Historically, the concept of citizenship has been linked to
struggles for equality during the French revolution or more recently, the civil rights movement. As such, citizenship is an expression of the universal aspirations of popular demands for equality. The post-war era is characterised by a proliferation and fragmentation of identities. (Purvis and Hunt 1999) —> explain!!! These social transformations have confronted political theorists and educationalists with new challenges to conceptualise citizenship. One of these challenges of particular relevance is the conceptualisation of citizenship as identity in societies. An increasing diversity and plurality of identities clash with a particular identity implied by citizenship, which traditionally fosters national identities. (Purvis and Hunt 1999) This issue is of particular relevance in multicultural and also divided societies, where citizenship and citizenship education are contested terrains (Giroux 1983) and thus raise the question what citizenship means for Irish citizens in Northern Ireland or Palestinian citizens in Israel. (check Heater 1999 for ref) In these societies, at least rhetorically an important role has been attributed to citizenship education to foster peaceful coexistence. (find ref!) In general, theorists, educationalist and policy-makers have emphasised the important role of schools in contributing to social change and transition to peace. This raises questions of how citizenship is taught to Irish and Palestinian citizens and whether conceptual tensions arise between citizenship as equality and identity. Thus, teaching citizenship education in deeply divided societies remains a sensitive and difficult task. (Byrne 1997; Ichilov 2004)
The purpose of this paper is firstly to explore these debates by discussing the concept of citizenship and secondly examining the concept of citizenship education; finally the paper will identify key research questions that will frame and direct the data collection.
In its most basic sense, citizenship refers to a status or membership by law in a political community, sustained by rights and responsibilities. (McLean and McMillan 2009) Yet, citizenship is a historical product and this definition does cope with complexities embedded in this concept. It is rooted in classical approaches from ancient Greece and Rome that have influenced modern interpretation of citizenship. It is necessary to explore these classical approaches to uncover their underlying tensions, which have influenced modern understandings of citizenship.
In ancient Greece, the main features of citizenship were active citizenship, the precedence of the political community over the individual and the emphasis on civic responsibility and obligation towards the community. The possession of civic virtue was the main marker of good citizenship, which differentiated virtuous citizens from non-citizens. Fundamentally, civic virtue meant to perform one’s duties as a citizen (Heater 1990) of which the most important duty was participation in public affairs and political institutions. Aside from providing a source of honour and respect, civic virtue provided also an understanding of citizens as the rulers and those being ruled. (Faulks 2000) Being human meant being an active citizen (Clarke 1994) as the individual in Aristotle’s terms was a “political animal”, in contrast to the “Tribeless, lawless, hearthless” non-citizen. (Aristotle 2014 Politics: Book One: II)
The Roman Empire had to govern a large and diverse population. In the extensive empire, citizenship served as a means of social control for a diverse society and secured the financial survival through the legitimation of Roman rule and the collection of taxes. Citizenship provided an entitlement to rights and protection for the citizens. In contrast, to the Athenian citizenship, there was less emphasis on the obligation of participation in political affairs. (Faulks 2000) The Roman citizens were ruled, but did not rule. (Purvis and Hunt 1999) Citizenship was conceived as passive, with an emphasis on privileges and rights.
The major differences between these forms of citizenship concern active and passive citizenship and the relationship between political community and individual and identity is either shaped by the political community. Yet in both cases, the identity of being a citizen is shaped by membership in the respective society. Moreover, Purvis and Hunt (1999) explain that citizenship was the predominant identity, which did not leave much space for alternative identities.
These historical approaches influenced the thinking of republican and liberal political theorists particularly during the Renaissance until modern times.
Liberals, such as Locke and Paine sought to empowered the individual in early modern Europe, by ascribing to the rights and liberties an absolutist notion. Civil rights, liberty and the right of property serve to protect the individual from the despotism and arbitrary power of the state. (Faulks 2000) The government is reduced to a necessary evil (Paine 1776), whose role is limited to guarantee the individual’s pursuit of private interests in freedom and security.(Heater 1999) Locke emphasised the importance of ownership of property, which was the requirement for the political right to citizenship. (Heater 1999) The notion of citizenship included no obligation to participate in political affairs or commitment to fellow citizens. (Heater 1999)
individual rights need to be limited for the sake of the community, citizen has obligations to political community
The republican notion of citizenship was influenced by political theorists like Machiavelli and Rousseau, who emphasized the commitment and obligation of the individual to the political community. (Faulks 2000; Heater 1990) Rousseau proclaimed that freedom can be only enjoyed through a life as a citizen, by restoring the sovereignty of the citizens. (Heater 1999) Tocqueville () argues that only the life in a political community and political association can help the individual to overcome human selfishness and the state of tyranny. Thus, for republicans, responsibilities to the political community outweigh individual rights, which are limited for the sake of the political community’s well-being.
These approaches have informed different modern interpretations of citizenship, which have been further complicated by the emergence of nation.
