In 2010 IB Tauris published an important study of Baha’i schools in Iran by Soli Shahvar (The Forgotten Schools: The Baha’is and Modern Education in Iran. London & New York: Tauris Academic Studies, 2010. Review see Banani, Amin. “Book Review: The Forgotten Schools: The Baha’is and Modern Education in Iran, 1899-1934.” The Journal of Bahá’í Studies 20, no. 1–4 (2010): 93–96. ). In recent months several additional studies reporting original research on this topic have been published in various scholarly journals especially concerning the education of girls and promoting the advancement of women in the Baha’i context in Iran.
Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi (2013): The Tarbiyat Girls’ School of Tehran: Iranian and American Baha’i Contributions to Modern Education, Middle East Critique, 22, 1-17. DOI:10.1080/19436149.2012.755298 Abstract: This article, which examines the thirty-year history of the Tarbiyat Girls’ School of Tehran from the late Qajar to the Reza Shah period, sheds light on the nature of contact between Iranian and American Baha’is and the changing communal and organizational development of Baha’is in the early twentieth century. Through the efforts of the Persian-American
Educational Society (PAES), American Baha’is financed the school and oversaw its operations and teaching staff during a period when girls’ schools were first emerging in Iran. As the school grew in size, its diminishing American influence coincided with the rise of Iranian Baha’i institutions and an emerging public identity for Iranian Baha’is that clashed with the dictates of the state’s centralizing, secularizing, and
Siyamak Zabihi-Moghaddam (2013): Promoting the Advancement of Women:Baha’i Schools for Girls in Iran, 1909–35, Iranian Studies, DOI:10.1080/00210862.2012.758480Abstract: In the early twentieth century, Iranian Baha’is were at the forefront of efforts to promote modern schooling for girls in Iran. Using previously untapped published primary sources and archival records, this article examines the history of the Baha’i schools for girls in the context of modern schooling of Iranian girls and assesses their contribution to female education in Iran. This contribution was significant and all the more remarkable considering the Iranian Baha’is’ numbers and resources and the restrictions under which they operated. Most notably, in the spring of 1933, less than two years
before the forced closure of Baha’i schools by the Pahlavi state, 4 percent of all females in Iran’s accredited schools were enrolled in Baha’i schools. The Baha’i community’s most prestigious school, Tarbīyat-i banāt in Tehran, was by this time Iran’s largest girls’ school. Outside Tehran, in some localities, the only girls’ schools were run by Baha’is, and in others a significant portion of all female pupils were enrolled in Baha’i schools.
Siyamak Zabihi-Moghaddam (2012): Educating Girls in Early Twentieth-Century Iran:A Study of a Baha’i School, Journal of Religious HistoryVol. 36, No. 4, December 2012
doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9809.2012.01228.x Abstract: In the first decades of the twentieth century, the Baha’is of Iran were actively engaged in establishing schools for girls. This article provides a case study of one such school in a provincial town: Sa‘adat-i banat in Najafabad. The
study sheds light on how the Baha’i community and the wider public responded to the school and on the nature of its impact. The case highlights the challenges that surrounded schooling of girls and illustrates the greater readiness of the Baha’is to support female education compared with the majority Muslim population. What made the crucial difference was not their material and human resources but rather the values that they espoused. The study also shows that in spite of their status as a stigmatized community, the Baha’is were able to make an important contribution to promoting girls’ schooling. Among the Baha’is, the experience with the school contributed to their commitment to female education.