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A novel catalyst for the Cyprus solution

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

1. Do you think this school could exist in the current situation? 2. Do you think it could expedite a political settlement to the Cyprus problem even if that means the settlement would occur 10-15 years after the school's opening?

Poll ended at Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:43 am

1. Yes 2. Yes
10
29%
1. Yes 2. No
11
31%
1. No 2. No
11
31%
1. No 2. Yes
3
9%
 
Total votes : 35

Postby Mills Chapman » Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:40 am

[part three]

Klil wrote: Only a few would have sent their children there, and I'm 99% certain that if anyone of those students after graduating and going to university and tried to win any kind of election, they'd lose,
just because they were alumni of that certain school.


Klik, assuming that these students don’t run for an elected position until they are at least 27 years old, there will be at least 25 years between their matriculation and any sort of election in which they might be a candidate. Attitudes can evolve over 25-year horizons. An analogy here is like sowing seeds on a farm or investing in the stock market: the risk for failure is lowered if you can adopt a longer time horizon.

Cypezokyli wrote: There are also researches on the web comparing the achievements of different schools as well as the attitude of the parents. (i ll try to refind those websites).


Cypezokyli, I’d love to see those websites if you can find them. I can learn from them. :wink:

Cypezokyli wrote: I dont see the reason why the kids should communicate in a third language.


The reliance of the school on just Greek and Turkish might work, but it is of paramount importance to get the politically influential right-wing/far-right parents to send their kids to this school, and if they don’t want their kids to learn the other community’s language, then they should be allowed that option if that's what it takes to get them to enroll their child. (I will talk more in my next post about how a third language such as English can still help instill a superordinate identity.)

I don’t want to lose the far-right parents who also have political influence in their communities. However, if they don’t want their child speaking the other language, then the language for history class will have to be English since the other side’s right-wing parents probably wouldn’t accept the teaching of history to be only in the first side’s language. The two would cancel out.

English simply serves as the "no-man’s land" language (and again I admit my own bias as an English speaker who can't speak anything else fluently). Everything at the school should be driven by what these politically influential far-right parents want, as long as it does not drive away the politically influential far-right parents from the other side nor preclude the use of cooperative learning. A thin line to walk for sure.

To get the far-right parents on each side to send their children to this school, it helps to assume an unlimited funding mentality, at least while brainstorming the essentials. That mentality allows us to be very creative and generous in making this a hard-to-resist school (free laptops, scholarships for Oxford and Harvard, etc.) If the educational luxury is scientifically possible (i.e., not sending the kids to the moon in their own personalized spaceships for a science outing), we could probably add it to the school's model.

Costs are important of course, but even an exorbitant price-tag for a school is a lot cheaper than the things that the international community has funded recently (invading Iraq, international space station, etc.) Building just one school affords special circumstances in thinking about what could be possible. The novelty of the school’s proposal can aid in the fundraising efforts – but the real marketing catch to donors will be the research & development implications for other conflicts such as Korea or Jerusalem. I can discuss fundraising in a different message.

Cypezokyli wrote: in north ireland the state doesn’t just create schools like that. it created them only when the parents demand them.


True. But here supply will drive demand and not the other way around. If we can supply a product that puts the other competitors to shame for a fraction of the price, won’t it be a popular product?

Cypezokyli wrote: imo , the far right parents will not come anyway. Bilingualism will be a sticking point. Will it really attract more parents if you sacrifice billingualism?


I think it will attract more parents. Both Greek and Turkish could be offered to any student, but the requirement of both could drive away some parents, especially the right-wing ones. It would be good to ask Alex this, especially if he could just consider the far-right population on each side and not all Cypriot adults in general. I do see your point about the respective motherlands doing more economic cooperation, but I don’t know if that’s enough to make both Greek and Turkish a requirement for all students at this school.

Cypezokyli wrote: For a Cypriot it is more important to learn his country’s languages than learning French or Chinese.”


I’m not sure if the politically influential right-wing families would agree with you. I bet that if they want their child to work throughout the EU, they would prioritize English and French or German before the other community’s language.

As for the convincing of the politically influential right-wing families in getting them to send their children to this school: There will naturally be skeptics and refusals in the first few years. It will take probably five to ten years to reach 100% matriculation of this target group (politically influential right-wing from both sides) for any given year. This means that in the first ten years, the school will be less than full while skeptics watch from the sidelines. However, going through this painful developmental phase will all be worthwhile 60 years from now when we look back at what we did and the long-term perspective that we boldly took.

Klik wrote: But still, there's a low chance of succeeding your goal.


