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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 5: Between Being “Acted upon and Acting”: AnEducator’s Experience in Framing Peace through Restorative Justice

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c h a p t e r f i v e Between Being “Acted upon and Acting”: An Educator’s Experience in Framing Peace through Restorative Justice dorothy d. vaandering Am I honouring? Am I measuring? What message am I sending? These three questions frame my daily encounter with life and learning. They have made the framing of peace a personal matter. They embody Butler’s (2009) challenge to recognize how lives are made precarious through the frames we employ to view humanity, as well as our collective responsibility for nurturing what it means to be fully human. They tap directly into the foundation of this book—to acknowledge our common vulnerability and explore how to transform our melancholia “to forms of mourning that include a ‘turning, working, cultivating [of ] oneself in a different direction’” (White, 2000, p. 100). Through their use, verticality and horizontality of curricu- lum come to life so that I and my students are better able to “live the educational experience” (Pinar, 2007). “Currere” becomes a verb so that, as an educator, I am no longer able to teach “about” life but must engage life with my students. As such, the questions constitute a frame of peace that allows me to take up my responsibil- ity as a curriculum writer and practitioner. Am I honouring? Am I measuring? What message am I sending? These ques- tions continue to challenge and serve me well after years of use. With them I play within and push against the boundaries of...

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