21st Century Leadership

Category: Education

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21st Century Leadership:

21 st Century Leadership To help them to thrive in a world we know nothing about

If a system is to be judged by its results, what should we say about our education system looking at its result – our society?:

If a system is to be judged by its results, what should we say about our education system looking at its result – our society?

Leadership through Faith Education:

Leadership through Faith Education What it is and what it can do

Faith education:

Based on two principles: Responsibility for what you hold in trust Accountability to One from whom nothing is hidden Our global problems today are not due to lack of resources but lack of accountability Faith education The cure for that is faith

Responsibility :

Accepting responsibility for others, adds value to us. After all that is what we seek all through our careers Enables us to rise above our base desires and invokes the best in us Is the only way we have to leave a legacy of honor Responsibility It takes courage to accept responsibility


To the One who we represent – and to Whom is our return To the One who will reward those who fulfill their duty To the One from Whom nothing is hidden Accountability WiiFM is a station everyone listens to

Flying Robot:

Flying Robot Who will decide what this will be used for?

The problem with the present system is not that it has failed:

The problem with the present system is not that it has failed But that it is hugely successful

What we need:

What we need When was the last time that you rewarded a student for disagreeing with you?

What we produce:

What we produce We reward compliance and punish questioning

What we must encourage:

What we must encourage But we demand conformity and punish diversity Curiosity Imagination Creativity

What we must do:

What we must do But we dampen and sedate Stimulate Provoke Engage


How? Recognize the problem and seek solutions

Our current design:

Our current design We know – You listen and memorize We teach random data (called facts) We examine random recall during a specific timeframe and ‘FAIL’ those who recall the same thing 5 minutes later That is exactly how you fill boxes on an assembly line

Two key skills:

Two key skills Memorization Regurgitation

Two suicidals:

Two suicidals Thinking Questioning

What’s teaching?:

What’s teaching? Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine. Teaching is about teaching them the tools of learning which will enable them to pursue learning all their lives. What do we do with those who ask ‘odd’ questions?

Teaching Science:

Teaching Science We teach science like we teach history – as a ‘fact’ course. Whereas science is not about fact at all but about constant discovery. Science is about constantly discovering how little we know. Science is not about answers but about learning to ask the right questions, learning to analyze data with a willingness to be proved wrong . That’s why most children don’t open a science book once they leave school

Teaching History:

Teaching History We concentrate on dates far more than on lessons learnt and ways of applying them in today’s society . History question: When was the Battle of Waterloo fought ; who was fighting whom? Not why; not what did that indicate about that society and its implications in today’s society. So they hate history and never read it when they leave school

Teaching Math:

Teaching Math Children hate math, algebra even more. But when did we ever hear of a teacher teaching math as a problem solving tool? Or of teaching algebra as a tool to plan a party? Context gives meaning – but we don’t link to context

Context of Math:

Context of Math Math enhances ability in reasoning, intelligence, decision making and abstract analysis. But we only teach dry numbers. Math enables budgeting, judging and assessment of business enterprises; it is the basis behind computer programming, music, art, graphic design, aeronautics – and a million other highly interesting things. But it’s interesting only in context

Our approach must change:

Our approach must change The way we teach math – the majority of students hate it, never use it to any advantage and trash 12 years of learning it as soon as they complete their final exam. So why should you study math at all?


Exams Exams are the final nail in the coffin which ensure that the child hates learning forever .

The Universe matters:

The Universe matters Our education system stinks. It is designed to create mechanics – not learned people. So one can become an engineer without reading any book other than his course books and without any understanding of anything except his little machine – as if the rest of the universe doesn’t matter. Or does it, really?

So does it all exist?:

So does it all exist? All the treasure of human thought, ideas, discoveries, experiments, reflections and imagination are closed to him. He doesn’t even know that they exist. He lives a life of stress, doing his best with his very limited understanding of life, trying to reinvent the wheel, to discover solutions which others, far more gifted and learned than he could ever be, have already discovered and written about. Is existence about being or about linking to our history to leave a legacy?

But then how would he know about them when he doesn’t read?:

But then how would he know about them when he doesn’t read?

Product design:

Product design That is why we have idiotic product design because the designer has no concept of relating his design to the actual user. He is thinking in terms of his narrow area of knowledge, not of the vast area of application.


But people who mostly didn’t go to school use our products in unexpected ways

Design dictates performance:

Design dictates performance Challenges must dictate design

Our current system:

Our current system Is designed to produce conformity and compliance It was created to reinforce feudalism and produce obedient slaves

And it did – very successfully:

And it did – very successfully It was never designed for democracy or to raise people who think independently

While what we need is:

While what we need is Questioning, Challenging, Creativity, Courage, Resilience

Our system doesn’t need tinkering:

Our system doesn’t need tinkering It needs a decent burial

Our Challenge:

O ur Challenge Prepare them for a world that we know nothing about You signed up when you had a child

O! Teacher, stop teaching:

O! Teacher, stop teaching And start learning

Monitor yourself daily:

Monitor yourself daily Start discovering, learning, enjoying. Start appreciating that the child is the best thing that happened to you and every single day try to become the best thing that happens to him or her. ‘If you want to know what someone values, see what they measure.’ ~ Mikel Harry (Motorola, 6 – Sigma Quality)

You’re ushers – not teachers:

You’re ushers – not teachers Teachers must never teach. They must be like ushers in a vast museum, walking quietly with their students tiptoeing behind them, opening one door after another – letting them take a peek – and then handing them the key to the door so that they can come back in their own time and explore in detail. Is every day exciting?

