In this essay, Zvi Bekerman reveals the complicated and dynamic negotiation of individual and group identities for communities engaged in peace and reconciliation education. By looking closely at the experiences of students, teachers, and parents at one integrated bilingual Arabic-Hebrew school in Israel, Bekerman finds that while children are often able to reach beyond the boundaries of ethnicity and religion, adults struggle to negotiate their sociohistorical positioning with their goals for peace. Everyday practices—from recognizing the exceptionality of students who participate in religious practices outside of their ethnic background to segregating national ceremonial events—promote static and nationalistic notions of identity that limit the potential of these schools to advance authentic and meaningful change for peace. Bekerman calls on us to teach our students to become artists of design who can help construct new ways of living together.
Click here to access this article.
teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and the Melton Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a faculty member at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. His research interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic, and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. In addition to publishing papers in a variety of journals, Bekerman is the coeditor (with Seonaigh MacPherson) of the refereed journal Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal
. He has also recently edited a number of books, including, Mirror Images: Popular Culture and Education
(with D. Silberman-Keller, H. A. Giroux, and N. Burbules, 2008); Cultural Education-Cultural Sustainability: Minority, Diaspora, Indigenous and Ethno-Religious Groups in Multicultural Societies
(with E. Kopelowitz, 2008); Addressing Ethnic Conflict through Peace Education: International Perspectives
(with C. McGlynn, 2007).