quartermaine by M77R5T


									    A Study of the Discourse of
“Terrorism” in Pupil Conversations
  (aged 16 - 18) and Questionnaires
from a sample of Secondary Schools
          in Warwickshire

      Angela Quartermaine
      MA Hons. (Edin), Mst (Oxon), MPGCE
    The University of Warwick
          Research Questions
          Primary Research Question:
         Do students think the topic of “terrorism”
               should be taught in schools?

              Subsidiary Questions:
           How do students define “terrorism”?
What actions and motives for such actions do they associate
                 with “terrorist” behaviour?
 Do students want to learn about the topic of “terrorism”?
   In which school subjects do they think “terrorism”
                   could be discussed?
       How could this aid teacher training courses?
  1. Reasons for conducting the study
- Personal interest & teaching experience
        - Links made to religion

       2. Background reading
       - Definitions of terrorism
         - Government policy
           - Education links

      3. Theoretical Assumptions
  - Interpretivism, postmodernism and
             liberal feminism
            Definitions of Terrorism
                1. Historical Overview of term
- Very complex: may have begun with Robespierre's “Reign of Terror”,
                   1793-1794 France (Laqueur 2004).

    - Post-1980s terrorism saw “fourth wave” (Rapoport 2004) of “new
   terrorism”. Example: the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo underground
                    by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in 1995.

   - Religion, particular radical Islam, is often credited as “the most
        important defining characteristic” of this “new terrorism”
           (Schmid 1988:82. Also Hoffman 2006 & Juergensmeyer 2000).

     - However, does “new terrorism” really exists? (See Gray 2002).

             - Religious forms of terrorism are not new.
  - Other changes in terrorism could be a result of new technologies
       rather than a distinctive change in the nature of terrorism.
            Definitions of Terrorism
                     2. Dictionary Definition
From the Latin terrere meaning “frighten” and defines it as “extreme
 fear” or “the use of terror to intimidate people” (Oxford English Dictionary)

 The word “terrorist” has a more specific definition as “a person who
           uses violence in the pursuit of a political cause”.

                   3. My Working Definition
Terrorism is a pejorative term, used to demonstrate one's interpretation
          of violent acts that have affected a civilian population.
 There are many motivations, actions and actors (both state and non-
  state) that have been used to support one's interpretation of the term
      “terrorism”, but all of these ideas only serve to highlight any
  underlying power struggles that the author (and wider society) have
                      attributed to the use of the term.
                  Definitions of Terrorism
  4. Schmid's “four arenas” of “terrorism” (Schmid 1992:7)
                                   (a) academic discourse
“Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-)clandestine
  individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons...” (Schmid 1992:8)

                           (b) statements made by the state
                                            - UN definition
                              - UK legal definition (Lord Carlile's report)

                 (c) public debates on terrorism (& the media)
   - The general public hear about attacks and the groups associated with terrorism from the media,
    therefore the pupils are most likely to have gained their knowledge about terrorism from this arena
             - Exploited by terrorists to get their cause into the public sphere (see Mitra 2009)

      (d) those who oppose “our” societies’ values and support or
                  perform acts of violence and terrorism
- “The mere act of paying attention to what the terrorists have to say is a fateful step … that might lead
             to somehow “justifying” what is unjustifiable’ (Zulaika and Douglas 2008:32 )
                                   - Toros (2008) study in Mindanao
             Definitions of Terrorism
                    5. Religion and Terrorism
- Historically, “religion provided the only acceptable justifications for terror,”
  until the nineteenth century and the rise of Marxism (Rapoport 1984:659).

- The modern era has seen the “fourth wave” of terrorism; a rise in it being
    associated with religion again (examples could include the IRA, Tamil
                             Tigers and al-Qaeda).

 - Religiously-associated terrorism is a distinctive form of terrorism because the
      violence not only has a moral justification, but it is believed necessary for
   achieving the followers' goals: religion legitimises the cause and struggle of the
                            terrorist (Hoffman 1993:2-3).

