Kevin Kester

Kevin Kester
Seoul National University | SNU · Department of Education

PhD (Cambridge) MA (Toronto) PGC (Columbia)
Building research partnerships in international education and peacebuilding.

About

75
Publications
38,159
Reads
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409
Citations
Citations since 2016
59 Research Items
362 Citations
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Introduction
KEVIN KESTER is Associate Professor of Comparative International Education and Peace/Development Studies in the Department of Education at Seoul National University. His research interests lie in the sociology and politics of education with a focus on the United Nations’ education system; educational peacebuilding; peace & conflict studies; and social theory (de/postcolonial and postmodern thought, and critical pedagogy). For more on his work, see his homepage at https://kevinkester.weebly.com/.
Additional affiliations
March 2018 - July 2020
Keimyung University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
March 2016 - February 2017
University of Cambridge
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2016 - February 2017
University of Cambridge
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2013 - July 2017
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Educational Sociology
June 2012 - August 2012
New York University
Field of study
  • Global Affairs
September 2009 - November 2010
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Comparative International Development Education

Publications

Publications (75)
Article
Universities and scholars around the world teach and research extensively in the field of peace education; yet, despite a plethora of diverse scholarship, educational programs are often critiqued as dominated by the English-speaking world. This paper employs the intersecting lenses of decolonization and postcolonial theory to explore and challenge...
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues for a decolonial praxis in critical peace education. Drawing on an integrative review method, the paper synthesises approaches, practices, and theories from peace and peace education literature with special attention paid to the concepts of critical peace education, cosmopolitanism, postcolonial thought, and decolonial action. The...
Article
Higher education has become increasingly diverse in recent years as patterns of migration expand and grow. However, while different linguistic communities are brought together, English is often conceived as the de facto lingua franca for research, teaching, and learning. This is perhaps especially so in ethnically diverse conflict-affected settings...
Article
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This paper argues for a postcritical praxis in global citizenship education (GCE) and peace education (PE). The paper begins by critiquing the interlocking fields of GCE and PE as problematically framed around the three key pillars of liberal peace. Then, drawing on postabyssal thinking the paper illustrates that the Western-centricity of liberal p...
Article
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Purpose – This comparative case study looks towards the diverse approaches of higher education to support peacebuilding, from policy and philosophy to pedagogical practices, in conflict-affected and post-conflict settings. The achievement of global development goals is dependent on addressing access to quality education in conflict- affected contex...
Article
Full-text available
APER receives a multitude of submissions each day from education researchers all over the world. Indeed, we receive so many submissions that it is only possible to publish a small fraction of these papers (APER’s current acceptance rate is 7%). One of our pleasures as editors is to learn interesting and significant thoughts and findings a bit earli...
Article
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This article explores Colombia's Memory Museum as a form of non-formal peace education in a conflict-affected society. Since the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC, many initiatives have been established to foster reconciliation and sustainable peacebuilding. One such initiative is the Colombian Memory Museum. Through a...
Chapter
Peace and international understanding education as a philosophy and field of practice has grown substantially in recent decades. It is included within global curricular and pedagogical programs of schools, universities, non-governmental organizations, and international agencies. The interdisciplinary field draws on theory and pedagogy from other re...
Article
Higher education has become an important agenda in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. A major aspect of this agenda is the conceptualization of education as a tool not just for development but for peacebuilding. Yet there are few studies examining how university educators might be equipped as frontline peace workers. This study explores: How m...
Article
Full-text available
This is a call for papers for the Asia Pacific Education Review. Proposals due October 1 2021.
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the intersections of peace education (PE) and global citizenship education (GCED) as twin educational fields committed to the cultivation of a global culture of peace. The paper is organized in six sections. The first section outlines a brief history and evolution of GCED and PE in the 20th and 21st centuries. It then provides a...
Article
Betty Reardon, recognized as a leading scholar in the field of peace education, for nearly 65 years, has contributed significantly to the development of the field and its acceptance as a program of study in higher education institutions around the world. She was born on the exact date as Anne Frank—June 12, 1929—and Reardon’s early years overlapped...
Article
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Research indicates that a new diverse body of students on university campuses requires innovative teaching and learning methods that take this complexity into account (Chatelain, 2018; Oberlechner, 2018). This challenge to higher education applies also to the Korean context, where increasing numbers of students are entering Korean universities from...
Book
Full-text available
This book critically examines the reproduction of social inequalities and violence within higher education peace studies inside the United Nations. It overviews how Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) educators conceptualize and practice the field of higher education peace studies around the world, the forms of capital and habitus they possess that c...
Article
This paper draws on the theoretical lens of diffraction to conceptualize a new approach to transrational peace education theory and praxis in the post-2016 posttruth political era and Industry 4.0 economic period. The paper reviews foundational concepts and approaches from key founders of the field — Paulo Freire and Betty Reardon — before turning...
Article
Betty Reardon, recognized as a leading scholar in the field of peace education, for nearly 65 years, has contributed significantly to the development of the field and its acceptance as a program of study in higher education institutions around the world. She was born on the exact date as Anne Frank—June 12, 1929—and Reardon’s early years overlapped...
