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Group Submission Type: Panel Session
There is increasing attention devoted to the role of education in peacebuilding and post-conflict education, but limited analysis to date specifically examining the role of textbooks and other learning materials in contributing to peacebuilding or reinforcing divisive stereotypes and expectations that can contribute to violence. This is an area deserving of further exploration, given the importance of textbooks as key curriculum documents, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts when access to other teaching and learning materials and the actual curriculum are often limited. It has been broadly recognized that education has the potential to play a substantial role in peacebuilding, but that access to education in itself is insufficient to do so. The potential for education to contribute to peace lies in the extent to which curriculum content, pedagogical delivery and the education system challenges divisions and inequalities that contributed to the initial conflict and promotes social cohesion through redistribution, recognition, representation and reconciliation (Novelli, Cardozo & Smith, 2017). This panel presentation will examine how learning materials in three country contexts experiencing varying stages of conflict and fragility - Afghanistan, South Sudan and Sri Lanka – foster social cohesion that enhances the likelihood of sustainable peace or, alternatively, reproduce divisive discourses that support the continuation of hostility.
Each presenter will describe the results of their document analysis of textbooks at different levels of education for one of the case study countries, using the following analytical subthemes identified during a joint literature review: development assistance, language, religion and ethnicity, historical context, governance and gender. Among these subthemes, global inequalities of knowledge production and exchange will be considered, analyzing the ways that external influence shapes textbook discourse and that local knowledges are expressed or suppressed through learning materials. The textbook discourse will be considered using the framework positioning education and schooling as contributing to three overlapping roles in relation to conflict: transformer, accomplice and victim (Panelists, citation removed for blind submission). Collectively, the presentations describe a framework for textbook analysis in conflict that can be adapted and applicable for use in a variety of country and cultural contexts and with textbooks and learning materials from all levels of education.
Novelli, M., Lopes Cardozo, M.T.A. & Smith, A. (2017). The 4 Rs framework: Analyzing education’s contribution to sustainable peacebuilding with social justice in conflict-affected conexts. Journal on Education in Emergencies, 3(1).
Panelists. Reference removed for blind submission.
Opportunities and limitations for peacebuilding in South Sudanese primary school textbooks - Catherine Vanner, University of Ottawa
Citizenship textbooks in Sri Lanka - Thursica Kovinthan, University of Ottawa
Education for peace everywhere and nowhere? Exploring Afghanistan’s new life skills curriculum’s emphasis on peacebuilding in primary social studies textbooks - Spogmai Akseer, Independent Researcher