Informed by the French and American revolution, the project of nation-building became central to state formation. (find ref otherwise Purvis and Hunt 1999)
The revolution has yielded a notion of a nation as a political community, making it the source of state sovereignty and granting it the right of political self-determination, which sustains the state’s legitimate capacity to govern itself. The nation became conceived not only as a community of the same geographic and cultural descent but also provided identity as a political community, from the praxis of citizens who exercise the rights.(Habermas 1994) The concept of the nation collected strategically ideas of the society’s common history, language, memory and an attached to the territory as an attempt to equalise the nation with the population. (find ref, maybe Miller, gellner or Billig) Since then, citizenship was extended to all members of the nation. (find ref) As a consequence, the state was merged with the nation and through the culturalisation of citizenship the boundares between citizenship and nationality became blurred. (Faulks 2000) Nationalism served as a modern form of cultural integration. (Habermas 1994) Thus, in the liberal democratic nation-state citizenship is often associated with nationality, which is interpreted in different ways. (footnote and then you can put these different understandings) This fusion renders citizenship as the perfect basis for human governance. (Faulks 2000)
However, there remains a problem with this. The concept of the nation, as a historical construct remains ambiguous and it is argued that in times of crisis it can fall prey to power interests and the boundaries of the nation can be redefinied. (Purvis and Hunt 1999 —> check other) It can constantly reopen the debate of who is a citizen and who is not. Thus, it has been argued that the concept of the nation does not provide a good basis for citizenship. (Habermas 1996; Mouffe 1992)
Throughout history, citizenship is traversed by a tension between universality and particularity. There is a clash between universal claims of citizenship and the particularity of people’s cultures and identity. (Purvis and Hunt 1999) Identity is crucial to the concept of citizenship, because through citizenship identity is attached to rights and priviledges. Being a member of a nation or a political community is associated with political, civil and social rights. (find ref if not Purvis and Hunt)
Following on from this, being a member of a nation implies sharing a common history, language, memory, culture etc. Where does it leave people who do not share this experience? This problem exemplifies the tension between universality and particularity of citizenship. Citizenship is argued to facilitate inclusion, yet it can also lead to exclusion. Heater (1990) suggests that as a political identity, citizenship can reconcile other conflicting identities through providing an egalitarian and all-embracing identity. Yet, it has been argued that citizenship does not only define membership in, but also exclusion from a political community. Brubaker (1992) describes citizenship as internally inclusive as it provides a form of cohesion for the members of the nation and as externally exclusive for foreigners to this nation. Similarly, for Turner (2001) the inclusionary process of citizenship enables the re-allocation of resources, such as social benefits and the exclusionary process of creating identities based a common imagined solidarity for some.
In liberal democratic nation-states, citizenship has been extended through popular struggles to women and ethnic minorities among other marginialised groups. Yet, capitalism has left parts of the population behind. Marshall (1992) argued that the extension of social rights to all members will counter the forces of capitalism and provide equal citizenship for all. Nevertheless, the actual experience of marginalised groups based on race, class, gender or ethnicity clashes with the rhetoric of universality and equality of citizenship. (—> give examples!)
Why is this the case? It has been debated whether citizenship can be conceived as either an achievement of popular struggle or as a ruling-class strategy. (Mann 1987; Turner 1990) If citizenship provides an excellent basis for human governance (Faulks 2000) does it also provide an excellent basis for domination? Gramsci (trans. 1929-1935 ) explained domination through a form of cultural hegemony. Broadly, cultural hegemony is a form of forced or manipulated consent to the cultural norms imposed by the dominant group in society. This domination takes the form of imposition of values and a particular worldview, which is mediated through social institutions. As these values of the ruling class become the cultural norm, this process helps to sustain the status quo of power relations, such as the distribution of resources. (Lears 1985) Does citizenship function as such a mode of domination by imposing values of universalisim that actually express a particular ruling strategy?
Gramsci has also referred to the role of the school, which fulfills its educative function by forming individuals as productive forces that manifest the interests of the ruling classes. Bourdieu and Passeron (1990) described schools as sites of cultural reproduction. He argues that the education system serves to legitimatise and to reproduce class inequalities inherent in capitalist societies. The dominant class, who is in possession of the cultural capital reproduces itself through the education system, as it sets this cultural capital as the requirement for educational success. Consequently, for Bourdieu the education system is permeated by the values of the dominant class and it results in further exclusion of other classes by maintaining a social structure that is characterized by unequal access to resources. Historically, the mechanism of cultural hegemony helped to sustain policies of colonialization as well as the more recent “civilizing” missions of the West that justify the subjugation of the colonialized objects. (Said, 1979)
Informed by this Marxist philosophy, does citizenship and citizenship education function as a ruling-class strategy in diverse societies? Does it impose a notion of citizenship based on the values and culture of the dominant group that serves to exclude others?
However, other educationalists have highlighted that although education is pervaded by a discourse of domination, education can also act as a form of emancipation. (Freire 1985; Giroux 1997; 2006)
The understanding of citizenship influences how it is mediated through social institutions. Thus, the ambiguities and tensions, inherent in the concept of citizenship do also influence different interpretations of citizenship education. (McLaughlin 1992) The next section will explore these different interpretations of citizenship education.
Citizenship requires a form of citizenship education. It is influenced by the image of the citizen that a particular society aspires to and its underpinning philosophies and pedagogy. In general, citizenship education is framed as preparing children or young people for the status of adult citizens as members of the political community. This often refers to equip them with civic knowledge and democratic attitudes in order to fulfill the expectations of being a citizen in a liberal democratic state. (Geboers et al 2012) Yet, educational policies in citizenship education are interpreted very differently.
mcLaughlin (1992) argues that in a pluralistic democratic societies citizenship is confronted with the dilemma of balancing social and cultural diversity with cohesion. This dilemma mirrors the tension between particularism and universalism in citizenship.
As a way to outline these tensions, McLaughlin (1992) offers a continuum of interpretations along minimum and maximum conceptions of citizenship. From the minimalist view, identity in terms of citizenship is framed in formal, legal and juridical terms, whereas maximal views describe the identity of the citizen in social, cultural and psychological terms. McLaughlin (1992) has highlighted four features that distinguish maximal and minimal approaches to citizenship: virtues, identity, political involvement and social prerequisites. Others have also have also outlined conceptions of thin and thick ideal types of citizenship (Faulks 2000) citizenship education (William and Humphreys 2003). Bringing these approaches together, the following distinctions come to light:
Whereas thin citizenship education, as a “values-neutral” approach has been criticised as failing to help students to deal with real-life controversial issues, thick citizenship education, as a “values-explicit” approach has come under critique as promoting bias and indoctrination of students. (Kerr 1999) .
