Fifi the Punishing Cat and Other Civic Lessons from a Lebanese Public Kindergarten School

Across the world, education is tasked with rebuilding societies torn apart by violent conflict and riven by economic injustice. In this article, we focus on kindergarten education in the vulnerable, conflict-ridden Lebanese context. However, rather than analyzing the academic learning offered to the children, we consider the affective civic education they are getting through the everyday practices in their classrooms and schools and explore their agency within this social world. By affective civic education we mean the ways that children, even those as young as three to five, are developing embodied messages about their public place as citizen-subjects: about belonging and/or exclusion; about how they are expected to relate to power and authority; and about how to act within and on their social world. Thus, we analyze how children are educated into the affective, lived dimensions of citizenship and belonging.


The authors discuss their work in the Behind the Pages podcast episode embedded below:

Resource Info

Resource Type

Journal Article


Published by

Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE)

Authored by

Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, Garene Kaloustian, Sally Wesley Bonet, and Samira Chatila


Curriculum and Educational Content
Levels of Learning - Early Childhood Development
Research and Evidence

Geographic Focus