Arzina Zaver was working in complementary education when she conducted her study focused on recreating a third space in a religious education classroom in Vancouver, Canada. Her understanding of third space largely draws on the ideas of the literary theorist Homi Bhabha but has been re-defined within the context of this study to refer to a space of dialogue for Shia Ismaili Muslim adolescents
The impetus driving the research largely stems from my own experiences as well as both previous observations and the challenges faced by minority youth as a result of globalization and the spread of religious ideas through mass media. Dialogue is seen to have great value in the classroom as it responds to the intellectual and emotional needs of the adolescent to ask, reflect and understand. There has also been a movement in education for a student- centered approach that values students as active participants in the learning process. Furthermore discussions and a space to ‘ask’ in this research was shown to increase students’ understanding of faith related matters such as practise and tradition.
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