Even though both approaches have been attacked by educationalists, they have particularly emphasised the need for a form of democratic education that encourages participation and the discussion of controversial content. Democratic education is based on democratic values. Mannheim (1970) and Dewey (1916) have ascribed to the schools the task of preparing young people for life in a democratic society, by fostering democratic values and attitudes, such as tolerance, equality and diversity. Gutman (1987) explains that there is a need for democratic education in a democracy, as depend on each other. Democracy needs democratic education to unfold its moral strength and in turn, democratic education must be based on democratic principles. Moreover, it is argued that the classroom should provide a space for participation and debate also for contested and politically divisive issues. (Osler and Starkey 2006) It has been argued that the discussion of these issues is important for students’ learning outcomes (Hahn 1998; Torney-Purta et al 2001 —. check!), as a pedagogical tool and as a contribution to democratic education. (Parker and Hess 2001) Arguably, it plays further an important role for the development of a democratic society and students’ development as citizens. (need ref!) Yet, Hess (2002) directed attention to the difficulty of defining controversy, because issues are socially constructed as controversial, thus it depends on the context. There is evidence that teachers found it particular challenging and were reluctant to address controversial issues in diverse classrooms. (Campbell 2007) Similarly, McCully (2005) pointed out that in an environment, which is charged with emotions and a violent past, as in divided societies it is even more challenging to discuss contentious issues, as students might be hindered to engage in a more rational dialogue. Hess (2002) frames this as an emotive factor, intertwined with a deep sense of cultural identity. Despite these difficulties, the importance of teaching citizenship in such a thick form particularly in diverse environments is stressed. For example Wylie (2004) argues that citizenship should be taught in diverse classrooms, as students are challenged in their thinking by different beliefs and attitudes. Similarly, Graham (1995) claims that in a plural democracy, as diverse in terms of traditions and culture, in particular requires a thick approach to moral education. He explains that if any common ground on morality is to be achieved in such a plural democratic state, education needs to foster an open discussion of different moral positions, accompanied by critical thinking.
Thus, how is citizenship taught in diverse and divided societies? Is it understood rather as a thin or thick conception? The following sections will discuss citizenship education in these contexts and outline emerging debates and tensions, which replicate the tensions of inclusion and exclusion as well as unversality and particularism that are inherent in the concept of citizenship.
Multiculturalism emerged in the early 70s in Western democracies not as a coherent political agenda, but rather as a perspective on human life that has given rise to different interpretations and policies. (Parekh 2011) In the United States, the emergence of multiculturalism succeeded the civil rights struggle, which challenged policies of racial segregation in areas such as education. During this time, social scientists developed influential theoretical work on inter-group relations, such as the contact hypothesis. (Allport 1954) When the civil rights struggle started to decline in the 1970s, first full-scale and coordinated programs in the area of inter-group relations and multicultural education were developed, which also influenced policies and educational initiatives in other countries. (Stephan and Stephan 2001)
Multicultural perspectives have influenced approaches to citizenship education in diverse societies. Prior to the civil rights struggle and ethnic revitalisation movements, citizenship education was dominated by an assimilationist approach or policies of exclusion.(Banks 2004; Castles 2004) This approach was hijacked by powerful groups who sought to promote their particular economic, social and political interest and to eradicate cultural characteristics minorities. In education, the assimilationist approach promoted unity at the expense of diversity, which resulted in hegemony and oppression. (Banks 2004) Banks (2001) argues that an approach to multicultural education that is also linked to citizenship, rather enables minorities to maintain links to their cultural heritage and communities, while acquiring knowledge and skills which are necessary to participate in the wider civic culture and political community. Yet, Banks (2004) argues that these multicultural perspective have not yet been effectively integrated into citizenship education. To illustrate these remaining challenges educational policies in the United States and the UK provide an insightful example.
In an environment were concerns about racism in British society were sparked by the case of Steven Lawrence, the Labour government appointed an advisory group on “Teaching of Citizenship and Democracy in schools”. The advisory group published a report in 1998, which sets out the rationale for citizenship as being introduced as a national curriculum subject. The “Crick report” has recommended to integrate multicultural issues as part of the national citizenship curriculum. (Crick 1998) The government saw the new citizenship curriculum as part of their agenda of addressing racism. (Home Office 1999, cited in Osler 2003) Racism was seen as undermining minorities’ citizenship rights and principles of democracy and the introduction of citizenship education in English schools was presented as responding to the failure of young people to understand political structures and to civic and democratic participation. (Osler 2003)
The report and the educational policy it informed has been widely criticised by academics (Osler 2003; Gilborn 2006; Faulks 2006) who have argued that the report has failed to adequately address issues of institutional racism, social exclusion and discrimination, as it frames issues of social exclusion and racism as an individual responsibility and prejudice. (Osler 2003; Gilborn 2006) Gilborn (2006) has argued that citizenship education in Britain functions as a “placebo” (p.85) that gives the impression of addressing the issue of race inequality and institutional racism, but fails to sincerely engaging with it. Citizenship impoverishes to a tool for stability and control in the education system. By preaching liberal and universalistic citizenship education as a remedy for racism, policy makers and the society get away without tackling genuinely the issue of racism.Similarly, Alibhai-Brown (2000) caricatured the model of British multiculturalism as “saris, samosas, and steel drums” (p.?), which focuses on cultural characteristics of ethnic groups such as food or clothing and does not address more pressing issues of racism and identity. She argued that under the guise of multicultural policies, the white majority gets away with it without addressing questions of how to create a collective identity. (Alibhai-Brown 2000, in press) Multiculturalism is accused of minimizing this problem by rephrasing it as a form of prejudice, misunderstanding, ignorance and lack of awareness. (Troyna and Williams 1986; Gilborn 2004; 2006) Thus, it was argued that in Britain “multicultural education can be seen as the Trojan horse of institutional racism.” (Brandt 1986:117) Another issues was raised by Osler (2003) who argues that the report essentialises national identity in a way that excludes minority groups with an migration background. Moreover, the report appears to be undermined by institutional racism itself as it expects ethnic minorities to adjust in order to be able to participate in a democratic culture. (Osler and Starkey 2001)
A similar critique has been provided by Ladson-Billings (1996) who has analysed public policies in the United States and argues that the social construct of race has been in a way “muted” by the paradigm of multiculturalism, which has become a rather mainstream approach of dealing with differences. She argues that by promoting an “equality of difference”, multiculturalism obscures a critical analysis of race and the social reality of people of colour in the United States. In this way, multicultural education fails to engage with issues of discrimination and oppression. In regard to citizenship education, Ladson-Billings claims that although the curriculum is presented in a race-neutral and colour-blind way, it is in fact dominated by white, upper-class male perspectives. (Ladson-Billings 2005)
—> WHERE TO FIT? Banks (1995) explains that multiculturalism can serve as an empowerment strategy for minority groups, but only if it goes beyond superficial exploration of diversity and addresses remaining disparities between groups and the roots of conflict. Similarly, Connolly (2000) and Dixon et al (2005) have argued that these multicultural policies based on the theoretical framework on contact hypothesis distract from the more salient issues by concentrating on individual prejudice. As a consequence, dominating structures of discrimination and political injustices are left unchallenged.