Article
Peace in and through education has become an important educational development agenda. It has been included in human rights frameworks since 1948, and is emphasized in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, there are few studies examining how Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) scholars, and by extension the institutions they embody, tra...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the life and contributions of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (1921-1997). The emphasis is on his scholarly contributions to educational theory and practice in educational fields that promote social change, including critical pedagogy, literacy education, citizenship education, social justice education, democratic education,...
Chapter
Peace education needs to educate young people who are vulnerable to despair through the recognition of personal situatedness within structures of privilege that have violent effects. Despair can grow when we consider ecological violence alongside structural and cultural violence. We all carry both the oppressor and the oppressed within ourselves. W...
Chapter
Peacebuilding education has grown significantly since the 1970s. It is included within global curricular programs of schools, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The trans-disciplinary field draws on theory, research and pedagogy from other similar educational endeavors, including but not limited to: human rights education,...
Research
Full-text available
Link to full published version here: https://koreatesol.org/content/how-publish-lot-and-still-kind-have-life-tips-and-tricks-phd-students-and-early-career
Article
From my standpoint as a higher education peacebuilder in China and Korea, postmodernism is very much not dead. It may have seemed so when Wang Ning (2013, p. 296) wrote, “postmodernism, as a literary and cultural movement, came to an end some time ago not only in the West but also China.” This short commentary explores the impact of the 2016 UK and...
Chapter
Full-text available
In response to the increasing internationalization of Korean higher education, questions are arising about how educational professionals should respond creatively and effectively to changing demographics and citizenships in classrooms, schools, and universities. Education professionals are increasingly facing the challenge of educating young people...
Article
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Three gaps seem to be present within the literature of peace education: relatively little self-critique of the internal workings of the field; a dearth of studies featuring the personal narratives of peace educators; and an underrepresentation of peace educators from the Global South. To address these three gaps, this qualitative investigation expl...
Article
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This research is a philosophical study into the potentialities of realising a poststructural democratic education through considering the reflections of educators involved in various ‘democratic’ educational programmes. Utilising the conceptual tools of Biesta (2006), as inspired by Arendt (1998), this study explores what it would entail to create...
Article
We believe there are three crises facing peacebuilding education today. The first is the nationalism present in many peace education programs. The second is the continuing cultural imposition of Western ideology and colonialism through peace education efforts. The third is the dominant reliance on rational forms of learning often inconsistent with...
Article
Full-text available
This paper critically examines the underlying theoretical premises of the psycho-social peacebuilding agenda upon which much of peace education is founded. I do this specifically through a reflexive and diffractive analysis to examine the epistemologies, theories and pedagogies that permeate the field. Overall, the paper is positioned within educat...
Article
Peace and conflict studies (PACS) higher education is a blossoming field. Literature (both conceptual and conjectural) and research (theoretical and empirical) has proliferated in recent decades. This paper details case findings from an ethnographic study with university-based PACS educators completed at one University of The United Nations in 2015...
Research
Full-text available
Article
This is a book review of Positive Peace in Schools by Hilary Cremin and Terence Bevington, published by Routledge in 2017.
Article
The United Nations (UN) is often questioned about its ongoing involvement in matters of peace and security, but its involvement in higher education for peace in the 21st century is rarely examined. This paper investigates the use of higher education as a peacebuilding tool within the UN apparatus. First, I describe the work in which UN universities...
Thesis
My PhD thesis critically examines the reproduction of social inequalities and violence within higher education peace studies focusing particularly on the role of peace academics within one University of The United Nations context. The qualitative ethnographic case study investigates how Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) educators conceptualize and...
Article
Peace and conflict studies (PACS) education in recent decades has become a popular approach to social justice learning in higher education institutions, particularly in the Western world, and has been provided legitimacy through numerous United Nations declarations. In the international and comparative fields, the approach has been popularized thro...
Article
This paper is based on work carried out at the University of Cambridge Centre of Governance and Human Rights, and the author gratefully acknowledges their support. An earlier version of the paper was included as a Working Paper with CGHR.
Presentation
Full-text available
This is a presentation file for research training workshops at Endicott College of International Studies, Woosong University.
Research
Full-text available
Newspaper article discussing our approach to International Studies at Endicott College in Korea.
Article
Peace and conflict studies (PACS) education has grown significantly in the last 30 years, mainly in Higher Education. This article critically analyzes the ways in which this field might be subject to poststructural critique, and posits Bourdieusian second-order reflexivity as a means of responding to these critiques. We propose here that theory-bui...
Article
This paper explores the history and philosophical ideas that have driven efforts to achieve universal primary and basic education since 1990. The paper focuses particularly on the role of UNESCO and the World Bank as primary multilateral agencies involved in international educational development debates and policy-making. Using comparative policy a...
Article
Peace and conflict studies (PACS) education has grown significantly in the last 30 years, mainly in Higher Education. This article critically analyzes the ways in which this field might be subject to poststructural critique, and posits Bourdieusian second-order reflexivity as a means of responding to these critiques. We propose here that theory-bui...
Article
