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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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Chapter 6: Framing Radical Hope within Forbidden Cities:Curriculum, SocialNetworks, and a Literacy of Dreams


c h a p t e r s i x Framing Radical Hope within Forbidden Cities: Curriculum, Social Networks, and a Literacy of Dreams linda radford and nicholas ng-a-fook The “frames” that work to differentiate the lives we can apprehend from those we cannot (or that produce lives across a continuum of life) not only organize visual experience but also generate specific ontologies of the subject. (butler, 2009, p. 3) This archaic prototype of radical hope: in infancy we are reaching out for sustenance from a source of goodness even though we as yet lack the concepts with which to understand what we are reaching out for. (lear, 2006, p. 122) When we meet 17-year-old Alexander Jackson, he is trying to make sense of his life, indeed the very nature of being an adolescent. As the narrator of William Bell’s (1990) award-winning youth fiction Forbidden City, Alex recounts to the readers a narrative journey, in epic Homeric style, of witnessing unspeakable hor- ror: the 1989 massacre in Tien An Men Square. Like other great literary heroes, Alex recounts the narrative chronotopes of his experiences through journal writing, through what Foucault (1997) calls the technologies of writing (re/constructing) the self. In turn, his personal inscriptions become a representational space that is usually forbidden to others. Nonetheless, the production of such writing labours to frame adolescent quests for (re)constructing their subjectivities and of making 146 | linda radford and nicholas ng-a-fook sense of what Derrida (1987) might suggest is the surplus value...

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