Early Childhood Education in Islam: The Cases of Turkey and Egypt

Publications: Contribution to bookChapterPeer Reviewed


There is an increasing interest in professionally organized preschool education in Muslim countries. This creates a previously unknown challenge for Muslims: how can they establish the education of their children while incorporating both modern pedagogical insights and traditional Quranic-Prophetic interpretations of education. Islamic preschools tend to make an effort to maintain traditional practices and teachings of religious upbringing but they also try to appear to be no different from other mainstream preschool establishments. There appears to be an increasingly paradoxical phenomenon emerging in Islamic preschools, where attempts are made to implement Islamic concepts of education within the framework of Western pedagogy. This creates unexpected theological issues, which Muslims have not previously encountered within their own history of educating children. The theology of early childhood education is thus pushed into a corner by modern pedagogy, which increasingly limits the scope for imparting Islamic traditions. This either results in establishments that try to protect and defend Islamic traditions by means of more conservative or extreme ideas, or schools that are open to new insights while questioning their religious traditions in a critical light. In an attempt to illustrate these current debates about early childhood education, this contribution presents examples from Turkey and Egypt that provide insights into discussions of modern educational concepts and Islamic theological positions.
Translated title of the contributionFrühkindliche Erziehung im Islam: am Beispiel von Türkei und Ägypten
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of the Place of Religion in Early Childhood Education and Care
EditorsArniika Kuusisto
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781003017783
ISBN (Print)9780367862251
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503024 Religious education


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Religion
  • Islam

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