- “To interpret acts of violence and terrorism committed in the name of religion as
    necessarily motivated by other concerns and lacking in religious qualities is an
   error... [it] misunderstands religion and underestimates its ability to underwrite
                  deadly conflict on its own terms” (Appleby 1999:30).
            UK Government Policy
           The Prevent Strategy: Education

The Prevent strategy wants schools,
universities and other education bodies to
take an active role in dealing with “terrorist”
and “extremist” behaviour.

Schools in particular:
“can play an important role in helping young
people to become more resilient to the
messages of violent extremists, and in
tackling the sorts of grievances extremists
seek to exploit, through creating an
environment where all young people learn to
understand others, value and appreciate
diversity and develop skills to debate and
analyse.” (HM Government 2008:47)
 How has it been introduced in other countries?
                     EXAMPLE 1: Northern Ireland
                                 - Focus on peace building
    - Three strategies were employed to encourage reconciliation (Cannon 2003:133):
                      (a) addressing community relationship issues,
                           (b) developing integrated schools and
    (c) promoting interschool links with a view to promoting reconciliatory attitudes

                               EXAMPLE 2: USA
                               - After 9/11, the focus was on:
(a) Helping pupils cope with the trauma of 9/11, whilst ensuring that Muslim students did
                  not become subject to any form of racial abuse or harassment.
 (b) Security issues, with the National School Safety and Security Services stating that “a
     terrorist attack upon a school in the United States may be improbable, the first step
   toward preparedness is admitting that it is at least possible that terrorists could strike a
                               school or schools in our country.”
      (c) Lesson plans. One example focussed on teaching pupils about the history of
   Afghanistan, the teaching of tolerance and multiculturalism as well as ensuring that the
        pupils were prepared for emergencies in Social Studies lessons (PBS website).
           How will it work in the UK?
DCSF: “education can be a powerful weapon against [terrorism]”
                          (DCSF 2008:3)

 DfES: “Extremism and terrorist violence and targeting civilians
 cannot be justified in the context of a democratic society. Schools
    should actively challenge such beliefs in a constructive but
                unequivocal way.” (DfES 2008:2-3)

 Communities and Local Government Committee 2010 report:
“There is clearly a disjuncture between the stated national aims of
   the Prevent educational activity and the reality of much of its
  content - much of it is positive and diversionary youth activity,
   but it is not Prevent activity in any meaningful sense.” (H.M.
                        Government 2010:59).
             How will it work in Warwickshire?
  The Prevent Strategy is intended as a guide for local authorities, therefore I have
             examined how Warwickshire has interpreted the guidelines.
  Warwickshire is a low risk area, therefore Prevent funding is lower in this region.

 Warwickshire Safer Schools Partnership Strategy 2007-2010: Warwickshire Police and
   Local Authority intends to engage with young people and protect them from harm, as
               required by the government's “Every Child Matters” policy.

Warwickshire Community Safety Agreement gives details for how each local area should
  have targeted strategies and interventions for a variety of issues. Counter Terrorism is
     seen as a high risk area that all partners should focus on, as stated by the Prevent
    Strategy, and work should be conducted in relation to hate crime and community
                                 cohesion and engagement.

 Warwickshire Learning Platform: a website giving more specific documents relating to
  the Prevent Strategy and violent extremism/terrorism (put together by the local police).

Police Events: Natural Born Leaders (an event for vulnerable young people); Communities
  against Terrorism (where pupils discuss how to respond to a terrorist threat); Watch over
     Me (a personal safety toolkit for teachers); and Tapestry (a drama group that engages
                       with young people through an interactive play).
             What impact does this have on
                Religious Education?
              Subjects where terrorism could be included:
                       Citizenship (QCA 2007:29),
PHSE and RE (REsiliance programme, see Religious Education Council of
                       England and Wales website),
 Other subjects such as geography, history and sociology could include it
                   (this requires further investigation).