I do realize this, that the odds are against it, but I wonder what the other options are. :(

Klik wrote: Even if this is managed at Israel(a totally different issue), in Cyprus, you'll never manage it.


I think in Israel it will be a lot tougher. I’m not even thinking about that place until this works someplace else first. Cyprus is the best bet in my opinion.

Thank you for reading this, everybody, and for your continued interest. :)

[end of part three, more to come]
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Postby zan » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:37 am

Mills Chapman wrote:Hi Zan,

I'll respond to the others' messages in just a moment. As for yours, I'm assuming that you are refering to data and pictures about the Cyprus Problem (CP) and not something such as pornography. At any rate, the school - just like any school - will not have any say as to what the students can see on their home computers. At school, any pictures deemed to be harmful such as pornography can be blocked with CyperPatrol/NetNanny software; that's easy.

Regarding the pictures and data of the CP at school, it's all negotiable, but I would think that they would not be blocked, unless they showed something such as a corpse that the school's leaders deemed to include within the reach of CyperPatrol. The only time that teachers would explicitly bring forth pictures and data about the CP would be in the history class that discusses the CP. There again, like I said in my last message, each side's leaders could meet and see if they want to outline together any harmful content whose potential emotional damage to the students would outweigh any educational gains- such as photos of mass graves with the corpses still in them.

I hope that answers your question.



Thanks for the answer Mills but what I was getting at was the cult status that these banned photos COULD reach outside the classroom. I am still having trouble getting my head round the fact that these children need to have a certain amount of isolation from the main steam in order for the conditioning process to have maximum effect. It seems, to me, that you will be fighting this war from day one and could find yourself dedicating more time trying to explain the things that are not taught in class. Complete isolation is of course not an option as in the case of the "Children of the damned" I mentioned a while back.
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Postby zan » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:52 am

Yes Mills I am in the UK.
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Postby Mills Chapman » Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:20 am

Excuse me, Zan, for the confusion, but I realized that you were in the UK shortly after I posted that question, so I went back and deleted it.

zan wrote: ... what I was getting at was the cult status that these banned photos COULD reach outside the classroom .


To verify, you are talking about photos about the Cyprus Problem, right? (like corpses, etc.) Otherwise, I have no clue what you are referring to.

Also, I didn't know that certain photos were banned. Maybe you are referring to my comment about how the school could potentially block students' access on the computers to certain photos that showed dead bodies or something else that was horribly graphic.

zan wrote: I am still having trouble getting my head round the fact that these children need to have a certain amount of isolation from the main steam in order for the conditioning process to have maximum effect.


I never said this. Well, it depends what you mean by isolating. Students at any school are isolated during school hours from the students at another school, simply because the two schools are in different locations! (But I don't think you are referring to this type of isolation.) The type of school I am describing on this thread is a day school. The students will go home each night, interact with their families and people in their communities, and while with their classmates, will go to other schools on both sides of the Green Line to give presentations about what this particular school is trying to achieve. So, in this sense, it is not at all about isolation. I encourage you to take a look at my proposal, which is accessible from my website, www.cyprussolution.org .

zan wrote: It seems, to me, that you will be fighting this war from day one and could find yourself dedicating more time trying to explain the things that are not taught in class.


What war? :? Do you mean talking about photos of dead Cypriots from the 60's and 70's? I think the way to approach is to field a couple of questions from the students, remind them that they will be learning that later on in their studies at this school - during the History of Cyprus after 1949 course, and then bring the students back on-task to whatever the lesson for that class period is.

zan wrote: Complete isolation is of course not an option as in the case of the "Children of the damned" I mentioned a while back.


I'm sorry, Zan, but I don't know what you mean by the "children of the damned." :? I didn't see that movie. The students of this school won't be drawn in by their special intelligenge or whatever else you may be referring to. Half of the student body will be offered spaces at the school through a lottery offered to the general public. This is not "first come, first serve" but rather a lottery drawing that would randomly pick names of families across the greater Nicosia area that have two-year-olds that year. The other half of the students will have been accepted based on a family member's job in government.

I hope this helps. Thank you for your interest. :) After I finish responding to Cypezokyli, I will have to do other things for awhile, but do let me know if I didn't answer your question. I just might need you to explain it in a different way.
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Postby Mills Chapman » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:18 pm

[Part 4 for Cypezokyli]

Cypezokyli wrote: A far right parent wouldn’t also accept a more neutral side of history.


You may be right, but it’s not as if we would be teaching a neutral side of history. Nothing will be kept away from the students. We would just be showing them twice as much as what they would have been seeing otherwise – their community’s view and the other side’s one too. Each student will be left to make their own decisions. The grade will come from the quality of their reasoning and writing, not which side they choose. This point will be reassuring to the parents.

