The Prospects for Peace Education in Cyprus: Exploring the Potential for Future Unified Education through the Examination of a Bi-Communal School Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
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  • Antoniou, Marios
    • Affiliation: School of Education
Abstract
  • This dissertation is the product of the investigation of an educational institution in Cyprus, where supposed enemies share a classroom and a unifying school identity. In 2003, following the opening of a few checkpoints along the dividing line of the island that keeps apart Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north since 1974, "The English School", a prestigious public-private school in the south welcomed the enrollment of Turkish Cypriot students, thus becoming the island's first and only bi-communal public-private secondary school. Schooling has historically been utilized as a tool for constructing unifying national identities. The British colonial exit strategy left Cyprus in confusion between the ethnos and the nation. Cypriots are trapped in an intractable conflict that is rooted in nationalism and education systems contribute to the perpetuation of the conflict. The data collection process was based on a case study that employed the use of an ethnographic research approach within the school, both in and out of the classroom. The research methodology was designed in a manner that placed emphasis on the relationships between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot students and the interactions between them in their everyday student life. Furthermore, research attention was placed on the curriculum, the school's leadership, instructional practices and the school building itself. This dissertation ultimately seeks to analyze this school as an educational institution in its effort to find its path towards change and adaptation to an integrated bi-communal character while being at the intersection of pedagogy, standardized testing, identity, elitism, politics, and legacy. Despite the school's mission to promote respect for all ethno-religious groups, it has failed to accommodate Muslim students' religious needs while it continues to hold commemorations of Greek national holidays. The research findings suggest that a forced integration agenda has resulted to negative effects, while a laissez-faire approach towards integration does not yield increased communication, understanding and social relationships between the students of the two communities. Therefore, the conclusion calls for an approach based on a carefully planned integration engineering process that would naturally embed the practices of peace education in the existing curriculum.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Peacock, James L.
  • Grumet, Madeleine
  • Stone, Lynda
  • Noblit, George W.
  • Bryant, Rebecca
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
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