here: 10 Areas of Need in American Muslim Communities | ISPU

8. ISLAMIC WEEKEND SCHOOLS: Gathering demographic data about weekend Islamic schools, sharing best practices, and making improvements in the curriculum

Weekend Islamic schools provide invaluable services for young children and youth. There is an urgent need for gathering demographic data about weekend schools, as well as gathering information to get a clearer picture of the weekend Islamic school landscape nationally. The information can be also used to share success stories, best practices, making improvements in curriculum, collaborating, training teachers etc. Additionally, there is a need to improve the classroom experience; for instance, by using technology to train and empower teachers and teaching religion by keeping the student context and experience under consideration. It will also be beneficial to expand the focus of the curriculum to include topics on Islamic character development, identity, and belonging in curricula.

Weekend Islamic Schools: Are They Preparing Children for Life Ahead?


Evidence-based recommendations that can be implemented by all who work in connection with Islamic schools.

On July 25, 2017, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) hosted a one-day convening in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation (JTF) to identify the needs, opportunities, and challenges for weekend Islamic schools as they relate to character development in students between the ages of 6 and 18. A total of 14 participants presented their research and findings, and engaged in a rich exchange of ideas. The participants included major designers and publishers of Islamic curricula, leaders and teachers of weekend Islamic schools, and researchers and scholar-practitioners with significant experience working with Islamic schools and Muslim communities. Based on the exchange of ideas at the convening, the participants came up with experience and evidence based recommendations that can be implemented by all those working in connection with Islamic schools.