Educating Against Extremism

This paper is based on a recently published book, Educating Against Extremism (Davies,Educating Against Extremism), which explores the potential role of schools in averting the more negative and violent forms of extremism in a country. It examines the nature of extremism; identity formation and radicalisation; religious belief, faith schools and the myth of equal value; justice, revenge and honour; and free speech, humour and satire. The paper argues that religious fundamentalism, as well as state terrorism, needs to be addressed in schools. The argument in the book is for a greater politicisation of young people through the forging of critical (dis)respect and the use of a secular basis of human rights. Specific forms of citizenship education are needed, which provide skills to analyse the media and political or religious messages, but also enable critical idealism to be fostered.