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Framing Peace

Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as «Radical Hope»

Series:

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 4: Curricular Spaces of Renewal: Toward Reconciliation

Extract

c h a p t e r f o u r Curricular Spaces of Renewal: Toward Reconciliation jennifer a. tupper Reflection I begin this chapter by reflecting on a conversation I had recently with a young woman in my education social studies curriculum class. A significant part of the class involves learning about and creating curricular materials to teach residential schools. Partnering with a local high school, we are taking up Project of Heart, created by Sylvia Smith, a graduate student at the University of Regina and a classroom teacher in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Project of Heart is one approach to helping Canadians learn about the legacies of residential schools so that they may come to think differently about what it means to engage in reconciliation. After class one day, this student approached me to seek affirmation of the knowledge she held about residential schools. She wanted to be sure that the students she would be working with would consider that residential schools were an “ethical”’ approach to assimilation. The discursive production of residential schools as “‘ethical”’ spaces is necessary to Canada’s dominante national narrative as a tolerant and just country. Framing residential schools in this way protects settler-Canadians from their own vulnerability in confronting historical trauma and also their innocence in the present moment. Further, it allows for the perpetuation of white ignorance whereby one’s knowing of the past is adjusted so as not to disrupt dominance (Mills, 2007). The views of this student are not uncommon...

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