ELT for Peace Education: Negotiating Ethnic and Cultural Plurality

Piku Chowdhury

Abstract


Multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity have assumed the status of the most charged signs characterizing social contingencies and resultant violence in the increasingly glocalized world today. Minoritization continually interrupts and interrogates the homogeneous, horizontal claim of the projected democratic liberal society. Solidarity turns out to be situational and strategic while the concept of commonality is negotiated through contingencies of social interest and political claims. As Homi K. Bhabha points out in “Cultures in Between”- “How did we allow ourselves to forget that the nationalist violence between Hindus and Muslims lie just under the skin of India’s secular modernity? ...We have entered an anxious age of identity”(p.59). Experimenting with UNESCO’s vision of promoting a “culture of peace” through education, 70 trainee teachers from varied socio-cultural and religious backgrounds were exposed to ELT exercises that opened up new avenues of peace education.

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