Thus, it emerges that multicultural citizenship education, in theory and practice leaves issues of racism and inclusion largely unresolved. First, it has been argued that citizenship and multicultural education have served to maintain the status quo instead of tackling institutionalised racism and discrimination. Second, instead of exploring ways to develop collective or common citizenship identities, citizenship education appears to promote an identity that is quite rigid and mirrors the experience of the dominant group in society.
These issues are particularly salient in divided societies, where exclusion was and partly remains a major source of conflict. The cases of the UK and US have demonstrated that the definition of citizenship in policies and the curriculum illuminate whether citizenship is interpreted in an inclusive or rather in an exclusive way.
How do educational responses in divided societies address citizenship and multiculturalism? This question will be discussed in the following section in the context of Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine.
What conditions Citizenship in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine?
On 22 May 1998, 71 percent of the population in Northern Ireland voted in favour the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement. This agreement, which was negotiated between multiple parties, regulates the partnership between Britain, Ireland and the people in Northern Ireland and it has brought an end to the violent conflict. (Irwin 2003) It has followed a peace process that began in the early 1990s, in the form of negotiations between the Republican paramilitaries, the Irish and the British government who decided on a ceasefire in 1994.
The Belfast Agreement legitimated to hold either Irish or British citizenship in Northern Ireland, as it states to
“recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.” (Belfast Agreement 1998, Article 1 (4))
Recent surveys (BBC 2007; NILT 2014) show that most of the Catholics identified as Irish, whereas Protestants tend to identify as British. At the same time, most children who grew up in Northern Ireland after the peace agreement tend to identify also as Northern Irish (Connolly et al 2007) and a comparison between different ages suggests that the number of people who identify as Northern Irish grows among younger people. (NILT 2014)
As a result, citizenship as identity is very complex in Northern Ireland. For the majority of the population in Northern Ireland, citizenship is not based on a shared national identity, as they ascribe to two different nationalities and only a minority identifies as both or as Northern Irish. How does this relate to theoretical assumptions about citizenship, which suggest that it is based on one shared national identity? Northern Ireland appears to be at odds with these assumptions. the display of symbols such as flags, murals and also protests in Northern Ireland (Bryan and Stevenson 2012) act as a reminder that national and cultural identities remain contested. Smith (2003) argued due to the lack of agreement on nationality, a form of citizenship based on national identity is problematic in Northern Ireland. Following on from this, he claims that citizenship education cannot be based on a patriotic model of national identity. Yet, if citizenship in Northern Ireland is not based on a common national identity, what provides its basis? In the following, citizenship education in Northern Ireland and its underpinning ideas will be explored. It is hoped that through approaching the question of what provides the basis for citizenship education, this will illuminate the relationship between citizenship and identity in Northern Ireland.
