Exploring the Politics of Reconciliation through Education Reform

Post conflict education reform can often just include strategies such as the inclusion of peace education, yet it demands wholesale changes of attitudes, through a more comprehensive approach including curriculum content adaptation and teaching approaches. The article below, from the recent INEE newsletter, reviews some strategies used in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Exploring the Politics of Reconciliation through Education Reform: the Case of Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina

(International Journal of Transitional Justice)

Brčko, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), has had a separate administrative status from the rest of B&H since the end of the war. Education reform to overcome segregated classrooms and ethnocentric teaching materials, still a problem in the rest of the country, has been very vigorously pursued by the international administrator, who had more power to intervene in local institutions, including educational, than the international administration of B&H. Based on two years of fieldwork, this article explores the local implementation, at the classroom level, of these education reforms. It focuses on some of the challenges to post-conflict efforts to promote social reconstruction of divided societies, based on the day-to-day problems faced by teachers and students. Despite the author’s cautionary picture of this project, it is striking that she reports that, on the subject of multicultural education, “many respondents were in fact enthusiastic about progress in Brčko.” In the post-conflict context, this enthusiasm is no small victory.

Published in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 6 (1), 2012, 126-148

Read full article here.


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