We describe our research on the role of education in the social reconstruction of countries after mass conflict. Our studies focus on the voices of those least heard in the discourse--teachers, students, administrators and parents. We examine schools in four societies that experienced profound violence, ethnic cleansing and genocide during the 1990s--Croatia, the UN-administered province of Kosovo in Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda. We question the assumptions that underlie current practice such as a narrow focus on emergency interventions, conflict resolution, peace education and textbook reform. Societal repair must involve a comprehensive set of interventions that recognizes the integrated nature of a society's institutions. Schools are a unique component of building a long-term future.
March 1, 2007