Title: To address or not to address the violent past in the classroom? That is the question in Côte d’Ivoire
Authors: Kuppens, Line
Langer, Arnim
Issue Date: 22-Dec-2015
Publisher: Centre for Research on Peace and Development
Series Title: CRPD Working paper vol:47
Abstract: In the aftermath of violent conflict, divided societies have to answer the important question of whether, when and how to address their country’s violent past within their educational system. Whereas some scholars within the field of peace education and transitional justice argue that addressing the violent past in the classroom is important for fostering mutual understanding and empathy among future generations in order to prevent conflict recurrence, other scholars are more sceptical about the need and feasibility of addressing the violent past in schools. They emphasize the possible negative impact in terms of increased tensions within schools and within society more generally. The current paper makes an important empirical contribution to this debate by analysing the views and perceptions on this matter of 984 secondary school teachers in Abidjan, the largest city and de facto capital of Côte d’Ivoire – a country that was recently torn apart by ethnic strife and violent conflict. It emerges that while so far most teachers have shied away from addressing their country’s conflict history in class, it also appeared that many of the teachers were actually in favour of breaking this culture of silence.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IR
Appears in Collections:Centre for Research on Peace and Development
Leuven International and European Studies (LINES)

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