Workable Peace: Religion and Nationalism in Northern Ireland

PON Books
December 2007

Workable Peace is an innovative high school humanities curriculum and professional development project for secondary school classrooms.  Using new teaching materials and strategies, Workable Peace integrates the study of intergroup conflict and the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and perspective-taking skills into social studies and humanities content.  It gives teachers academically rigorous tools for teaching the major themes and key events of history in ways that enliven the imagination, awaken moral reasoning, and impart social and civic skills that students can use throughout their lives.

Religion and Nationalism in Northern Ireland discusses the ethnic, political, and religious conflict in Northern Ireland.  Students study the history of the conflict, and examine the responses of various parties to the Good Friday Agreement.  The role play, March at Drumcree, focuses on annual Protestant commemorations celebrating the 1690 defeat of the last Catholic king of England.  These celebrations, in the form of marches through the Protestant neighborhoods of Portadown, have been occurring for nearly two hundred years; however, neighborhood Catholics, who view the marches as a symbol of Protestant domination, have sought to end them.  The representatives and a mediator work to resolve issues about the current march, its route, and its future.