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Framing Peace

Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as «Radical Hope»


Edited By Hans Smits and Rahat Naqvi

The language of frames suggests the need to rethink self and other in fostering ethical relationships as a foundation for peaceful existence. Educational writers and practitioners from many parts of the world, including New York, Denver, Minneapolis, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Israel, and Canada offer their perspectives on peace as an aim of curriculum.
Possibilities for learning about peace conceived in terms of Jonathan Lear’s (2006) notion of «radical hope» are illustrated in the contexts of diverse settings and challenges: the aftermath of apartheid in South Africa, re-imagining post-colonial history curricula in Zimbabwe, exploring the meanings of truth and reconciliation and restorative justice in Canada, examining the quality of pedagogic relationships in elementary school classrooms, attending to experiences of gay and lesbian students in schools, experiences of marginalized students, children’s experiences of civic engagement, Islamophobia in high schools and teacher education classes, fraught relationships between Palestinian and Jewish students in a teachers’ college in Israel, and the inclusion of First Nations culture and knowledge in Canadian teacher education classes. As whole and in each of its parts, Framing Peace encourages us to think about peace as an urgent and fundamental responsibility of curriculum at all levels of education.


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“The Hand” by Qamar Bana


With our hands we write and share our thoughts. We create music, draw, and paint; we make colourful crafts; we weave textiles, sew, and embroider. Through our hands we make sense of the world around us and an awareness of history and traditions unfold. The application of henna on hands and feet heralds celebrations; it is also adornment for both males and females. The design varies from floral to arabesque common in the subcontinent of Pakistan and India, the Middle East; parts of South and South East Asia; East and North Africa. The patterns in West Africa are totally different: only geometric forms are used. At present times most nations have become “multicultural” due to job mobility or because of forced or planned immigration. This brings diverse communities and ethnic groups together. As a means of integration and education, host coun- tries organize cultural events in schools and museums: talks, films, workshops, and exhibitions are held to generate interest or discovery of new ideas, perhaps leading to new relationships and deeper understanding and acceptance of the “other.” “t h e h a n d ” I was strolling along the narrow alleyways of the ancient city of Tombouctou [a real place with beautiful mud mosques [Mali, W. Africa, Jan. 2000]. I spotted vi | “the hand” by qamar bana Mariam in her elegant flowing abaya-like robe, donning a stunning head gear. I followed her, made eye contact, and showed her my bare palm gesturing toward her decorated hand. She was both confused...

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