To address or not to address the violent past in the classroom? That is the question in Côte d'Ivoire
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Journal of peace education. - Place of publication unknown
, p. 153-171
University of Antwerp
In the aftermath of violent conflict, divided societies have to answer the important question of whether, when and how to address their countrys 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 dIvoire 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 countrys conflict history in class, it also appeared that many of the teachers were actually in favour of breaking this culture of silence.