This paper examines the role of UN peace academics in teaching for peace within the UN higher education system, and questions what contribution, if any, UN peacebuilding education makes to the broader field of PACS education, and in the lives of the people it touches. The study draws on ethnographic data collected over a six-month period at one UN...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this article, we discuss the intersections between human rights, human rights education, and technology. In particular, drawing on Foucault, we problematize the mainstream approaches to these endeavours as framed within liberal humanist ideals. To locate human rights within a technologic and liberal humanist framework, we first review Foucault’s...
Article
This article examines higher education for peace inside the United Nations (UN). It offers an overview and synthesis of core concepts, organizing frameworks and theoretical premises in the field of peace and conflict studies (PACS) higher education and in the UN universities in particular, as the field aspires toward transformative learning and soc...
Research
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Summary of small-scale study on CVs of officials working within the UN in 2014. What level of education, subject and institutional affiliations dominate the educational backgrounds of those individuals working within the UN system?
Research
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Another piece of "educational journalism" from 2015.
Article
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Book review of Eurasian Inter-University Dialogues.
Article
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Each year the Asia-Pacific centre of education for international understanding (APCEIU), operating under the auspices of UNESCO, hosts a peace education training-of-trainer’s program for teacher-educators from Asia-Pacific member states. In this paper, I examine through a qualitative case study approach the programmatic design and evaluation of the...
Article
Full-text available
Businesses work towards making a profit by selling products and services. They are often willing to change the way they operate if they perceive a potential increase in their revenues. On the other hand, green consumers want to decrease businesses’ environmental impact. Such consumers are often willing to reward a business with profits if the busin...
Article
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This article aims to briefly introduce the field of peace education to adult, higher education and secondary school practitioners. Aiming to confront and resist violence, peace education focuses on the necessary content and pedagogical approaches needed to nurture cultures of peace in a variety of communities. The common themes, pedagogies, trainin...
Article
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Book review of Democracy and Higher Education.
Article
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Book review of Learning Citizenship by Practicing Democracy (2011).
Article
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Kevin Kester and Ashley Booth in a ‘spoken essay’ explore the dialectic of democracy and citizenship education in the work of Paulo Freire (1921–1997), and highlight the implications of participatory pedagogy/democracy in adult education. They embed the discussion within discourse on Freire and popular/peace education, particularly where this educa...
Thesis
Each year the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), operating under the auspices of UNESCO, hosts a peace education training-of-trainer’s program for teacher-educators from across the Asia-Pacific. In this thesis, I examine through a qualitative case study approach the programmatic design and evaluation of the A...
Article
Full-text available
The inclusion of youth in peacebuilding initiatives brings vibrancy and creativity to peacebuilding efforts. Believing that youth offer creative energy and active potential for the transformation of violent conflict in the world -- and believing that education is a space for nurturing cultures of peace or cultures of war -- peace educators maintain...
Article
Full-text available
Now, more than any other time in our history, technology has connected cultures, radically increasing the opportunities for contact between peoples across the globe. Religions are converging as never before, corporate conglomerations are multiplying, and differing economic and political systems are increasingly pitted against each other. Earth’s re...
Article
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Peace Education is a living, dynamic organism, and as much as life itself is education, education must be living. This necessitates the transformation of anesthetized and oppressive classrooms into dynamic, participatory spaces of sharing and creating knowledge. Storytelling and experience, thus, is considered herein as substantial teaching methodo...
Article
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This paper outlines a framework for developing peace education programs in high schools and undergraduate institutions. Historical peace education programs are reviewed and integrated into a comprehensive program of substantive peace education content and pedagogy. The historical programs reviewed include the Integral Model of Peace Education, Lear...
Article
Full-text available
This paper posits that gender, the most prevalent form of diversity in our lives, can be an important tool to promote racial consciousness and awareness of other forms of discrimination. Exploratory and qualitative research was conducted with educators in two diverse settings- Shizuoka, Japan and Kentucky, United States to assess the presence of ge...

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (8)
Project
Exploring and advancing peace education theory and practice for the 21st Century.
Archived project
We are evaluators for a multi-country exploratory impact assessment of the affect of implementing a Learning Communities for Peace model in diverse settings across Europe. Communities that will utilize the LCP model will engage closely with new migrants (in schools, community centers, home settings) around issues of peacebuilding, intercultural understanding, and community cohesion. It is expected that the impact assessment will contribute to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of using such a model to foster dynamic communities of peace dealing with forced migration.
Project
• To advance a critical, political sociological perspective on the ethical and pedagogical challenges of the posttruth era for higher education. • To increase awareness about possible pedagogical responses for the teaching of controversial issues in higher education in posttruth times. • To contribute critical and creative approaches in the development of new higher education pedagogies for working with diverse populations. • To provide new empirical knowledge on United Nations higher education today and its relationship to liberal pedagogy and posttruth concerns by interviewing higher education pedagogues (and students) working inside the UN. • To examine the battle for power in a new political economy in which the collection and leverage of ‘emotional data’ (rather than big/quantitative and deep/qualitative data) becomes a key tool to influence audiences.