Experiencing Diversity: Complexity, Education, and Peace Construction

The relationship with diversity is at the core of human experience. In the chapter, a broad definition of diversity is proposed, which includes, but is not limited to, cultural diversity. The analysis of the experience of diversity is especially focused on children and adolescents' attitudes and behaviour. The role of education is also highlighted. Though education is generally considered by the author in its broad sense, namely as the sum of all the elements of reality that in one way or other affect human development, a special emphasis is here given to school. Complexity is a particularly useful epistemological tool in this context, in that, among other things, it indicates the necessity of addressing human issues through newly created and multiple perspectives, as also studies on complex thinking have suggested. Indeed, the main assumption of the presentation is that complexity, diversity, education, and peace building are intimately interrelated. Diversity is one of the essential components of complexity, and considerations regarding the reality of complexity should be the prerequisite of any educational programme and of any effort towards peace building. These reflections partly draw on a number of studies (especially through the use of anonymous open-ended essays) we conducted in Italian secondary schools in the last few years on children and adolescents' (aged 9-18) attitudes towards multiculturalism. Some suggestions are also prompted by a brief analysis of a passage from the Australian novel "My place" by Sally Morgan.

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Camilla Pagani
Springer, Basel, CHE
Children and Peace, edited by Balvin Nikola & Christie Daniel J., pp. 257–270. Basel: Springer, 2020
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Camilla Pagani/titolo:Experiencing Diversity: Complexity, Education, and Peace Construction/titolo_volume:Children and Peace/curatori_volume:Balvin Nikola & Christie Daniel J./editore: /anno:2020
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