Teachers' understanding of reconciliation and inclusion in mixed schools of four troubled societies

  • Zembylas M
  • Bekerman Z
  • McGlynn C
 et al. 
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In this article, the authors examine how teachers in four troubled societies - Israel, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and South Africa - understand and implement reconciliation in light of the increasing diversity of these societies. The authors particularly pay attention to a dialogical encounter between reconciliation and inclusion, as they look for ways to contemplate how each might be of mutual benefit in educational theory and practice. In the first part of the article, the authors give an overview of current thinking on reconciliation and its role in education, and suggest that the notion of inclusiveness can enrich it. The context of the research is then provided by looking briefly at the socio-political and educational settings in which the study was conducted, followed by a discussion of the research methodology. The findings from the study are then presented with the main themes identified as arising across the four research locations. These themes concern understandings of reconciliation and inclusion, student diversity, teachers' challenges, helping students deal with conflict, and teachers' development. Finally, whilst acknowledging the exploratory nature of these findings, the authors discuss what policy makers, school leaders and teachers might change about policies and practices for reconciliation education in the four settings studied and, by implication, other comparable settings.

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