What An Islamic Learning Environment Looks Like – An Interview with Dr. Seema Imam

seema imam

The buzz in Islamic education is all about the space – the Islamic learning space.

More than the posters on the wall, the space encompasses all the sights, the sounds and even the smells of the classroom that serve to create an engaging Islamic learning environment.

Following one of the key principles of Islamic pedagogy as taught in our program, “The learning environment is sacred, disciplined, caring, and functional,” Dr Seema Imam – a veteran educator and personal mentor, also touches upon the other six principles as a way to achieve a holistic approach to developing an engaging, dynamic and student-centered classroom. A nuanced approach achieved through a deep understanding of Islamic pedagogy, and years of training and experience.

In this 40 minute interview, Dr Seema provides us with three vantage points critical to creating an authentic Islamic learning environment:

  1. An Outsider looking in
  2. The Teacher
  3. The Student

In addition to this, Dr Seema elaborates on:

  1. Student engagement with Islam, Quran and the Prophet
  2. Becoming reflective practitioners and encouraging reflection in students
  3. How to become an effective teacher
  4. Process and strategy of classroom setup, implementation and delivery
  5. Building our own learning environments and attitudes
  6. Teacher character as a religious responsibility
  7. The classroom as a community of belonging

Wishing you a beneficial listen!

Omaira Alam

About Omaira Alam

Omaira Alam is the Program Director of the Islamic Teacher Education Program (islamicteachereducation.com). She holds a Masters in Transition Special Education from the George Washington University specializing in at-risk students with emotional and learning disabilities. With over 18 years of experience in teaching and teacher training, she continues her research focusing on Islamic education, special education in Muslim schools, urban Islamic education, discipline with dignity, instructional strategies based on gender and homeschooling. Her blog, Black Board, White Chalk (blackboardwhitechalk.wordpress.com), explores traditional and contemporary issues in education.
Click here to read more posts by Omaira.


  1. AOA
    this is all a perfect example of the hidden curriculum. This interview solidified my feeling that an unwritten curriculum is equally important as a written one. jazakallah for arranging and conducting the interview and sister seema’s expertise will inshallah help us at up an Islamic culture in our teaching environments.

    • Dr Seema Imam is a treasure at the Islamic Teacher Education Program. Do consider taking her course C102 about integrating curriculum. The new semester begins May 2016.

  2. Salam. Alhamdulillah, it was very enlightening to hear a veteran educator like Sister Seema Imam. I am a student of ITEP103. Our week 5 task was on ‘Learning Environment that Inspire’.
    A large classroom is always a challenge for me. I would like to how can a teacher establish students’ self engagement with Islam. Isn’t Taharat a matter of etiquette in terms of handling the Quran? JazakAllah Khyr.

  3. I have learn all the posts and i found very distinctive data on this blog good work by your aspect thanks on your views these are very helpful for individuals who don’t know as much each time i wanna share or focus on something i certainly come again and discuss on this blog.

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