Until present, Northern Ireland’s education system reflects the broader societal divisions between the protestant Unionists and the Catholic nationalists. By large, Catholics attend catholic schools, maintained by the Catholic church and Protestants attend protestant schools or state schools with a protestant ethos, with the exception of a small integrated sector that caters for five to 10 percent of the population. (DENI 2013/2014)
In 1969, during times of increasing tensions between the two communities, a Community Relations Commission was set up by the British Home Secretary, alongside a same-titled ministry as part of a governmental response to address societal divisions. Its agenda was based the paradigm of ‘community relations’, which was influenced by the goals of Great Britain’s Race Relations Board at that time, which included the promotion of educational programmes as a way to improve community relations. (Frazer and Fitzduff 1994) When direct rule from Britain was established in 1974, the responsibility for educational programmes and community relations was transferred to the Department of Education and established community relations as the dominant paradigm to inform educational policies. (McEvoy et al 2006)
A debate started during the 1970s,that remains still relevant. It was debated whether the separate school systems have contributed to the misunderstanding between the communities and reinforced community divisions. (Dunn and Smith 1995) This concern influenced the emergence of inter-group contact initiatives that sought to facilitate the contact between protestant and catholic children. These contact schemes took place between Catholic-maintained and Protestant-controlled schools or as cross-community activities. (Dunn and Morgan 1999)
Next to these contact schemes, the movement “All children together” emerged initially as a parental initiative with a vision of mixed-schooling. (Dunn 1990) The movement was successful in pressuring to pass an amendment of the 1972 Education and Library Board Order to allow a new school type of ‘Controlled Integrated Schools’. Due the lack of action on the side of the state, the initiative opened the first integrated school, Lagan College themselves in 1981, funded by charities, foundations and individuals. (Dunn 1990; Dunn and Morgan 1999)
Both types of initiatives, contact schemes between different schools and integrated schooling became institutionalised through the 1989 Education Order. The order prescribed it as the responsibility of the Department of Education in Northern Ireland to facilitate the opening of integrated schools, to encourage their establishment through funding and help existing schools to transfer to integrated status. (Dunn and Morgan 1999) Contact schemes became institutionalised as part of the cross-curricular themes of ‘Education For Mutual Understanding’ (EMU), which encourages, but not requires voluntary cross-community contact programmes between separate schools. (Richardson 1997)
To date, there is still a central debate whether the state should invest in integrated schooling or rather in contact schemes between separate schools. Recently, the attention of policy makers has shifted towards shared education. (Emerson and McCully 2014) The Department of Education has recently proposed a policy and bill for Shared Education, which promotes collaboration and partnerships between different type of schools, while these school maintain their ethos. (DENI 2015) The Ministry Advisory group on shared education proposed as underlying rationales, first the right of parental choice to education of their children according to their religious and cultural beliefs and second, economic rationales such as sharing of resources among schools and improving standards. (Connolly et al 2013) This push towards shared education has been criticised on the grounds that besides remaining practical concerns regarding funding and transportation, shared education does not provide a sustainable solution and is argued that this policy sustains separate schooling, which is at odds with the popular support for common schools. (Smith 2014, in press)
A different type of initiatives that also emerged at the height of the Troubles, which addressed issues that were deemed controversial around the conflict and social divisions in Northern Ireland. Initially, and despite the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, during the 70s curricular initiatives were mainly developed by individual practitioners, supported by higher education, individual schools or voluntary organisation. (Emerson and McCully 2014) These early initiatives, such as the Northern Ireland Schools Curriculum Project (Crone and Malone 1979) and the Schools Cultural Studies Project (Robinson 1981) provided support for teachers to address community divisions and to promote non-violent forms of discussion. The Ministry of Education was skeptical about these initiatives in the early years. (Emerson and McCully 2014)
Since 1983 these curricular initiatives have been subsumed under the term Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU), which also comprised work in the area of community relations and contact schemes (Richardson 1997) Some of the work of EMU relates closely to programmes in other countries such as multicultural education or citizenship and peace education. (Richardson 1997) Eventually, EMU together with Cultural Heritage became part of the curriculum as the cross-curricular themes within the 1989 Education Order. (Smith and Robinson 1996) Emerson and McCully (2014) criticized that since its incorporation into the official curriculum, these cross-curricular themes have lost their “hard edged practice” (p.9) and thus their impact was diluted in a way that reference to social injustices war largely avoided by teachers. (Smith and Robinson 1996)
With the signing of the peace agreement, the Council for Curriculum Examination and Assessment (CCEA) started to review the existing curriculum and proposed that a new citizenship curriculum should be developed as a contribution to the peace process. (Emerson and McCully 2014) After pilot work on citizenship education in 1998 and 1999, the Department of Education introduced ‘Local and Global Citizenship’ in all post-primary schools on a phased basis. (DENI 2005) Only in 2007, ‘Local and Global Citizenship’ became a core statutory element of the Northern Ireland curriculum. From these developments, citizenship education in Northern Ireland is aspired to be a space for addressing the context of diversity, identity, culture and traditions as well as contentious issues of sectarianism, reconciliation and social injustice in Northern Ireland. (Northern Ireland Curriculum 2015)
So, what can be considered the basis of citizenship education in Northern Ireland? The underlying ideas suggest that the basis is a commitment to reconciliation, maintenance of peace and improving inter-group relations. In terms of the connection between citizenship and identity, research has pointed at several issues.
First, despite increasing engagement of students and teachers with contentious issues such as injustice, racism and sectarianism (University of Ulster 2010), Emerson and McCully (2014) suggest that more controversial aspects of Northern Irish identity are avoided. It is argued that this issue not confined to education, but a rather general problem in Northern Ireland, where the culture of silence or avoidance has led to the construction of psychological walls that leave controversial issues untouched and reduce political discussions to polite conversations. (Gallagher 2008) # need to check!!!
Second, research conducted at integrated schools and other mixed environments in Northern Ireland documents a culture of avoidance or silence. (Donnelly 2004a; 2004b; 2008; Donnelly and Hughes 2006) Teachers are reluctant to address controversial and sensitive issues in mixed environments, as they fear confrontation with disagreement. Instead, they report their efforts in trying to preserve a harmonious environment and limit these discussions to a “polite exchange” (Smith and Robinson 1996:82). Donnelly (2004) argues that this “illusion of harmony” (p.272) disguises underlying sentiments of suspicion and injustice. Apparent harmonious relationships between different groups in integrated schools are uncritically taken as evidence that these schools promote tolerance and mutual understanding. In a way, this primary concern with contact is used as an excuse not to engage with strategies to teach values of tolerance and addressing controversial issues. (Donnelly and Hughes 2006)
Third, in their analysis of the impact of integrated education on political identities of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, Hayes et al (2006; 2007) offer perhaps some confirmation of the contribution of integrated education to citizenship in Northern Ireland. They found that in the informally integrated sector, With religiously divided schools and essentially Protestant schools, an exclusively pro-British curriculum is taught with the celebration of British traditions and teaching of British history in a partisan manner. In terms of identity, they discovered that adult Protestants, who have attended integrated schools tended to develop more neutral Northern Irish identities and were also more likely to abandon traditional views. Similarly, Catholic adults from integrated schools tended to accommodate intermediate identity constructs; yet they were also more likely to foster their link with Britain and subscribing to the dominant or majority view at the expense of abandoning traditional allegiances to Ireland. Yet, it needs to be noted that Catholic students (20.6 percent) from all sectors were more likely to adopt a connection to the UK than Protestant students to Ireland (3.8 percent).