 Toledo report states: “there is a religious aspect to many of the problems
    that contemporary society faces, such as intolerant fundamentalist
                       movements and terrorist acts”
  (The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights 2007:87).

  Religious Education could be incorporated into any Prevent strategies
          because RE focusses on the religious aspects of life.
 From the literature review, I predicted that pupils would think that
          there is a link between terrorism and religion.

However, RE teachers cannot be expected to teach such a difficult,
emotive and perhaps dangerous subject without very clear, factual
 advice about “terrorism” and some advice on how to present it to

 This topic has the potential to have a serious and negative impact
on pupils if it is not taught correctly. In some cases, it may result in
an increase in racist or religiously-motived threats (or even attacks)
           against those discussed in a “terrorism” lesson.

Therefore, my study aims to provide some awareness of pupil
      opinions, which could guide further research and
consequently help teachers make an informed decision about
   the appropriate materials and lesson style for their own
   Overview of data collection
          Ethical Considerations

          Theoretical Standpoint

        Mixed Methods Approach

                   1. Survey
205 pupils from 7 schools around Warwickshire.
 Schools included Grammar and State schools.

  2. Semi-structured Group Discussions
Approximately 60 pupils took part in 10 different
  discussion groups from a range of subjects.
                                                               Survey Results
Q3: 122 pupils wanted to learn about terrorism in school; 35 didn't want to learn about it
and 64 pupils were unsure

Q4: The subjects which they thought the topic could be taught in were Citizenship
Studies and Religious Studies, with Politics and History also featuring quite highly.




 Number of pupils

                    100                                                                                                                                                    Can be taught
                                                                                                                                                                           Best subject





                              Business Studies          Computing        English Literature           History              Philosophy             Psychology
                     Art & Design       Citizenship Studies       Economics           General Studies         Media Studies             Physics                Sociology

                                                                             Subjects that it can be taught in
                                                                Survey Results
     The pupils were given an open-ended question about their definitions of terrorism (Q5).

     The majority of pupils associated the word with physical violence.
     65 pupils made a religious link; 22 made a link to politics.









                      Physical violence                  Religious Link                    Attention                 Harms Innocents          Personal Psychological Problem
     Harming others                 Psychological violence                Political Link               Small group                     Unjust cause                   Make Threats
                                           Survey Results
     Q8: For motivations, the pupils were asked to put the following categories in order of
     importance: anger, a desire to protect their society and family, hatred, money, personal
     violent desires, politics, racism or prejudices, religious ideas, revenge and for glory.
     As can be seen in the graph showing the mode results, religious ideas were generally
     considered to be the most important motivation for terrorists.






      Anger   To Protect Others   Hatred   Money   Personal Violent Desires   Politics   Racism/Prejudice Religious Ideas   Revenge   For Glory
                          Survey Results
Q10: For threats and actions, the pupils were able to give positive, negative or
unsure responses to a list of different activities.
The pupils generally thought that the actions most associated with terrorism included:
intimidation, the killing of non-military citizens, mass murder, roadside bombs, shootings,
suicide attacks and violent threats.
However, the pupils were less sure about Internet propaganda, the killing of soldiers,
making speeches, protest marches, the selling of drugs and trying to get nuclear weapons.

Once these questions were completed, two open-ended questions were asked
concerning which groups or individuals the pupils had heard of (Q13) and which
areas of the world the pupils thought these terrorists might come from (Q14).

Q13: The most frequent responses were al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and the
IRA. 31 pupils did not respond to this question.

Q14: 183 respondents answered this question.
67 pupils wrote “anywhere” or “no area”.
Other pupils mainly mentioned the Middle East, Iraq, Asia, Afghanistan and “religious
Only 2 pupils stated that terrorists could come from the UK, 5 pupils wrote the USA.
            Discussion Group Results
Due to the broad range of responses gathered, it is difficult to summerise
all the data here. Therefore, I will focus on the links made between
religion and terrorism, with a particular focus on the implications this
could have in education.

