Dr. Semiha Bekir

Martinus J. Langeveldgebouw
Heidelberglaan 1
3584 CS Utrecht

Dr. Semiha Bekir

Universitair docent
Pedagogiek in Diverse Samenlevingen

I am an Assistant Professor of Development and Education in Inclusive Societies. My expertise is in the field of cultural diversity and inclusion in education, with a specific focus on dialogical perspectives.

My research interests include community-based educational initiatives and parenting support, ethnic and religious identity formation, multilingualism in children, and faith-based youth work. My current projects focus on interventions countering polarization in education, parental participation in diverse schools, and mosque-based parenting support for families with a Turkish background in the Netherlands. In my work, I use qualitative methodology and adopt a multidisciplinary approach to studying issues of cultural diversity and learning. I welcome invitations for collaboration on these topics. 

Previously for my Ph.D. research at the University of Amsterdam, I investigated the portrayal and practice (i.e. organization, learning goals, content, curriculum, and pedagogies) of mosque education in the Turkish Islamic communities in the Netherlands, with special attention to the role played by this non-formal religious education in the identity negotiation of the Turkish-Dutch children. Ongoing projects are described under the research tab.

Project-overarching problems, issues, and questions I am working with currently:

  • Mapping the wider terrain of community-based learning and parenting support in the Netherlands (inclusive but not restricted to mosque-based initiatives): What kind of community-based education and parenting support initiatives exist, inventory of the ‘funds of knowledge’ contained in them, and identification of the transferability of the affordances coming from community-based initiatives to other educational/pedagogic settings.
  • What are forms of meaningful collaboration between pedagogic stakeholders and schools, which collaborations contribute to creating inclusive and democratic school communities, and in what ways?
  • Dilemmas of working in a research-practice partnership (RPP): How to organize research in a community-and-practitioner relevant way, while simultaneously striving for academic relevance and innovation? And how can RPP collaborations be employed for the design and implementation of transformative (CHAT-inspired) interventions?

I am a founder of ISPED: Research Network on Islamic Pedagogies and Education that brings together international experts in the field. Besides, I am part of the network of the American Educational Research Association, the Comparative and International Education Society, and the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies.


PhD Semiha (Sözeri) Bekir

ISPED Kick-Off Webinar