At the beginning of the section, the question was posed what provides the basis for citizenship and citizenship education in Northern Ireland. National identity appears to play in role in citizenship education, even though it is openly contested. Not surprisingly, it is to assume that different schools promote different forms of national identity and citizenship, as the research shows that the attendance of a particular school impacts on student’s identity formation. (need ref .. see or footnote!) It is argued that the notion of seemingly neutral identity of ‘Northern Irish’ remains ambiguous and thus is attractive among Catholics and Protestants, who wish to disavow from traditional allegiance but does not completely compromise the idea of British and Irish identity. (Moxon-Browne 1991; Hayes et al 2007) It remains unanswered whether the schools, including the integrated schools promote a curriculum with particular emphasis on one cultural tradition at the expense of the other. (Hayes et al 2007) Additionally, the question arises whether the omission of traditional allegiances in combination with the culture of avoidance glosses over a wider hegemonic discourse. Comparing Northern Ireland with the context of multiculturalism and citizenship education in the UK and US, a striking similarity is that crucial issues of social justice, inequalities and sectarianism are not addressed sufficiently. Does the promotion of “neutral identities” and the culture of avoidance serve the interests of dominant groups in Northern Ireland society? Yet, in contrast to the context of the white majority in the UK and the US, the framing of a majority population in Northern Ireland is of course more contested. Thus, in which forms does domination take place in Northern Ireland and how does it occlude differences of culture, nationality and class? And if domination through citizenship takes place, are there forms of resistance?
Thus, the relationship between citizenship, identities and the curriculum in Northern Ireland has not yet been sufficiently studied and leaves various questions about citizenship in Northern Ireland unanswered. This provides a direction for future research which will be outlined later in this paper.
Before, the context of citizenship and citizenship education in Israel is examined. What are the similarities and differences between Northern Ireland and Israel?
attitudes even in situations where they are a numerical minority?*
The recent Gaza war in 2014 serves to remind us of the fragility of politics in Israel-Palestine remains prone to violence and that the ongoing tensions have placed peace negotiations on hold. In this environment of the ongoing conflict and the occupation of the Palestinian territories, Israel’s population remains deeply divided. This mosaic of divisions (Tatar 2004) is characterized by major rifts between the secular and the religious and religious-orthodox population; the Ashkenazi and the Mizrachi population and finally the Israeli-Jewish and Arab population. Despite this diversity, Israel has largely maintained a dominant national ethos.
Political scientists (Smooha 2002; Peled 1992) described Israel as an ethnic democracy. In brief, an ethnic democracy is underpinned by an ethnic nationalism that maintains that a particular ethnic group claims belonging to an exclusive homeland and its right to self-determination in this territory. This impacts the understanding of citizenship, which is separated from nationality and citizenship as such does not define the membership in the ethnic nation, which only includes those with a common descent, culture, language or sometimes religion. (Smooha 2002) The Zionist ethos, which has inspired the national revival movement and is the basis of the whole idea of a Jewish state, has shaped the hierarchical understanding of citizenship, which prioritises the formation of an Israeli-Jewish identity and depends on each group’s commitment to the Zionist ethos. (Shafir and Peled 2002:22) While the democratic character of the state has guaranteed for the Arab-Palestinian minority, free, democratic and proportional elections as well as the opportunity to political organization and activity (footnote, of course the remains limited by politics of occupation!!!), the ethno-national characteristic of Israel has proven to be not always compatible with this democratic commitment. (Al-Haj 2002)
The balancing act between ethnic hegemony and democratic ideals performed by the Israeli state (The Knesset: Basic Law 1992) remains central to Israeli policy decisions. Recently, in November 2014 the Israeli cabinet has approved the draft of a bill the “Basic Law proposal: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People”, which remains at the point of writing under review. It is argued that this bill intends to emphasizes Israel’s Jewish character at the expense of its democratic nature and it could increase tensions with the Arab Palestinian minority. (NY Times 2014)
The framing of citizenship in Israel has various consequences for its diverse society, in particular for the Arab minority. This group, next to other non-Jewish citizens is excluded from membership in the ethnic nation and thus Israeli identity, when it is conflated with Judaism. Moreover, it also impacts on the inclusion of Arabs into the into the state’s institutional structure, the allocation of resources and policies that privilege the ethnic majority. (see Lustick, 1980; Smooha, 1990; Rouhana & Ghanem, 1998; Yiftachel, 1999)
Societal division and the hierarchical notion of citizenship are also embodied by the Israeli education system, which is split into a state sector, a state-religious sector, a Jewish-religious sector and an Arab sector, which includes the Palestinian minority as well as Druze and Bedouin minorities. Despite different sectors, it is largely administered through a single control, the Ministry of Education. This hierarchy is reflected in policies regarding the curriculum, the level of autonomy in the organisation and management of the different education sectors and the disproportionate allocation of resources, which all have led to significant disparities within the Israeli education system. (Pinson 2007, Abu-Saad 2004, Swirski 1999, Human Rights Watch 2001, Al-Haj 1995) Al-Haj (1995) argued that the Arab sector, despite some minor improvements has remained largely marginalised in terms of funding, access to resources and teacher training. The voice of the Palestinian educators in influencing the content of the curriculum remains marginal and the content that refers to the Palestinian narrative, Arab culture and history is minimal. (Abu-Saad 2004)
However, although the education system remains pervaded by divisions and hierarchy, it has also become an important site of social change for those who advocate for a more democratic and tolerant Israeli society. During the 1980s, surveys reported anti-democratic sentiments among Israeli adolescent towards Palestinians. (Zemach 1980; Kelman 1999) This has raised overall concerns about the state of civic education, which failed to promote tolerance and democratic attitudes and also about inter-group relations. Two forms of educational responses were developed: the emergence of formal and informal contact initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians (Hareven 1987 cited in: Maoz 2000a) and a political discourse about the nature of citizenship education.