- Pupils generally concurred with the survey responses
- Religion featured very highly in all the discussions.
- Other motivations discussed included politics, power, social inequalities
and economic concerns.

- Some pupils saw religion as a key feature of terrorism
- Others declared that terrorists used religion as a justification or that they
simply misunderstood the teachings of their faith.

- All the discussions included some details about one religion, Islam, above
other faith groups.
           Discussion Group Results
Main Discussion Points: RELIGION
- There was a clash of cultures or religion behind terrorist attacks
- The power of religion encouraging the activities, either through the
promise of an afterlife or the use of religion to exert superiority
- Prejudices, either against another religious group or against members of
their own faith were a motivating factor for terrorists

- Religion was misused to justify terrorist attacks, either through the
religion itself or as an excuse for the activities
- Religion could be misunderstood, because the texts can be ambiguous
- Terrorists may use religion by “masquerading behind [it] to stir up fear”
(1004aB3) or have been “brainwashed” (1003bB2 and 1005aB2)
- Other things, such as troops invading a country, or politics, might make
people act in that way (1008aB3).
                Discussion Group Results
Main Discussion Points: ISLAM

Islam was the most frequently mentioned religion, with many students
perceiving an increased prejudice against Muslims in society.
Comments included:

- The media focus on Islam has caused an increase in Islamophobia and incorrect
stereotypes (1002aB6, 1002aG1, 1003cG2, 1004aB2 and 1005aG1).

- There has been an increase in prejudice: anyone with a dark skin is labelled as a
Muslim and so called a terrorist” (1002aB1); one pupils said “because we all have the same
colour face, people link Indians to Muslims” (1007aG3).

- Only a small minority of people who committed terrorist attacks, some
pupils said that the vast majority of Muslims disassociate themselves from the ideas
(1003aB1) or feel disgusted by the attacks (1002aG1). They had interpreted their religion
wrongly and caused the stereotypes seen in the media, so they were to blame for such views
                 Discussion Group Results
Main Discussion Points: EDUCATION
The benefits of discussing terrorism in schools:
 - There is an increased problem of prejudice in society and this could combat it
- Education could help reduce such social problems
- It would increase pupil knowledge and awareness, so that they could understand why
certain attacks, like 9/11 or 7/7 happened
- Religious Education was mentioned as a subject where “terrorism” could be taught but
(despite the results in the survey) PHSE/General Studies was rejected because the pupils felt
that they did not pay enough attention in that subject.

The Potential Problems:
- Teacher or government bias could come through the curriculum
- The whole “spectrum of terrorism” should be open to discussion, not just Islamic groups
- Should governments be considered terrorists too? That aspect would be ignored.
- It could be detrimental to social integration, because some students may find it too upsetting
or it could cause more prejudice and bullying in schools
- It may even encourage someone to act in a negative way
How can these results be used by teachers and
         those who train teachers?
- The pupils linked terrorism to religion – in particular Islam.
- They wanted to learn about terrorism, but were concerned about the bias
that could come out (either from the teacher or from the government)
- RE was considered an important subject for these discussions.
- They wanted to discuss a range of groups and issues associated with
terrorism; this differed to the Warwickshire Police approach, which was to
include the discussion in PHSE alongside other personal safety issues.

- Some pupils were concerned that it would not be taught well and, in
extreme cases, it could actually cause some pupils to act out in a negative
way – e.g. Bullying or copy-cat activities.
         Future Research Plans
1. Need to investigate the current resources available
    for teachers in more detail (e.g. exam boards)

  2. Conduct a comparative study with other local
   authorities – e.g. Coventry or Birmingham – that
receives more Prevent funding and see if pupil views
differ in those areas (or in schools receiving funding)

3. Conduct the survey and discussion groups again,
 asking additional questions, to gain deeper insights.
   Also need to consider the possibility that future
  government guidelines may alter current findings.

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