A Theoretical Framework for Peace Education among Israelis and by yurtgc548

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									    Israeli Adolescents
Making Meaning of Conflict:
    Development of Political Understanding
        amidst an Intractable Conflict




                  Shai Fuxman
                  CMEI Student Seminar
                  Harvard Graduate School of Education
                  September 10th, 2009
Peace Education
• For decades peace education efforts have attempted to
  promote reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians;
  research to support these efforts has lagged behind
• In recent years, research has focused on the need to
  address collective narratives/ethos of conflict

• This research study attempts to
  delve further into the connection
  between Israel’s collective
  narrative, ethos of conflict, and
  adolescents’ political
  understandings


         (Nevo & Brem, 2002; Salomon, 2004; Salomon, 2006, Bar-Tal, 2008)
Intractable Conflicts
• Main Characteristics: Protracted, Violent, Perceived
  as irreconcilable
• Categories of beliefs present in intractable conflict
  include justness of goals, own victimization, positive
  self image, and delegitimizing the opponent
• Beliefs form the ethos of conflict; used as coping
  mechanism, but also perpetuate conflict
• Ending conflict requires transforming ethos of
  conflict to ethos of peace
Collective Narratives

• Combine collective memories and historical accounts
  to form a narrative that explains the past, interprets
  the present, and informs the future
• Disseminated through formal education, media,
  political speeches, the arts, etc.
• Integral part of any nation’s identity, but more
  prominent when a nation is perceived to be
  threatened (e.g., intractable conflicts)
Development of Political Understanding
• Individuals actively engage with societal messages to
  form their own understanding of social/political
  context
• Three models inform this process:
  ▫ Cognitive-development: Active construction of meaning,
    fluidly changing as child develops new cognitive skills
  ▫ Social perspective taking: Development of ability to
    coordinate one own’s perspective with those of others to
    understand social environment
  ▫ Ecological model: Interaction between different ecological
    levels of influence, from microsystem to macrosystem
 (Flanagan & Sherrod, 1998;Haste & Torney-Purta, 1992; Selman , 2003, Bronfenbrenner, 1979)
Research Question


       How do Israeli adolescents weave
       personal experiences with Israel’s
   collective narrative—transmitted to them
   through socializing agents such as family,
    schooling and the media—to form their
     political understanding of the Israeli-
               Palestinian conflict?
Quantitative Study: Methods and Sample
• Survey administered to 473 10th grade students
  from 6 schools in different geographic regions

• Conducted between Sept. 2008-Dec. 2008, period
  of relative calm

• Survey addresses:
  ▫ Sources of information about conflict (family,
    peers, school, media)
  ▫ Personal and Family experiences with conflict
  ▫ Adherence to Israeli ethos/collective narrative
  ▫ Willingness to compromise for peace
Qualitative Study: Methods and Sample
• Semi-structured interviews conducted with 40
  students from 11 schools across the country (20
  male/20 female; different world regions of origin)
• Interviews addressed:
  ▫ Family immigration and conflict-related
    experiences
  ▫ Personal conflict-related experiences
  ▫ Interviewee’s understanding of conflict’s past and
    present (including peace efforts)
  ▫ Communication with family, peers, textbooks,
    teachers, media
  ▫ Identity
                Acco         Karmiel



