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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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Case Study: Framing Muslims/Framing Americans: Teaching aboutIslamophobia and Anti-Americanism in Peace Education


Case Study Framing Muslims/Framing Americans: Teaching about Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism in Peace Education farouk mitha As we know, “to be framed” is a complex phrase in English: a picture is framed but so too is a criminal (by the police), or an innocent person… When a picture is framed, any number of ways of commenting on or extending the picture may be at stake. (butler, 2009, p. 8) This case study seeks to examine the following question: “How are Muslims and Americans framing each other today?” Or phrased differently: “What is at stake in the frames Muslims and American use to understand each other? Immedi- ately upon posing either question, difficulties around possible responses become apparent, leading to yet further questions. For example, which Muslims and which Americans? Can we make a blanket reference to all Muslims or all Americans? To be framed is indeed a complex affair. What then is to be achieved by peace educa- tors through a critical examination of framing practices?1 In Frames of War: When Is life Grievable (2009) Butler invites us to think of frames and framing as metaphors for understanding how acts of interpretation (broadly conceived) embody vested interests that carry consequences. Butler makes a compelling case that violent (material) consequences of war on individual bodies are accompanied by equally violent consequences on the social imagination, which then fuels the justification for war as an unavoidable course of action. By bringing into sharper focus dehumanizing consequences of framing practices at play since...

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