Political Learning and Citizenship Education under Conflict: The Political Socialization of Israeli and Palestinian Youngsters

Political Learning and Citizenship Education under Conflict: The Political Socialization of Israeli and Palestinian Youngsters

Political Learning and Citizenship Education under Conflict: The Political Socialization of Israeli and Palestinian Youngsters

Political Learning and Citizenship Education under Conflict: The Political Socialization of Israeli and Palestinian Youngsters

Synopsis

The central objective of this book is to analyze the characteristics of the social contexts and environments in conflict situations, and the impact that these socializing environments may have on the political learning and emerging citizenship orientations of youngsters. Special attention is given to the socializing environments of Palestinian and Israeli youngsters, drawing on material recently collected in Israel. Ichilov's incisive research uses a multilevel and interdisciplinary approach to argue that political learning is structured within social environments and that there are fundamental differences between the socializing environments in conflict and non-conflict situations.

Excerpt

Environments and contexts in political socialization

In recent years, there has been burgeoning academic and public interest in issues related to citizenship, political learning, and citizenship education all over the globe. Citizenship education became highly salient on the public agenda of many countries and of regional and international organizations, as can be learned from the following leading examples. The Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organization with forty-one member states, embarked on a Democratic Education project (EDC) in 1997 aiming at heightening public understanding and awareness of the many aspects of democratic citizenship, particularly in the context of social change. Especially, making citizens aware of various threats for democracy such as, extremist movements, violence, racism, xenophobia, and social exclusion. Citizenship education is also a flagship of the European Council, which is deeply involved in supporting educational projects, conferences, research, and the production of instructional materials (Bîrzèa, 2000; Carey and Forrester, 2000; Audigier, 2000; Duerr et al., 2000).

In 1994 UNESCO organized a conference to deliberate on issues related to the role of education in nurturing values conducive to peace, human rights, and democracy (International Bureau of Education, 1994). UNESCO is also involved in revision of textbooks to make them more suitable for learning about democracy (Pingel, 1999).

In the United States there have been calls for greater attention to civic education (National Commission on Civic Renewal, 1998). The American Political Science Association formed a task force on civic education, and a series of White House conferences culminated in recommendations to improve civic education in the United States (Branson, 1998). A report on 'The Civic Mission of Schools' was published (Gibson and Levine, 2003).

In the United Kingdom citizenship education became part of the National Curriculum. Attainment targets for citizenship were set, describing the types and range of performance that the majority of pupils should characteristically demonstrate by the end of each stage of schooling, having been taught the relevant program of study (Department for Education and Employment, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 1999).

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational

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