Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as «Radical Hope»
Edited By Hans Smits and Rahat Naqvi
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.
A central concern of our work as teacher educators has been the preparation of teachers in terms of understanding diversity and possibilities for creating peaceful experiences in the lives of all children and students. Particularly salient to the idea of peace, as exemplified by the contributions in this book, is that of relationships and responsibility and how those can be enacted as curriculum aims in school and university classrooms. As we were preparing the book for press, multiple events were occurring globally, challenging the very hope for peace and reminding us of life’s precar- iousness. Russia invaded the Crimea in the Ukraine; violence and loss of life continues in Syria, with multitudes of refugees finding themselves without the security of home and livelihood. An airliner simply disappears somewhere in the skies near Malaysia. Youth unemployment is endemic in many parts of Europe and other parts of the world. Global warming, unchecked resource exploitation, and environmental degradation are rife in our own country and other parts of the world. Civil unrest and conflict continue to fester in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Fizza Malik, a 24-year-old law graduate from the London School of Law, was amongst those killed in a suicide bombing in the district courts in Islamabad, Pakistan. This was her second day at work. Her tragic end represents thousands of untold stories that reflect the turmoil and violence faced by our young people across the world. Reporting on the sudden and tragic death of this young woman ( John,...
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