Judy Pace – Teaching controversial issues

Professor Pace explained what kind of issues are considered controversial and when they should be considered relevant for students, e.g., questions of public policy, sensitive questions related to contested history, historical questions that evoke emotional reactions etc. Furthermore, she explained why controversial issues should be taught despite the risk-taking inherent to such teaching. Some of the reasons include increased political knowledge, interest, and engagement as well as reconciliation and peacebuilding, which is why they should be taught in all subjects and not only history. Another important distinction made by the plenary lecturer was the one between controversial topic and controversial issue, as well as open and settled issues. Professor Pace also briefly introduced her latest book Hard Questions: Learning to Teach Controversial Issues which addresses the ways in which teacher educators prepare new teachers to take up teaching controversial issues. The book is based on her research in Northern Ireland, English Midlands and Midwestern US and it is a valuable contribution to the field of teacher education. Finally, different ways of teaching CI were presented to the participants along with examples from a variety of contexts and classrooms.

Sara Clarke Habibi – The teacher-peacebuilder’s journey

Sara Clarke Habibi discussed the role of teacher identity and motivation in teacher practice in the context of peacebuilding. Teacher identity includes the following aspects: reinventing yourself, creating narratives about yourself and your teacher life; creating metaphors that guide us; managing tensions between actual self, ought self and ideal self; shifts in teacher identity due to external and internal factors and the intertwining of the professional and personal. The presenter pointed out that the self is always in the classroom and that we should embrace the process of self and identity in teaching, especially in post-conflict society and peace pedagogy. One of the ways in which this can be done is through teacher autobiography and autoetnobiography in post-conflict peace education context, which enables us to move away from the pressure to be objective. The participants were engaged in an exercise which resulted in the making of an identity chart – my identity as a peace educator, thus enabling the participants to rethink their own journeys and the stage in which they presently find themselves.

Michele Parente – Peace education: concepts and approaches

Michele Parente discussed the meaning of peacebuilding and peace education by synthesising two sources: ForumZFD key areas and engagementA conceptualization of forumZFD’s practical approaches for conflict transformation (Concept paper by forum ZFD/Cologne published in October 2021, www.forumZFD.de) and Pedagogies for peacebuilding in higher education: How and why should higher education institutions get involved in teaching for peace? (Research article by J. Millican (UK), L. Kasumagić Kafedžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), F. Masabo (Rwanda) and M. Almanza (Colombia) published in June 2021 by Springer Nature in International Review of Education). The central question of his workshop was how we can reach the goals of peace education. Referring to his sources, Michele Parente pointed out the following methods: formal and non-formal education; inclusive/holistic/systematic/collaborative approach; multifaceted/cross disciplinary approach; learner-oriented approach; adapting to locally generated approaches and connecting with research work. These methods and approaches are embodied in the following motto of peace educators – teaching, educating and acting for peace.

Larisa Kasumagić- Kafedžić – Peace pedagogy in classrooms

Larisa Kasumagić- Kafedžić explained the intersection of several important ideas promoted within the Peace Pedagogy Summer School: commemorating the Peace Education Day, International Day of Peace and opening the Peace Week at the Faculty of Philosophy. She explained the development of the idea of peace hubs from 2018 as part of Research Network of Universities from the UK, Rwanda, Colombia and Bosnia and Herzegovina whose purpose was to promote peacebuilding themes and approaches across different fields of study at the university level. Furthermore, Larisa Kasumagić- Kafedžić introduced the Peace Education Hub (PEH) which was established at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo in March 2019 as a result of the larger research project from 2018. PEH’s goals, activities, partner institutions and approaches to peacebuilding were introduced to the participants, as well as its deep commitment to teaching about and for peace in collaboration with community and academic partners.

Lejla Mulalić – Identity, stereotypes and prejudices

 Lejla Mulalić introduced Facing History and Ourselves as an invaluable resource for peace educators and demonstrated how their teaching strategies and tools can be adapted for various contexts. Her workshop dealt with the concepts of stereotype and prejudice and their relevance in the process of identity construction. More specifically, she discussed the distinction between multiple identities and the concept of purity of identity i.e., us vs. them approach. These issues were brought closer to the participants through the analysis of Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk The Danger of a Single Story with the participants taking part in Padlet online discussion. Furthermore, the presenter explored the notion of bias and stereotyping as something all people are naturally prone to.

Emina Dedić Bukvić – Intercultural education and values teaching  

This workshop was dedicated to the relevance of intercultural education. The presenter pointed out several important contexts for our better understanding of intercultural education: education as a fundamental human right; relevance of our own contribution to intercultural education; the importance of being an individual and being similar to others; UNESCO’s principles of learning to know, learning to do and learning to live together; importance of equity; raising awareness of the vulnerable groups of students in schools; intercultural dialogue which implies communicating with empathy; preparing teachers for work in heterogeneous groups and promoting human rights and social justice.  One of the key ideas of this workshop was the importance of diversity which should be seen as the foundation of an authentic education and values teaching. Likewise, intercultural school promotes teamwork and interaction between staff members; distributed management; considers differences as resources; focuses on students rather than content; and nurtures love, empathy and support.

Ida Karahasanović- Avdibegović – Drama-based pedagogy

This workshop introduced Augusto Boal’s concept of the Theatre of the Oppressed and one its most popular techniques – forum theatre – which is a form of community building theatre that brings direct social change. More specifically, the presenter explained how her interest in drama-based pedagogy developed from a play she made with her high-school students in Sarajevo when they were asked to answer questions such as “What are the things you want to say but never will”? The classroom exercise turned into a play which dealt with sensitive issues such as depression, violence and LBTQ rights and it inspired student-actors and the audience to engage in critical thinking. Ida Karahasanović- Avdibegović introduced many benefits of incorporating drama-based pedagogy as a way of promoting culture of peace.