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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: The Glorification of War: HowElementary Curriculum FramesStudents’ Perceptions

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Case Study The Glorification of War: How Elementary Curriculum Frames Students’ Perceptions marilyn cullen-reavill The word frame can refer to an enclosure around a picture or the act of implying guilt through false accusations. “When a picture is framed, any number of ways of commenting on or extending the picture may be at stake …. This sense that the frame implicitly guides the interpretation has some resonance with the idea of the frame as a false accusation” (Butler, 2009, p. 8). Either way, a frame is a boundary focusing our attention on certain aspects while hiding others. Although my perspectives as a middle-aged American woman will unintentionally and undoubtedly guide and limit my focus, I will attempt to broaden it by relying upon four other frames of reference obtained from the four different educational roles that I have held: (a) parent, (b) professor of elementary education, (c) doctoral student, and (d) elementary school teacher. The commonalities that exist when we share similar roles can create bridges across the physical and cultural boundaries that may separate us. My intent here is to promote Butler’s (2009) mission of “… seeking to draw attention to the epistemological problem raised by this issue of framing” (p. 1) and to discuss the responsibilities that we have as administrators, developers, and practitioners for creating a “radical hope” (Lear, 2006) in educa- tion as we develop exemplary practices. I will highlight two personal experiences that I have had in order to closely examine how curriculum and teaching practices frame...

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