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Education, Justice, and Memory: On the History and Practice of Teaching Identity in Jordan

2022 - 2024

Partners with the University of Bristol and the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Funding Program

The Jordanian educational sector, and particularly public school curricula and teacher training programs, are in an especially dire state. The sector focuses almost exclusively on STEM subjects at the expense of the humanities and social sciences. This is compounded, even in STEM subjects, by a school and university culture which awards rote memorization and the application of imported methodologies instead of creative, critical, and reflective engagement with personal and national identity. As a result, Jordan has a surplus of educated professionals, while it imports foreign social scientists and humanitarians to work on social programming.

This project intervenes by building a program for training public school teachers about how minority identities may be taught through indigenous history, literature, and language; implementing the program over two seminars in Arabic, based on the project’s curriculum and pedagogy; hosting a conference in Amman about how teaching about the violent past may be incorporated into schools and other institutions of education, including universities, institutes, and language centers; and sharing the experience by publishing the teacher training manual itself, an academic paper, and a policy report.


We are preparing a book chapter, titled "Teaching the Humanities as a Mode of Reckoning with the Violent Past: A case from Jordan" for an edited volume to be published by Bristol University Press, having produced a policy report, arts exhibition, and a manual for teachers.

Project Leads

Abdullah Awad and Sanabel Alfar

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