Contact Schemes and Integrated Schooling
Inter-group encounters is another strategy to overcome social divisions relations and has emerged in Israel as contact schemes and integrated education. Contact schemes took the form of one-off meetings as well as long-term programmes, involving pupils, as well as young people, university students, professors and other adults. (Maoz 1997) These initiatives were enhanced during the 1990s and the negotiations for the Oslo Accords, but they suffered from a backlash as a result of the second Intitfada in 2000. (Bekerman 2007) For example, the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem has developed a programme of encounters between Jewish and Arab teachers, which has also received official recognition by the Ministry of Education as part of the teachers training programmes. (Maoz 2000) In total, from their beginnings in the 1980s until the early 2000s only a small number of these programmes have been conducted. (Maoz 2002)
Next to these initiatives, a small sector of integrated schools has emerged. These schools are recognised as non-religious schools and supported by the Ministry of Education. Thus, for the most part they use the standard curriculum of the state non-religious sector.(Bekerman 2009) The first Israeli-Palestinian school was established in 1981 in Neveh Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, a small Jewish-Palestinian settlement. (Feuerverger 1998) The network of integrated schools “Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel” was co-founded by individual educators in 1997. Hand-in-Hand established their first two integrated schools in 1998 and expanded to a number of five schools. (Hand-in-Hand 2015)
Researchers (Bekerman and Horencyk 2004; Bekerman 2005; Maoz 2000a; 2000b) have outlined the positive impact of contact schemes as well as integrated education on the attitudes of the participants towards the other group. Yet, they have also warned that there are clear limitations of these encounters and that they can even replicate the existing power relations between Israelis and Palestinian and serve to sustain divisions between them, omitted behind a discourse of equality and coexistence. As an example, Bekerman (2005) discovered how the efforts of establishing an equal bilingual environment are undermined by the political and social structure which clearly prioritises one language over the other and imposes on the minority a sort of “language assimilation” as a requirement for educational success. In another study about parents’ motivation of sending their children to a bilingual school, it became clear that the Palestinian Arab parents were largely influenced by the better educational opportunities that this school offers in contrast to the schools of the Arab sector. (Bekerman and Horencyk 2004)
The Citizenship Curriculum
Since its establishment, citizenship education in the State of Israel has been largely framed as promoting the Zionist project, Jewish culture, identity and its values. (Ichilov 2005) After the establishment of statehood, a national concept for citizenship education was developed and renegotiated, which led to the legislation of the State Education Law in 1953. Civic education focused mainly on structural and legal aspects of state institutions and gave priority to a national mission. (Swirsky 1999; Ichilov et al 2005:34) Within the Arab education sector, instead of mediating ideas of Arab nationalism, it was decided to promote an Israeli nationalism for the Arab minority. (Al-Haj 1995:121-128)
Regularly, concerns have been addressed to strengthen the democratic aspects of the civics curriculum in favour of national aspects as well as growing demands for human rights education. (Ichilov et al 2005) Informed by the work of the Shenhar and the Kremnizer committee, the Ministry of Education has published a new policy directive for civic education in 1994 and a common civics curriculum was implemented in Jewish schools in 2000 and in Arab schools in 2001. Its new important features can be summarised as being a comprehensive curriculum that includes students from all sectors of the education system and its shift from the focus of procedural aspects and memorization of the political system towards teaching of democratic values and civic competencies. (Cohen 2013:62) The main goal of the new comprehensive curriculum was stated as:
“To inculcate a common Israeli identity, together with the development of distinct national identities, and to impart to students the values of pluralism and tolerance, educate students to accept the diversity that exists within Israeli society, and to respect those who are different from oneself (. . . )” (Ministry of Education 2001:10, cited in Ichilov 2003)
At the same time the ministry also referred to goals such as foster critical thinking, enable students to become autonomous and conscious citizens and learn to play by the rules of democracy. (Ministry of Education 2001:10, cited in Ichilov 2008)
Thus, the nature of the new curriculum has been influenced by considerations, such as to present Israel’s society as pluralistic and dynamic, a comparison of similarities between Israel and other democracies, the inclusion of new teaching strategies and emphasizing the need to discuss current events in the classroom. (Cohen 2013:62) The new curriculum was based on textbook “To Be Citizens in Israel: A Jewish and Democratic State”, which was also translated into Arabic. It addresses the topics: Israel as a Jewish state, Israel as a democratic state as well as government and politics in Israel. (Barak 2005)
Yet, the textbook was taken out of circulation and it was decided that it has to undergo revision. It was claimed that it presented views that are too critical towards Israel. The revised chapters, which were published in 2013 emphasised the notion of Israel as a Jewish state at the expense of presenting Israel as a democratic state, according to the report by Halleli Pinson. (Haaretz 2013)
Even though it is admitted that the new curriculum made an important shift away from a monolithic Jewish-Zionist interpretation of Israeli citizenship to focus a on nation-building to the building of a civic culture, academics criticise it on various grounds. (Agbaria 2011; Pinson 2007a; 2007b)
First, a major point of critique is the negative and stereotypical representation of the Palestinian minority. It is maintained that parts of the curriculum present Palestinian and Arab people without historical and cultural heritage, which stands in stark contrast with the strong emphasis on the representation of the heritage of the Jewish people. (Peled 2006; Ichilov 2008; Agbaria et al 2015) Pinson (2007a) suggests that Israeli citizenship remains prioritised and thus she argues that the curriculum reproduces the hierarchical structure of the state. It fails to offer a sense of belonging for the Palestinian minority as Palestinian citizenship remains marginalised and is only offered in a sense of a liberal-democratic discourse about individual rights of participation. In her interviews with Palestinian students in Israel, Pinson (2008) found that the students do not feel they can embrace Israeli identity, because it excludes them first, in terms of equal rights, which they are not granted and second, due to the
conflation with ethno-nationality, which does not apply to non-Jews.
