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ERIC Number: EJ931365
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
The Emotional Complexities of Teaching Conflictual Historical Narratives: The Case of Integrated Palestinian-Jewish Schools in Israel
Bekerman, Zvi; Zembylas, Michalinos
Teachers College Record, v113 n5 p1004-1030 2011
Background/Context: Emotions often accompany discussions of ethnic matters, yet there have been few sustained investigations in education of how, and with what implications, emotional responses are (de)legitimized in the classroom, especially when conflicting historical narratives are involved. Emotions have remained in the margins of educational research about the ways in which historical narratives are dealt with in schools, or at best, they are regarded as epiphenomena rather than constitutive components in teaching practice. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: The main objective of this article is to help us better understand how both emotions and historical narratives are constituted and operate interactively at the level of both the individual and the social-political structures within school and the wider society. The particular event on which we focus the present analysis--a classroom activity on the death of Yasser Arafat--was chosen because it is representative of multiple other events in which similar phenomena were identified. Its analysis offers insights into how those involved in education (even in the context of integrated schools) draw selectively from formal and informal sources to support their emotional identification and sense of belonging within their particular political, national, and religious communities. Research Design: The events presented are based on rich data gathered from a long-standing ethnographic research effort in the context of the Palestinian-Jewish integrated bilingual schools in Israel. Conclusions/Recommendations: We highlight two main implications of the analysis developed in this article. The first concerns the importance of teachers critically analyzing the emotional discourses/practices through which historical narratives are authorized by, implied by, and embodied in schools; this position also entails the recognition that such discourses/practices have consequences for the ways in which affective spaces and communities are constituted within the classroom and beyond. The second is that the findings of this study concerning the teaching of controversial issues in the classroom suggest an imperative need among teachers working with multiethnic children to increase their competence in dealing with conflicting historical narratives at both the cognitive and emotional levels. This competence can be partly developed through preservice and in-service teacher education that pays attention to the emotional complexities of teaching conflicting historical narratives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel