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Farah Ahmed


Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223 767613


  • PhD Education (University of Cambridge)
  • MEd Educational Research (University of Cambridge)
  • PGCE Secondary English (Institute of Education, University of London)
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy (University of Bristol)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA) – Member
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA) - Member
  • Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge – College Research Associate
  • Chartered College of Teaching – Founding Fellow 


  • Curriculum Journal – Member of Editorial Board
  • Impact – Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching – Member of Editorial Board

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My research interests lie in the intersections between: Dialogic education, philosophies of Islamic education, 'Southern' theory, i.e. critical and indigenous research methodologies and personhood/character education. I am particularly interested in ontological, epistemological and theoretical frameworks and how these influence classroom practice. My research is driven by a commitment to community-led educational initiatives generating innovative educational practice. As such, my research tends to be interwoven with sustainable teacher professional development. I co-convene the ‘Cultural, religious and philosophical traditions in educational dialogue’ strand of the Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research group. I am also a member of the T-SEDA team, where I am engaged in developing materials to support teacher-led professional inquiry.

I have over twenty-five years of experience teaching in and leading Islamic schools in the UK. I have developed and taught teacher professional development courses on Islamic education: philosophies, pedagogies and practices.

Academic Areas/Links

  • Islamic education – Philosophies, Pedagogies and Practices
  • Dialogic Education – Theory and Practice
  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Home-schooling / Un-schooling 
  • Religious Education
  • Critical Pedagogies
  • Indigenous Research - Theories and Methodologies
  • Dialogical Self Theory
  • Intercultural Dialogue

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Current Research Project(s)

I am jointly funded by the Leverhulme and Isaac Newton trusts to undertake a three-year research project titled: Rethinking Islamic education for British Muslim children: a philosophical investigation of dialogue in Islamic educational theory and an empirical study trialling dialogic halaqah (Islamic circle of learning) in UK madrasahs (supplementary schools).

This project builds on my PhD research: Pedagogy as Dialogue between Cultures: Exploring Halaqah: an Islamic dialogic pedagogy that acts as a vehicle for developing Muslim children’s shakhsiyah (personhood, autonomy, identity) in a pluralist society.

It also builds on my Masters research: Tarbiyah for Shakhsiyah (Educating for Identity): Seeking out culturally coherent education for Muslim children in the 21st century.

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Course involvement / Teaching

  • Tripos Part 1A - Critical Debates in Education
  • Tripos Part 1B - Formal and Informal Contexts of Learning
  • Practitioner Professional Development: Dialogue in Education

I am only available to co-supervise PhD/EdD students in partnership with another faculty member. Prospective students may wish to consider Daniel Moulin-Stozek, Rupert Wegerif or Hilary Cremin as potential co-supervisors.  

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Principal and Recent Publications

Please see the following: