Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as «Radical Hope»
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.
Chapter 2: Frames of Ubuntu:(Re)Framing an Ethical Education
c h a p t e r t w o Frames of Ubuntu: (Re)Framing an Ethical Education dalene swanson This chapter is dedicated to the memory of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, whose radical hope and particular frame and embodiment of Ubuntu are his legacy to the world. i n t r o d u c t i o n : a h i s t o r y o f v i o l e n c e In 2009, South Africa, a nation of democratic post-apartheid natality (Arendt, 1958), still clinging to a fragile afterbirth of national reconciliation, saw a conflagra- tion of xenophobia directed at African foreigners—migrants and refugees—to this country. Despite Thabo Mbeki’s earlier attempts at catalyzing pan-Africanist unity in the form of an African Renaissance (see Diop, 2000), colonially invested divisions on the basis of nationalities and language difference, if not specifically race on this occasion, became flash points for brutalization against a constructed “Other.” In the mournful wake of this xenophobic violence that saw tens of people burnt alive, while hundreds more were hacked and maimed with pangas, the question of what it meant to be (South) African, to belong to a brotherhood or sisterhood that transcended race, difference, and “otherness,” was brought urgently and brutally into question. Attacked because they were considered foreign, migrants and refugees from conflicts and war in Zimbabwe, Congo, Ethiopia, and Somalia, the South African utopia set up by the new democratic post-apartheid dispensation, based on a moral fundamen-...
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