Georg-Arnhold-Professor 2019: Bassel Akar

The eight Georg Arnhold Visiting Research Professor: Bassel Akar

Dr Bassel Akar is Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Applied Research in Education at Notre Dame University – Louaize, Lebanon. His research focuses on learning and teaching for active citizenship in the context of Lebanon and other sites affected by armed conflict. Bassel has a strong interest in approaches to empowering young people through participative research methodologies. In addition to citizenship education, he has led research projects that examine educational programs for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan (formal, non-formal, early childhood), explore debates of approaches to history education, and investigate education for sustainable development in public schools. Bassel has most recently published
“Reframing approaches to narrating young people’s conceptualisations of citizenship in education research” in Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (2017) and co-authored “Influences of nationalisms on citizenship education: revealing a ‘dark side’ in Lebanon” in Nations and Nationalism (2017) and a book chapter, “An Emerging Framework for Providing Education to Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon” in Syrian Refugee Children in the Middle East and Europe (2018).

Dr Akars research at the GEI: Citizenship education in Lebanon

My research work in citizenship education has focused mostly on conflict-affected areas, particularly in Lebanon. Many of the challenges and limitations of learning and teaching citizenship in post-armed conflict sites like Lebanon are due to stagnant curricular reform and pedagogical cultures that strive for knowledge reproduction rather than co-construction. Most recently, citizenship education research has taken a new direction towards exploring teachers’ good practices inside the classroom as a method to build new approaches to developing critical pedagogies. I will examine the experiences of selected high-impact civic education teachers in Lebanon and the materials they have produced and facilitated inside their classrooms. By documenting and reporting on students’ critical and dialogic learning experiences and the resources that teachers developed by re-imagining the national curriculum, we could advance a grassroots theory of change in the field of education for post-conflict development. 

Dr Akar will stay at the GEI from June to July 2019.