Curriculum change and social cohesion in conflict affected societies

How does curriculum policymaking contribute to a shared sense of national identity and citizenship, which is inclusive and respectful of diversity? Additionally, how does it contribute to the exacerbation of social divisions, tensions, and identity-based conflicts?


Examining educational policy change within the context of identity-based conflicts was the focus of the Curriculum Change and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Societies project coordinated by the IBE (2002–2003).


The aim of the project was to gain a better understanding of the role of educational policy in shaping social and civic identities and in redefining or reconstructing national citizenship within the context of identity-based conflicts. In exploring some of these issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guatemala, Lebanon, Mozambique, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka, some of the studies examined the extent to which the educational system itself has been a potential source of the very conflict it is expected to prevent and remedy.


The challenge is to explore not only the way schooling relates to violent conflict, but also to understand how this relationship is rooted in contested and/or changing conceptions of national cohesion and how it impacts on identity formation.