Teaching Rwanda with Rigor
Palestine and Civic Strengthening
Purpose and Elements of Civic
Education in Palestine
• Enhance Civic Knowledge of Founding Ideas,
Documents, Values, Institutions, and Practices
• Strengthen Cognitive Civic Discernment
(Analytical, Investigative, Scientific
Competences of Teachers and Students)
• Engender Participatory Civic Skills of Teachers
• Develop Civic Dispositions
Civic Education is the Foundation
• Healthy Schools
• Healthy Families
• Healthy Communities
• Healthy Nations
Civic Education Fosters
• More knowledge of world and world events
• More skepticism of institutions and leaders
• Greater commitments to stay informed
Participatory Engagement and Collaboration
• Skilled and Credible Teachers
• Highly Intelligent Students Capable of Making
Commitments to the Health of Their and Others’
Communities and Nations
Palestinian Civic Education Can
• Impact how children understand
• Influence their conceptions of fairness
• Make schools exemplary places for civic
• Teach students how to confront difficult
subjects with integrity, objectivity, with
healthy skepticism and confidence
Civic Education in Palestine Means
• Teaching Respect for the Rule of Law
• Teaching Mutual Respect for Others and
• Teaching the Value of Human Life and
• Teaching and Valuing Accountability
• Teaching Duties and Rights
Assessing Learning Outcomes in
• What counts as evidence that civic
education is taking hold in Palestinian
• Increased levels of founding civic knowledge, institutions,
values and ideas, including knowledge of global civic
documents, values and practices
• Enhanced capacity of faculty and students for
discernment, analysis, investigation, communication, as
demonstrated by rigorous reading lists, multilingual
competencies, high proficiency on examinations,
collaborative assignments, capacity to critique and be
critiqued, to draft ideas for public view, regional and
More Outcome Measures
• Greater levels of competencies in participatory
civic skills such as team building, networking,
discursive practices, such as opinion writing,
dissenting opinion writing, extemporaneous
reasoning, and independent learning; and
• Change in civic dispositions of faculty and
teachers as measured overtime
• Measure the capacity of schools to model civic
practices and institutionalize them
Every Assessment Plan
• Must ask and answer several questions:
• Do students and teachers know the Basic Law
and Declaration of their country? (How do you
assess this knowledge at grade appropriate
• Do teachers and students understand and can
they articulate (1) the institutions responsible for
governing the nation; (2) The powers and
authority of these institutions; (3) the values
explicit or implicit in institutional functioning
More Assessment Questions
• Can teachers impart credible knowledge
about other nations’ founding documents,
their values, and challenges in a
contemporary world , in an enthusiastic
and interesting manner?
• What are the most effective pedagogical
tools to achieve the ends of civic
Benchmarks in Civic Education
• What levels of performance are you
seeking in civic knowledge, civic
discernment, civic engagement and civic
• ? Are your performance benchmarks
uniform across all schools or are
expectations higher for some than others?
Civic Education Assessments
• In-stream tests or measures
• Implementation and Continuous Assessment
• Tell the Story of Your Progress, Challenges and
• In-stream measures allow schools, teachers, and
students to make adjustments as courses progress.
They permit valuable feed-back in a timely fashion and
they show a level of care and commitment to civic
education as a professional field of endeavor.
• Fifteen Years Ago Rwandans’ Killed and
Maimed Each Other…
• Tutsi and Hutus
• Rulers and servants
• Tall and short
• Then just prior to independence (Belgians)
authorities changed their positions and decided
on majority rule (now Hutus, the majority, would
govern the Tutsi).
• See materials in the Teachers’ Manual and
practice how to teach students three valuable
• Historical Discrimination and abuses by
Colonizers (Germans and Belgians) were
reproduced by Rwandans once Rwandans
gained their freedom.
• Attempted annihilation of Tutsis and their Hutu
sympathizers April 4, 1994)
Civic Education: Rwanda
• Rwanda teaches the need for citizens to know
and think about past injustices, stereotypes, and
atrocities, for the purpose of recognizing human
fragility and the capacity for evil against other
humans and hatred of them.
• Rwanda teaches civic and human responsibility,
whether as on looker, victimized, or
Civic Education: Rwanda
• What does Islam teach about suffering
that is relevant to civic education and the
case of Rwanda?
• Who is Watching?
• Who knows our thoughts?
• Who knows our feelings?
• Who or what keeps citizens accountable?
• What does the Palestinian Basic Law teach
about obligations to others and to the
• Is the Palestinian Basic Law a moral
document? Does it indicate how we should
behave toward others?
• Is the Rwandan constitution a moral document?
• Do both teach values of conscientiousness?
Rwanda: Civic Education
• The Rwandan genocide teaches the injury
and suffering people, families, and nations
endure when limitless power is
• Rwanda teaches the power to endure as
whole citizens and not as the victimized
Rwanda and Vengeance
• Does vengeance propagate across
generations, through the surrounding
• Stripped of ideology what are Bosnia,
Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Iraq?
Rwanda and Child Soldiers
• The regress of the entire society into a
state of madness...
• Children are too young to repress their
cruelest impulses …
Community and Civic Education
• How can or should communities respond to
mass murder—public killings?
• Who or what can break the cycle of hatred?
• Again, does civic education teach
accountability? Only if the core documents and
human practices of tolerance and respect are
central to the rule of law.
• Are we able to forgive what we cannot
• As a value, justice seeks to restore the
equality between the persons wronged
and the wrong doer.
• The United Nations
• The Germans
• The Belgians
• Where all are guilty who can be punished?
• Who are “persons of integrity”?
• New “gacaca” law.
• ICTR (UN)
• Civic Regeneration