The pursuit of peace forms the foundation of UNESCO and a cornerstone of the ambitious vision of the SDGs. The UNESCO Chair at Queen’s University Belfast is pioneering a trial model of shared education to break down barriers in countries transitioning from conflict to peace.
Led by Professor Joanne Hughes at Queen’s University Belfast, the Centre for Shared Education in the School of Education at Queen’s became a UNESCO Chair in 2016 and is working with Education Ministry officials and educational stakeholders in Northern Ireland, the Balkan Countries and Israel to further the development of shared education.
The Centre’s research has informed the Shared Education Act (2016) in Northern Ireland, and shared education is now embedded as a model for promoting education between Macedonian, Ethnic Albanian and other minority groups in North Macedonia (previously the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
With a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund, the Centre has extended its work in the Balkan region, establishing an infrastructure that connects academics, practitioners, NGOs and policymakers across the diverse contexts of North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia. The Centre has also begun working in partnership with Israeli teacher education colleges and universities to explore the possibilities for shared education among trainee teachers and joint research.
In addition to providing training and resources for teachers nationally and internationally, findings from qualitative research to assess the impact of the shared education model in Northern Ireland will be used to inform future projects.
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