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Nature, Rationale, and Effectiveness of Education for Coexistence


  • The author would like to thank Mirjam Hadar for helpful comments on the first draft of the manuscript.

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Daniel Bar-Tal, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel [e-mail:].


Coexistence is a state of mind shared by society members who recognize the rights of another group to exist peacefully as a legitimate, equal partner with whom disagreements have to be resolved in nonviolent ways. Achieving coexistence is a great challenge because of the negative relations between the two groups. These negative relations, the result of ethnocentric beliefs or intractable conflict, are widely shared and their abolition requires deep societal change. Education for coexistence plays an important function in this change. The article suggests that when negative relations are based on ethnocentrism, education for coexistence plays a major role in changing the nature of the relations. But when negative relations derive from intergroup conflict, education for coexistence has less influence.