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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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Case Study: Framing Peace in a Multilingual Context

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Case Study Framing Peace in a Multilingual Context kimberly meredith i n t r o d u c t i o n In the introduction to her Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence, Judith Butler (2006) describes how the capacity to mourn is linked to a culture of violence or nonviolence: Those who remain faceless or whose faces are presented to us as symbols of evil, authorize us to become senseless before those lives we have eradicated, and whose grievability is indefinitely postponed. Certain faces must be admitted into public view, must be seen and heard for some keener sense of the value of life, all life, to take hold …. Without the capacity to mourn, we lose that keener sense of life we need in order to oppose violence. (p. xviii) While Butler’s writing focuses on the perceived ungrievability of life in times of war, physical violence is not the only violence that causes grievable loss. Our fram- ing of the lives we live is formed, negotiated, and expressed in the symbolic realm: here, the violence is symbolic. Symbolic violence (Bourdieu, 1991) occurs through the misrecognition of dominant symbolic resources (e.g., languages) as the only legitimate and authoritative symbolic resources. Through symbolic violence, utter- ances and speakers of the dominant language are valued higher than other diverse voices, which are silenced through this insidious process of misrecognition. Where symbolic violence occurs, physical violence may follow as symbolic violence deval- ues a life and deems it ungrievable. 112 | kimberly...

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