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ERIC Number: EJ1033427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Affective Emotions: The Pedagogical Challenges of Knowing War
Trofanenko, Brenda
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v36 n1 p22-39 2014
The last twenty years have witnessed a number of studies in education, primarily within global education (Ball 2012), that have considered those processes forming the nation. It also seeks to advance the role of school in establishing an imagined community that promotes a collective identity (Trofanenko 2005). Education is expected by some to lay the foundation for supporting and advancing a nation's collective identity often by appealing to emotions primarily through the positioning and outpouring of patriotism. Such feeling and commitment is evoked by honoring and remembering past historical events, situating history as a sanctioned school subject, and engaging in policies and practices within school classrooms that contribute to a collective sense of belonging including celebrating and observing national holidays, singing the national anthem, and saluting the flag. If acknowledging how the close relationship between emotions and learning assists in understanding, then the author asserts, educators ought to work toward considering how to harness such a relationship rather than turning an emotional appeal into an empathetic understanding of another person's experiences. Although war is not the only past event that evokes emotions, it can serve as a basis for analyzing how emotions and knowledge intersect to define a nation, to advance patriotism, to form a collective national identity and sense of belonging. Without question, war holds a significant place in school curriculum. A major challenge for educators, particularly those given the task of teaching about a nation's history, is the ubiquitous presence of war as curricular topics of study where they serve as chronological signposts characterizing the historical narrative of a nation. Understanding war in its political context calls attention to the discourses and practices that constitute historical knowledge developed in school classrooms. Knowledge about war is often simplified to the locations of the conflict, the number of casualties, and the successful advancement of nationalist ideals with a simultaneous quashing of other ideologies. Yet the emotional responses to war and the associated violence, death, and destruction often press up against what knowledge is gained. The purpose of this article is to highlight how the emotional (and affective) responses to war can work as a starting point to developing insight into teaching and learning about past events represented in public educational institutions beyond the school classroom. To this end, the author considers what kind of directives toward teaching and learning about war are present in history museum exhibitions. Although emotions and affect are utilized to affirm a museum's pedagogical imperative, and as history exhibitions utilize an emotional appeal to justify particular past events in the name of nation-building, she argues that there remains a need for educators to work towards reconsidering the educational value of public educational institutions, one that realizes the intricacies between the cognitive and affective elements. For this purpose, she suggests a critical examination of history museum exhibitions to understand the relationship between emotions, affect, and learning as implicated in their pedagogical mandates.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A