      Ra’anana

     Tel-Aviv

                       Jerusalem

Kiryat Malachi



         Beer-Sheva                    Survey only

                                       Interviews only

                                       Survey and Interviews
                                      Northern       Central       Central      Southern
                                       Region*      Region 1*      Region 2      Region       Tel Aviv 1*   Tel Aviv 2      Total
Number of Participants                    77            99            38            94             33          128           473
Percent Male                             39.5          43.4          100           50.5           42.4         48.9          50.4
Average Age (standard deviation)      15.4 (0.50)   15.1 (0.40)   15.4 (0.59)   15.5 (0.54)   15.2 (0.42)   15.2 (0.49)   15.3 (0.50)
Generation in Israel (in percent) 1
   1st                                    6.4           2.0           7.3            1            0            66.9          20.5
   2nd                                   20.5           3.0          17.1          27.9           3             18           16.4
   3rd                                   44.9          40.4          51.2          44.2          54.5           0.8           33
   4th or more                             9           27.3           9.8           8.7          33.3            0           11.9
Religiosity (in percent)
   Secular                               39.7          56.6           0.0          33.7          60.6          66.9          47.3
   Traditionalist                        46.2          13.1           7.3          35.6          36.4           7.5          22.7
   Religious                              1.3           3.0          85.4          15.4           0.0           1.5          11.8
   Ultra Orthodox                         0.0           1.0           2.4           2.8           0.0           1.5           1.4
Family's Region of Origin2
   Eastern Europe                         3.8          13.1          12.2           1.9          27.3           0             6.6
   Western Europe                          0             2            2.4            0            0             0             0.6
   USSR                                  23.1            2             0            4.8           0            77.4          26.2
   Middle East                           26.9           7.1          29.3          54.8          18.2           0            21.1
   Latin America                          1.3            1            2.4            0            3             0             0.8
   North America                           0             2            2.4            0            0             0             0.6
   Ethiopia                                0             0             0           11.5           0             0             2.5
   South Africa                            0             2             0             0            0             0             0.4
   Southeast Asia                          0             0            2.4            0            3             0             0.4
   All family members from
   Israel/Palestine3                      0             5.1           4.9          1.9            6.1           0             2.3
   Various regions                       23.1          35.4          31.7          6.7           36.4           9            19.9
Quantitative Study: Initial Results
                 Ethos of Conflict                                 Ethos of Peace
Israel wants peace, Arabs don't             .601   Palestinians have right to land             .641
Land of Israel is our historic homeland     .714
                                                   Some Arabs moderates, want peace            .572
Military force needed for security          .622
Ability to defend: Israel's top quality     .670   Values other than personal sacrifice        .604
Loyalty should be education goal            .487
                                                   Jew have negative qualities too             .571
Peace requires reality on ground            .431
Israel's international standing shouldn't   .555   No compromises, no peace                    .626
pressure us
                                                   Israel's strength: diversity of views       .543
We are the victims                          .705
World is against us                         .519   Military strength not enough for security   .544
Holocaust could repeat                      .422
                                                   Palestinians also victims                   .574
Can never trust Arabs                       .720
Quantitative Study: Initial Results
Predicting Willingness to Compromise
• Positive Association: ethos of peace, meeting an
  Arab/Palestinian, positive emotions towards
  Palestinians, self-reported political position,
  trusting international media
• Negative Association: ethos of conflict, fear of
  major attack, negative emotions towards
  Palestinians, self-reported political position
• No significant association: Attention to media,
  trusted sources, interest in conflict, political
  activism, pride in country
Quantitative Study: Initial Results
Predicting Ethos of Conflict
• Positive Association: Trusting Israeli military,
  negative emotions towards Palestinians, pride in
  country, fear of attack, self-reported political
  positions
• Negative Association: Trusting Arab and international
  media, Holocaust-related experience, positive
  emotions towards Palestinians, self-reported political
  positions
• No Association: Attention to media, trusted sources,
  interest in conflict, and meeting Arab/Palestinian
Qualitative Study: Initial Results
• Many were able to take Palestinian/Arab
  perspective when discussing history, but not
  current events
• Most were able to compromise on victimhood
• Most trusted source of information about history
  came from family members who experienced it
• Parents and friends cited as most influential
• Teachers and textbooks least influential
Qualitative Study: Initial Results
• Strong connection to the Holocaust, even
  more so than to historic Israeli battles
• Military service, need to contribute to the
  country’s well-being very important
• Several had encounters with
  Arabs/Palestinians, but encounters did not
  change views
Implications (so far)
 • Premise: Peace education can transform ethos
   of conflict to ethos of peace

 • Need to address both cognitive as well as
   emotional connections to the conflict

 • Peace education interventions need to provide
   critical thinking skills to be applied not just in
   formal education, but in processing messages
   from other socializing agents

								
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