ERG SES D 15, Practices and Education
The purpose of this study was to critically examine educational programs and initiatives that address difficulties of students in post-conflict school settings. The work is a critical review of literature aimed at examining how effectively the said initiatives address difficulties of students attending school. Of the articles reviewed, the study found that programs implemented fall short of their objectives due to factors both within and outside the school setting. This study argues that factors negatively affecting the effectiveness of programs and practices need to be considered in order to provide better services to students in post-conflict settings. These factors are discussed briefly along with implications for future research.
Summary of literature and conceptual framework
The conceptual framework for this study is embedded in cultural historical activity theory in order to point out the complex interplay of various elements that influence education practices in schools. The review considers literature from many countries across the globe that are post conflict. The literature described the student populations in the schools and the difficulties they face. The literature explains the rationale for programs and initiatives and their outcomes. The student populations range from former child soldiers and ethnic minorities to over-age children and children with disabilities. The needs of the students range from health care to nutrition and learning difficulties to psychological care. The literature talks extensively about programs, however, there is a significant dearth of literature that evaluates the effectiveness of these initiatives and even fewer that address impact of these programs. Consequently,there is very little discussion of plausible alternatives for improving.
This review of literature aims to answer (a) what are the challenges faced by children in post-conflict settings with regards to school? (b) what are the challenges programs and practices face that impact them negatively? (c) what factors in the community impact these programs and practices?
Five major academic search engines (EBSCO Host, ERIC, Google Scholar, SAGE and JSTORE) were utilized. The key search terms were post-conflict education, schools, students, education reconstruction and programs. A total of 57 initial articles that were selected based on relevance to the topic and content of the abstract. They were evaluated based on inclusive criteria, such as the settings were exclusively post conflict, that schools were currently functioning and there were specifically designed programs conducted in the schools to address difficulties faced by students. Based on this 31 articles were chosen for the review.
This study provides an excellent opportunity to review and reconstruct elements of education and its practices in countries where there has been a significant breakdwon in education due to conflict. This study facilitates a mutual exchange of knowledge and practice implications by allowing for a comparative analysis on a the topic of education in conflict and post conflict that is on undisputable relevance considering the population of school aged children impacted by war.
Barakat, S., Connolly, D., Hardman, F., & Sundaram, V. (2013). The role of basic education in post-conflict recovery. Comparative Education, 49, 124-142. Bekalo, S. A., Brophy, M., & Welford, A. G. (2003). The development of education in post-conflict ‘Somaliland’. International Journal of Educational Development, 23(4), 459-475. doi: 10.1016/S0738-0593(03)00016-6 Novelli, M., & Lopes Cardozo, M. T. (2008). Conflict, education and the global south: New critical directions. International Journal of Educational Development, 28(4), 473-488. Paulson, J., & Rappleye, J. (2007). Education and conflict: Essay review. International Journal of Educational Development, 27, 340-347. Shah, R. (2012). Goodbye conflict, hello development? Curriculum reform in Timor-Leste. International Journal of Educational Development, 32, 31-38. Dicum, J. (2008). Learning, war, and emergencies: a study of the learner’s perspective. Comparative Education Review, 52, 619-638. Elbert, T., Schauer, M., Schauer, E., Huschka, B., Hirth, M., & Neuner, F. (2009). Trauma-related impairment in children—A survey in Sri Lankan provinces affected by armed conflict. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33, 238-246. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.02.008 Guimbert, S., Miwa, K., & Thanh Nguyen, D. (2008). Back to school in Afghanistan: Determinants of school enrollment. International Journal of Educational Development, 28, 419-434. Johnson, D., & Stewart, F. (2007). Education, ethnicity and conflict. International Journal of Educational Development, 27(3), 247-251. doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2006.10.017 Betancourt, T. S., Simmons, S., Borisova, I., Brewer, S. E., Iweala, U., & de la Soudière, M. (2008). High hopes, grim reality: Reintegration and the education of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Comparative Education Review, 52, 565. Trani, J.-F., Kett, M., Bakhshi, P., & Bailey, N. (2011). Disability, vulnerability and citizenship: to what extent is education a protective mechanism for children with disabilities in countries affected by conflict? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15, 1187-1203. Uchem, R. N., Ngwa, E. S., & Asogwa, U. D. (2014). Inclusive Education and Sustainable Peace in Africa. International Affairs and Global Strategy, 19, 48-54. Zuilkowski, S. S., & Betancourt, T. S. (2014). School Persistence in the Wake of War: Wartime Experiences, Reintegration Supports, and Dropout in Sierra Leone. Comparative Education Review, 58, 457-481. doi: 10.1086/675905
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