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When education does not help the peacebuilding process: the discussion over curriculum and textbooks’ content in post-conflict Kosovo

March 2013 | #33

by: Erika Bozzato
pp: 35
ISSN: 2038-632X

Paper's frontpage


Education and education systems are commonly seen to have a positive impact on countries or regions they serve. But in fact education systems may contribute to create or intensify societal tensions and conflicts, and in particular animosities related to some aspects of communities´ identity, such as ethnicity. Tensions in society may often be mirrored in the education system, and at the same time tensions in the education system may often reflect tensions in societies. Such circumstances are usually the result of gradual and prolonged processes of transformation that need to be investigated in order to understand the complexity of the processes involved in social change. It is also crucial to relate them at the level
of discourse and text, both for the dialogical relationship between the discourse and the society and for the fundamental role of discourse in processes of transformation. The present paper will tackle especially the case of post-conflict and post-independence Kosovo, and shall focus specifically on the ongoing debate related to curricula and textbooks´ content, in the context of long-lasting parallel systems of education. I will argue how such a debate transcends mere education in its intentions and results, and locates itself in the broader political controversy over the final status of Kosovo, and at the same time that such educational issue may in fact exacerbate ethnic and societal tensions. A sample of material showing the debate over this topic will be analysed drawing upon Discourse Historical Analysis (DHA).



Kosovo, education, curriculum, school textbooks, Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse Historical Approach.

Table of contents

Introduction: Education curriculum and textbooks in postconflict societies
Discourse Historical Analysis (DHA)
Historical context - Overview of education in Kosovo
Situational context - Review of Serbian teaching materials in 2009
Selection of Material and classification of genres
Analysis of selected materials

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