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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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Chapter 1: Framing Peace-by-Piece: How to “Teach” Peaceto a Subject that IisContinually in Crisis


c h a p t e r o n e Framing Peace-by-Piece: How to “Teach” Peace to a Subject that is Continually in Crisis ashley pullman and chris nichols Jonathan Lear, in Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006), shows us what is at stake in theorizing peace education. The possibility for cultural and social devastation is not illusory; rather, Lear recounts the story of Plenty Coups, a subject in history who states that after a certain event in the timeline of his people, nothing happened. Many other works have shown that this devastation not only of people but of the terms through which a person can be considered as such is not an historical anomaly but a potential reality for many contemporary cultures and peoples today. Butler (2006, 2009) is at the forefront of this literature, inducing us to consider the ways through which frames of war render some lives grievable—as sub- jects who are living lives that could be grieved if they were to end—and others not. The realization of this possibility has led to urgent theorization of the alter- native: the attempt, in other words, to frame peace and engender cultural livabil- ity. Ian M. Harris (2004), writing in the inaugural volume of the Journal of Peace Education, ascertains that “peace educators” illuminate problems of violence while providing strategies to address these conflicts, “… empowering [pupils] to redress the circumstances that can lead to violent conflict” (p. 5). Perspectives in the field of...

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