Cultural Violence in the Classroom: Peace, Conflict and Education in Israel
In identity-based conflicts, what a person learns can become whom a person learns to hate.
This book explores the unique position occupied by educators during protracted ethnic conflict. As transmitters of social authority, educators occupy a position in society capable of supporting repressive constructs or challenging social inequalities. Educators who are seen to legitimize the social order may be seen as symbolic markers of the dominant group, while educators who challenge the social order can be perceived as upstarts or threats that seek to subvert social authority. By surveying the perceptions, perspectives, experiences and opinions of Israeli tertiary teachers, this book explores the positionality of educators as agents who wield “both an instrument for oppression and a tool for liberation” (Alzaroo and Hunt 2003, 165).
Peace education is a platform to achieve a global culture of peace by recognizing and delegitimizing violence. Using future visioning, this book considers that a primary obstruction to achieving peace is the ability to conceive of peace and asks three questions: do university educators challenge conflict narratives in the classroom? What obstacles exist to prevent educating for peace in Israel? How do educators imagine the future?
This book is part of a series. View the full series, "Peace Studies: Edges and Innovations ", here.
Katerina Standish is currently a Lecturer at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. She is interested in cultural violence, nonviolence, gender, education, peace curriculum, and critical pedagogy. Her previous publications include content related to cultural violence and gender, cultural nonviolence and peace, conflict, and education. Dr Standish is the creator and primary researcher for the Peace Education Curriculum Analysis (PECA) Project.
“This book is completely innovative and original. The subject matter regards the enormous intellectual and moral challenge that preoccupies educators who are agents of socialization, and the book successfully presents their coping efforts. It unfolds the way Israeli educators in universities reconcile narratives propagated by the formal institutions of the state of Israel, the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the situation in Israel and their personal views and values. The book elaborates on many fundamental concepts that are needed in order to grasp the complexity of any intractable conflict.”
Professor Daniel Bar-Tal
Branco Weiss Professor of Research in Child Development and Education, School of Education, Tel Aviv University
“In this book, Dr Katerina Standish provides a sophisticated, insightful, and pragmatic analysis of how tertiary educators in Israeli universities view and teach issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its peaceful transformation. Her innovative findings are suggestive of the importance of talking to educators in divided societies about the significance of creative peacemaking strategies needed to promote peaceful coexistence among groups locked in protracted ethnopolitical conflicts. Her rich qualitative interviews provide a comprehensive understanding of existing political, economic, and cultural hurdles challenging the prospects of forging conflict transformation and peacebuilding among and between both communities. The book makes an important contribution to the field of peace education.”
Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba
“Dr Standish’s work provides a very original approach. She deals with the reality of both the difficulties and the desirability of beginning ‘the critical process of reconciliation early, one student at a time.’ This book is valuable for peace educators, conflict resolution theorist and practitioners, as well as researchers, working on sensitive and controversial topics and in arenas experiencing protracted conflict.”
Dr Heather Devere
Director of Practice, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago
“Dr Katerina Standish’s topic is a very important one; her highly objective approach to a complex issue brings together a snapshot of the fears and perspectives of a number of teachers, and intersects them with a number of theoretical paradigms. Her research has been thorough, and she has pulled together the insights which that research has revealed into a competent and convincing presentation.”
PhD, Director, Institute for the Humanities (2001-04), Simon Fraser University
“Cultural Violence in the Classroom: Peace, Conflict and Education in Israel is one of the most exciting manuscripts I have read recently. This book provides a lens for not only the exploration of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but also the impact of conflict narratives, the role of educators in cultural change, and the possibilities for peace education. Because Dr Standish has a style that is engaging and accessible, a platform is created for insightful exploration into the complexity of intractable struggles with entrenched oppositional narratives. […] This book has value as a resource for scholars, educators, practitioners, and students. An approachable examination of the role of conflict narratives in protracted ethnic conflict is provided along with exploration of teaching as a venue for challenging conflict narratives and their role in maintaining the oppositional nature of ethnic conflict. As a scholar and teacher working at the intersection of culture, identity, and conflict, I find this to be a text that will support my work on many levels. It is a resource I will use in classes [and] as a base for my scholarship in multiple ways.”
Cathryne L. Schmitz
MSW, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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