Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2009 Issue »

    Symposium: The Other Side of the Story

    Israeli and Palestinian Teachers Write a History Textbook Together

    Shoshana Steinberg and Dan Bar-On
    In this essay, Shoshana Steinberg and Dan Bar-On present the work of a team of Israeli and Palestinian teachers who developed a history textbook that includes both groups’ narratives of the same events side by side. These teachers then tested the effects of its use in both Israeli and Palestinian classrooms; for the first time, students on each side of the conflict were exposed to the other side’s understanding of key historical events. The authors present the challenges that the team faced in developing the textbook and that teachers encountered in the classroom as well as the understanding and collaboration this project fostered. They argue that the process of creating the dual-narratives text, as well as the text itself, allows teachers to play a productive role in violent political conflicts.

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    Shoshana Steinberg is a senior lecturer in psychology at Kaye Academic College of Education in Beer-Sheva. Her main topics of interest are the theoretical and practical aspects of intergroup relations, conflict resolution, peace building, and peace education. Her work, which has focused on dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, has appeared in journals such as Intercultural Education, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, and Human Relations. Since 2002 she has been observing and evaluating the joint Palestinian and Israeli curriculum development project “Learning Each Other’s Historical Narrative.”

    Dan Bar-On, who passed away on September 4, 2008, was a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology, Ben-Gurion University, and codirector of PRIME (Peace Research Institute in the Middle East). His work focused on dialogue between parties in conflict situations: learning from the Jewish-German context and the Israeli-Palestinian context. He authored several books, including Legacy of Silence: Encounters with Children of the Third Reich (1991), Fear and Hope: Three Generations of the Holocaust (1998), The Indescribable and the Undiscussable: Reconstructing Human Discourse after Trauma (1998), and Tell Your Life Story: Creating Dialogue Among Jews And Germans, Israelis And Palestinians (2006). Over the years he has been awarded the Bundesverdienstkreutz First Class Award (2001), the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize (2003), the Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East (2005), and the EAEA Grundtvig Award (2005).

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    Spring 2009 Issue


    Indigenous Knowledges and the Story of the Bean
    Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy and Emma Maughan
    Latino Students’ Transitions to College
    A Social and Intercultural Capital Perspective
    Anne-Marie Nuñez
    Identity Development and Mentoring in Doctoral Education
    Leigh A. Hall and Leslie D. Burns
    Symposium: Education and Violent Political Conflict
    Symposium: Identity versus Peace
    Identity Wins
    Zvi Bekerman
    Symposium: Citizenship Competencies in the Midst of a Violent Political Conflict
    The Colombian Educational Response
    Enrique Chaux
    Symposium: War News Radio
    Conflict Education through Student Journalism
    Emily Hager
    Symposium: The Other Side of the Story
    Israeli and Palestinian Teachers Write a History Textbook Together
    Shoshana Steinberg and Dan Bar-On
    Symposium: Curriculum and Civil Society in Afghanistan
    Adele Jones
    Symposium: Educational Reconstruction “By the Dawn’s Early Light”
    Violent Political Conflict and American Overseas Education Reform
    Noah W. Sobe
    Symposium: The Social (and Economic) Implications of Being an Educated Woman in Iran
    Mitra Shavarini
    Symposium: Interview with Jacques Bwira Hope Primary School Kampala, Uganda
    The Editors

    Book Notes

    So Much Reform, So Little Change
    by Charles M. Payne

    Corridor Cultures
    by Maryann Dickar

    In a Reading State of Mind
    by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp

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