Second, in general it is argued that across different sectors, schools do not apply citizenship education as a means of dialogue and critical pedagogy. (Pinson 2011; Yonah 2011) It has been discovered that the level of engagement in controversial discussions varies across schools. In their comparison between integrated schools in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine, Donnelly and Hughes (2006) have found that the bilingual schools in Israel-Palestine offer a more open and emotional climate to discuss concerning the conflict. However,
Maoz (2000b) examined the context of power relations during an inter-group encounter between Israeli and Palestinian Arab teachers. She found that whereas the Israeli teachers tried to avoid political discussions, the Palestinian teachers often raised political issues. The Palestinian teachers felt that the discourse about “coexistence” or “emphasizing the common ground”, which was promoted by the Israeli teachers, was being forced on them and was used to circumvent discussions about contested political issues. In Arab state schools the discussion of controversial issues is often avoided by teaching social sciences in a ‘neutral’ fashion; in order to bypass addressing the contested one-sided narrative in the Israeli curriculum. (Ichilov 2003) In general, Ichilov has reported that teachers who are teaching a “more affluent” student population are more likely to discuss controversial issues and conflict situations than teachers whose student population consists of a majority of disadvantaged students. (Ichilov 1989 cited in in Ichilov et al 2005)
As a consequence, some academics remain skeptical about the civic curriculum’s potential to foster a shared civic identity and see it as maintaining the gaps between the different groups in Israeli society.(Pinson 2007; Ichilov et al 2005)
In contrast to the case of Northern Ireland, the literature about citizenship education in Israel proposes a clear argument that the curriculum seeks to instill a hegemonic Israeli identity. Yet, this Israeli identity obviously fails to offer a discourse of inclusion for the Palestinian and Arab minority and thus it is resisted. A survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute in 2007 showed that only 12 percent of Arabs who live in Israel define themselves as Israeli, whereas 45 percent define as Arabs and 24 percent as Palestinians. As a result, this allows to draw a connection to the literature of teaching citizenship in the UK and the US, as we find in these contexts hegemonic forms of citizenship and citizenship education that excludes parts of the population and turn citizenship in a tool for domination.
Pinsons’ work (2008) has illuminated part of this discourse of resistance. Does this discourse also take place in schools? How is citizenship education taught across different schools? Again, Pinson (2007a; 2011) contributed another peace of research that examined how the revised Israeli citizenship curriculum is taught in a Jewish city school, a Jewish-religious city school and an Arab town schools. Whereas the Jewish schools would teach citizenship in a republican way through the promotion of Jewish and Zionist values, the Arab school would teach citizenship through a neo-liberal discourse with a focus on achievement, as they see citizenship as a form of promoting Zionism, which does not apply to the Arab sector. This study provides an important insight how citizenship education is resisted in Arab schools. Yet, are they other alternative forms of citizenship education in Arab schools and how do bilingual schools approach citizenship?
Discussions about the legacy of conflict are particularly salient in Israel, as the ongoing violent conflict intensifies negative emotions and leads people to defend their perspectives more stubbornly and prevents them from compromising in discussions. (Kupermintz and Salomon 2005)
The previous section has set out debates in both jurisdictions about the nature of citizenship education. Following on from this, this section seeks to bring together emerging questions and gaps from both contexts.
The literature has set out the complicated discourse about citizenship and identity. Bull (2006) argued that in Northern Ireland, British or Irish, Protestant or Catholic identities are seen perpetuating the conflict due to their mutually exclusive character. In Israel, Kelman (1999) argues the possibility of an encompassing “Israeli-identity” provides a way to overcome divisions. However, the question arises whether “Northern-Irish” and “Israeli” identities can provide the basis of a shared citizenship identity. At least, in the Israeli context, the literature demonstrates that Israeli identity is perceived as a hegemonic identity that excludes Palestinians and Arabs. In the context of Northern Ireland, it is more ambiguous what Northern-Irish identity entails and it needs to be further researched how it is conceptualised by different groups.
(“Culture of Avoidance”)
The literature in both jurisdictions mentions avoidance of discussing contentious issues related to injustice and social divisions in different contexts. It has emerged that the diversity in the classroom can have an impact on whether contentious issues are discussed as well as the background of the students (more or less affluent). Moreover, bringing together research conducted by Pinson (2011..) and Ichilov, there are indications that the relationship between the dominant citizenship discourse and the students’ identity affiliation has an impact on how citizenship is taught; in this case citizenship education in Arab schools takes the form of a neo-liberal discourse and avoids contentious issues about citizenship. Thus, is there a “culture of avoidance” at all different school types? And if yes, does it help to sustain the hegemonic discourse?
(Alternative Citizenship Education)
If there are differences in how schools that cater for different groups teach citizenship, do they offer valuable alternatives to the hegemonic discourse of citizenship? This traces back to the theoretical framework of citizenship identity. Can citizenship serve as an empowerment for minorities or does it impoverish to a mere ruling-class strategy? Again, in Israel, it is suggested that those Arab schools studied do not seem to provide an alternative citizenship discourse. (Pinson 2011; Ichilov) Yet, so far, there has been no comparative study across different school types in regard to alternative citizenship education or citizenship and identity.
Emerging from these gaps, I propose as an overarching research question: Is citizenship taught differently at different schools in Israel and Northern Ireland? The different school types include Jewish-secular, Arab and bilingual schools in Israel and Protestant, Catholic and integrated schools in Northern Ireland.
The next chapter outlines the methodological approach and underlying rationales.