ERIC Number: EJ721732
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-1
Reference Count: 43
Balancing Difference and the Common Good: Lessons from a Post-Conflict Society
Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education, v35 n4 p429-442 Dec 2005
Northern Ireland endured a quarter century of political violence from 1969 until the declaration of ceasefires in 1994. Although a political settlement was signed in 1998, the actual implementation of agreed institutions has proved to be very difficult and the actual institutions have been fragile (and are currently under suspension). The purpose of this paper is to examine aspects of the role of education through the years of violence and in the post-conflict situation. The education system in Northern is divided on the basis of religion, with less than 10% of pupils attending mixed religion schools. There have been a variety of curricular and other initiatives over the years, but their success to date has been limited. The paper will argue that the contribution of education to more positive community relations has been limited because of a tendency to over-privilege difference. More particularly, the paper will argue that education has failed to grapple with the main consequence of separate schools which is that they perpetuate divisions in the wider society. The paper will suggest that if education is to serve as a vehicle for promoting a discourse of a common good and contribute to the construction of the architecture of a shared society then a more proactive approach will be needed in future. The two main initiatives that provide the possibility for such a contribution are the development of a programme for local and global citizenship and support for partnership activities between schools.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Role of Education, Religion, Religious Factors, Community Relations, Educational Change, Citizenship Education, Violence, Social Change, School Segregation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland; United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)