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Sociologists pioneer introduction of Alevism into national curriculum

15 November 2011

Dr Celia Jenkins and Umit Cetin, who work in sociology at University of Westminster, were invited by the Turkish-Kurdish Alevi Cultural Centre in Dalston to address identity issues within their migrant community.

The Alevi are a religious and cultural community, primarily in Turkey, constituting more than 15 million people.

Working together with a primary school in Enfield, they have helped to produce a unit on Alevism for key stage 1 (five to seven-year-olds) of the national curriculum.

Launched after half-term, the new unit attracted media attention from the Turkish community in London and Turkey.

Dr Jenkins said: "It has been brilliant doing this research with the school and community and it provides an example of public sociology, where sociological knowledge can be applied to make a difference in people’s knowledge, understanding, lives and experience.

"This is part of the passion which inspires sociologists here in supporting local communities."

The next stage of Dr Jenkins and Mr Cetin’s project is to publish this material for other schools to use.

They are now working on a unit for key stage 2 (seven to 11-year-olds) and will also work with a secondary school on further key stages.

The duo continue to work with schools and communities regarding issues of disaffection, underachievement and parental engagement in education. 

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