Cypezokyli wrote: imo, the absence of a common identity is what caused the problem in the first place.


We are in total agreement on this. :wink:

Cypezokyli wrote: It seems to me that you are "satisfied" simply by the co-existence of students.


No, I’m not satisfied by the mere coexistence of the students. What’s critical is the use of cooperative learning for at least 30% of the lessons, whether it is for literature class, science, math, or something else – and not just, in your terms, the “getting together” classes, which we call conflict-resolution education (CRE) programs here in the U.S. I’m sure you are sick of me talking about cooperative learning by now, but it is a fascinating teaching method. When implemented correctly, it has a lot of cognitive benefits and not just socio-emotional benefits, but it is also the “must-have” for me in this school. Without it, you will really struggle to build a superordinate identity among the students, such as a Cypriot identity, even if you have them speaking one language the whole time.

Cypezokyli, also, thanks for pasting the link a long time to your peace studies program in Germany. I'll look into that when I have more time. As for your last post to me, I have one more comment to add, which I will do after I get some rest.

[end of part 4]
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Postby Mills Chapman » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:28 am

Cypezokyli, we agree on the same goal: strengthening the Cypriot identity for future generations – same mountain summit but perhaps different trails to get there. Bilingualism on the part of all Cypriots – speaking G&T – is the ideal and most should go that route. However, I don’t think it is a prerequisite for any one individual attaining the Cypriot identity. If, in the future, a child of a right-wing GC is discouraged by his parents from learning Turkish and never ends up learning it, we can still construct educational processes now (in 2006) to ensure that this future student still ends up identifying more with his (or her) Cypriot-ness than with his Greek ethnicity. The student would have to be in an integrated primary and secondary school where he has successful group learning experiences (cooperative learning) with mixed groups of GCs and TCs – hence the purpose of this school.

I don’t know if they include a social psychology course in your Peace Studies masters program in Germany or not. Most Peace Studies programs look more through the disciplines of political science, economics, history, and sociology. However, you might be very interested in a book called “The Social Animal,” by Elliot Aronson. Perhaps I have mentioned this before in this thread. “The Social Animal” is the best introductory text to social psychology, and social psychology is the discipline that I use when looking at this school’s prospects of success. Related theories to check out are social identity theory, social categorization theory, and social interdependence theory. It’s the group dynamics of the school’s classes that will establish the common identity, not the use of English. English is just there to draw in the right-wing/far-right families. You might want to google the “Common In-group Identity Model.” The lead researcher is Gaertner.
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Postby cypezokyli » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:57 am

i ll search for the book. thanks :)

for the rest, i ll need to think about them for a bit
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Postby Klik » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:49 pm

Firstly, the term "far right" doesn't apply in Cyprus. Here all political parties are based on 'center' ideas. If you are simply talking about some ideas, then you are a bit off, as their ideas just don't comply with what you would believe a Cypriot thinks like. If by far-right, you mean the patriots, then I can just adjust with your vocabulary.

Also, those "far-right" parents you talk about, have money. They wouldn't be tempted with such gestures like free laptops or free food from the canteen etc. Most of them would be against it anyway.(spoiling their children, they would want the school not to interfere with such things.)
I was not referring to scholarships in the previous point, but I'll just state this on the matter. If you offer free scholarships to great schools, the rest of the schools would also attempt to do the same.

A bicommunal education is the last thing people(the majority) would want. They tried to live with Turks in the 60's, and it failed tragically. So, I can't see why Cypriots would want to repeat this. Only the Turkish would want, as they are already sending their children at The English School after the "borders" were free... So the result would lead to a Turkish school with only a few people from the majority of the island... Cypriots cannot even now accept the fact that the north is occupied, and would never ever send their children somewhere to be everyday with their occupiers!

I still stand firm in believing that Israel is a much easier target...
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Postby Mills Chapman » Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:03 pm

Hi Klik,

I mean far-right in terms of relative to other Cypriots on the political spectrum. So, yes, I guess I am referring to patriots. A far-right Cypriot -in my definition - might be considered a right-centrist voter in another country. Just relative to the other voters and politicians in the country.

I don't think it would be easier to get the chlidren of Hamas and the ultra-right Orthodox Jews in Israel to send their children to the same school.

I'll have to respond to the rest later. Thanks for your reply.
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Postby Mills Chapman » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:48 am

Hi folks. I just want to let people know that I have taken www.cyprussolution.org offline. The new website will be http://1for2.org , but it will be offline for at least six months while I build it and do some other things (1for2 = 1 school for the children of 2 opposing governments). For those who are following this, thanks for your patience.
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