Abstract - CE4CE and the Global Curriculum Enrichment Initiative
A key function of Curriculum Enrichment for the Common Era (CE4CE) is to redress the historical inaccuracies that exist not just in relation to Muslim civilisation but also to the other major world civilisations which, taken together, have significantly contributed to our modern world. The term Common Era underpins the idea that we are all part of one world and that no culture or ideology holds sway over the rest of us. CE4CE is non-political, non-sectarian and non-religious in approach; it is based upon scientific methodology but is sensitive to the moral and traditional values of each culture or religion. Of particular interest are the scientific inventions within Muslim civilisation. In curriculum terms, it means unpacking this legacy, then permeating all subject areas with materials that reflect these achievements. How this might be achieved in the context of Britain has been mapped in some detail by Maurice Irfan Coles in his book Every Muslim Child Matters, which has achieved great critical acclaim in educational circles in the UK.
CE4CE already has 3 products that have been tried and tested in England and are in use in our schools. The first, "An introduction to City 1250", is a short DVD that begins in the present day with number of pupils examining some of the key inventions and achievements that were already taking place in a hypothetical Muslim city in 1250 and which have contributed significantly (and to most pupils that see it, surprisingly, to the world in which we live). The second, which was a project emanating from this, is the Cultural Understanding of Science Project (CUSP) which was developed in conjunction with the English government's own curriculum body, the Qualifications Curriculum and Development Authority. All these materials, including teachers' notes are available online. The third product, now in its last stage of development is the Cultural Understanding of Science and History Project, "How Do Ideas Travel?" which takes Bagdad 1250 as its base and analyses its achievements and influence using both a historical and a scientific approach. It has been developed collaboratively by key members of the Historical Association and Association of Science Education. In addition, CE4CE is involved in the major "1001 Inventions" exhibition and in the production of books for young children based upon "1001 Inventions".
CE4CE now aims to move from its predominantly UK base to work with other countries and systems so that its materials and insights can become truly global. Serious discussions are underway with colleagues from the United States of America, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition, we are working on several projects which will be of global significance and which can be universally applied: a graphic novel and the ‘translation' of "1001 Inventions" into a series of easily told stories.
by: Maurice Coles, Sat 19 June, 2010