Give them the keys:

Give them the keys The teacher then takes them to another door for another peek and another key. See ?? Imagine how exciting that is for the child!  The teacher’s job is to give them the keys. Teaching is about asking questions – and teaching them to ask questions .

Ask questions:

Ask questions Reward the best question The teacher who gives answers has failed. So never do that. Let them find the answers and be prepared for answers you didn’t ever think about The best question is the one that left you speechless

It’s not about today:

It’s not about today Teaching is about keeping the excitement of learning alive all lifelong .

Integrated Teaching:

Integrated Teaching A brief glimpse

Here’s how to do it:

Here’s how to do it Take the hand of a 4 year old and lead the whole group to a tree. Then sit down under the tree and tell them, ‘Let me see who can get me a perfect leaf of this tree.’ When they all come back, brimming with joy at their perfect finds – ask them if all the leaves are the same, even though they came from the same tree?

Then ask them…:

Then ask them… Let them marvel at the fact that they are all leaves from the same tree but each is different. Ask them, ‘Why do you think this happens? What is Allah ﷻ saying to us?’ Faith is not rules but to see the Creator in His creation

Then let them feel…:

Then let them feel… Then pull out a seed of the tree you are sitting under from your pocket. S how them the seed and let them all (every one of them) hold the seed in their hand and explore it, texture, shape, color and so on.

Open the door….:

Open the door…. Give them crayons and paper and let them draw the seed. Give them a few more so that everyone has their own seed. When they have drawn the seed, tell them, ‘Now look at the tree. Did you realise that this tree was inside this seed? Can you draw the tree inside your seed?’ Let them do that.

Teach genetics to 4 year olds:

Teach genetics to 4 year olds Then tell them about genetics – yes to four year olds – and explain how the tree was inside the seed until Allah ﷻ ordered it to come out. Explain the whole process of germination and growth. Draw lessons from each step and show them the glory of Allah ﷻ .   Explain how we are all similar

Do you really want to teach?:

Do you really want to teach? Of course that will make your own role as teacher much harder but also much more fun. To be on top of the game you have to read and prepare @ 1:4 – one hour of teaching to 4 hours of preparation. That’s why you need passion

Teaching is about learning. :

Teaching is about learning. The kids will come back with answers to the questions you planted in their minds. You will need patience and tact and wisdom to deal with some of them. But you will have the joy of learning, of having doors opened for you where you didn’t know there were doors. Be prepared to be astonished & transformed

Bring the Qur’an alive:

Bring the Qur’an alive Integrated teaching

Qur’anic method:

Qur’anic method إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ Allah  said وَيَتَفَكَّرُون

Qur’anic method:

Qur’anic method A’al Imraan 3:190. Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for people of understanding. 191 . Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, AND think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Rabb! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire .” Allah  used AND

Why this method?:

Why this method? Islam recognizes that all knowledge is from Allah ﷻ and that the purpose of Islamic education is to connect the people to Allah ﷻ .   So there’s no disconnect between Islam and science and modern education Provided it is taught holistically integrated

Project: Oceans:

Project: Oceans Biology: Marine plants & animals Physics: Displacement floats ships Chemistry: Why is sea water salty? Geography: Navigation, Orienteering, sailing, Qibla History: Maritime history of nations, colonial domination, Muslim Mariners Trade: Routes, goods, cultural & population change Tafseer: Qur’anic Ayaat relating to Oceans Fiqh: Mathaa’il related to sea water, food, travel etc. Hadith: Ahadith related to the sea Living knowledge to be applied in context

Two Oceans:

Two Oceans وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخًا وَحِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا Furqan 25: 53. And it is He Who has let free the two seas (kinds of water), one palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter, and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them. How does this happen and where?

Project: Mountains:

Project: Mountains Geology: Isostacy of mountains: Stabilizing effect Geography: How mountains effect climate Biology: Mountain flora & fauna History: How mountains affected history of nations Tafsir : Ayaat related to mountains Seerah: Mountain of Uhud Hadith: Ahadith related to mountains Draw lessons from all of these to connect to Allah  & Aakhira

Teaching is not a job:

Teaching is not a job Selling lottery tickets is a job

Can you imagine not teaching?:

Can you imagine not teaching? Teaching must be a passion. A teacher is someone who simply can’t imagine doing anything else. A teacher is someone who will not only teach without pay but would pay to teach. A teacher teaches for the joy of teaching

Does this excite you?:

Does this excite you? Only then can you light the lamp of the love of learning in the hearts of others. Teaching is to light the lamp of knowledge and dispel the darkness of ignorance. Excitement is fear that anticipates a happy ending

Consider this…:

Consider this… This happens before your eyes every morning…

Please consider this…:

Please consider this… Every morning a strange thing happens at the gate of your school. Parents come and hand over their most precious assets to you without asking for any guarantees for anything; for you to do as you please with them for the next 6 – 8 hours. And then?

Do you actively plan this? :

Do you actively plan this? Are you conscious of this responsibility in quite this way and do you plan for those 6 – 8 to become the best 6 – 8 hours of that child for that day? What would you say if the teacher, who you send your child to, planned to make those hours the best hours of your child’s life? Do you believe this is worth doing?

Abolish Exams:

Abolish Exams Or at least have only open book exams . Random recall of random data at a specific time of the day? And if they collaborate you call it cheating and fail them. In real life we call it teamwork. That is the most insane thing to do – so why do it ?

Nail in the coffin:

Nail in the coffin Exams are the worst evil that ever happened to learning. They are the final nail in the coffin which ensures that the child hates learning forever. Think about what you want to test for

First of all your own:

First of all your own May you be the one to illuminate the world by igniting minds.



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