TOWARDS A CULTURE OF PEACE
the part peace education can play in unescos program to make the 21st century nonviolent
This draft document was produced by a number of groups concerned about the lack of 'peace education' in schools. Comments on the draft are welcome and in particular we would like to hear about practical examples of 'peace education' from teachers.
The aim is to publish and promote the final document widely within the education sector.
who is this document for?
All those involved in education and campaigning for a more just and peaceful world including:
Policy Makers education officers, principals, heads of departments, governors
Practitioners adults involved in delivering both content based education and skills training
Peace Educators, Youth Workers and Campaigners wishing to explain to others what peace education is and how it can be part of a curriculum
how can it be used ?
As a discussion document for campaign and community groups
As a framework for education policy
As a tool for curriculum planners
assumptions made in this document
That children can be self-disciplined and motivated.
Peace is implicitly part of much education but this peace element must be made more explicit.
We do not need to be locked into violent relationships at any level: personally, locally, nationally or internationally.
Childrens moral development can be enhanced by the appropriate curriculum, teaching methods, relationships in the classroom and school as a whole.
VALUES AND ATTITUDES REQUIRED FOR PEACE EDUCATION
Values and attitudes underpin peace education and need to be addressed through the curriculum and the whole school.
Respect for others regardless of race, gender, age, nationality, class, sexuality, appearance, political or religious belief, physical or mental ability
Empathy a willingness to understand the views of others from their standpoint
A belief that individuals and groups of people can make for positive change
Appreciation of and respect for diversity
Self esteem accepting the intrinsic value of oneself
Commitment to social justice, equity and nonviolence
Concern for the environment and understanding of our place in the eco-system
Commitment to equality
AIMS OF PEACE EDUCATION
- to understand the nature and origins of violence and its effects on both victim and perpetrator;
- to create frameworks for achieving peaceful, creative societies;
- to sharpen awareness about the existence of unpeaceful relationships between people and within and between nations;
- to investigate the causes of conflicts and violence embedded within perceptions, values and attitudes of individuals as well as within social and political structures of society;
- to encourage the search for alternative or possible nonviolent skills;
- to equip children and adults with personal conflict resolution skills.
KEY SKILLS, METHODS AND CONTENT
Peace Education skills
- identifying bias
- problem solving
- sharing and co-operation
- shared decision-making
analysis and critical thinking
- enhancing the self esteem of oneself and others
- creative self expression
- ability to imagine life beyond the present and work towards a vision
- understanding the links between the personal, local and global
communicating through careful observation
- honest talk and sensitive listening
- positive emotional expression
- recognising and expressing feelings in ways that are not aggressive or destructive
- conflict resolution strategies
- nonviolent action in relation to problems both personal and societal
- ability to act on ideas
- self reflection
- independent research
Process and methodology for use in peace education
Active learning/participative methods, experiential learning, partnerships in learning with pupil participation, dialogue, self expression, story telling and response to stories, project work focused on identifying questions and researching answers, encouragement of use of source material, exchange with children from other cultures using their own medium, creative teaching and learning, whole school approach including all staff and links with the wider community.
Content of theory-based peace education
Could include: the role of values systems in religious and secular world views, the history and present day struggles for justice and equality in race and gender, the ethics of science and technology, understanding of the causes of violence and war and other local, national and international disputes, the theory of conflict resolution, visions of the future, political and social change, the economics of war and oppression, human rights and citizenship, violence, war and peacemaking in the media, nonviolence in literature and the arts.
Content of practical expressions of peace-making for use in peace education
Models of peace-making, peace history local, national and international, the role of the United Nations and Non-governmental Organisations, how community groups affect peaceful change, vocations for social change, the role of personal and community health and nutrition in a healthy society, understanding other cultures through language, custom and stories, parenting and child care, bullying and anti-bullying methods, peer mediation and conflict resolution skills for children in the classroom.
The role of violence and conflict in peace education
We recognise that violence as a tool for achieving change is both widely used and feared. It comes in different forms and the fear of violence can be as damaging as violence itself. Violence is embedded in our society not only as a method to solve conflict but in sport, entertainment and literature. Conflict is not the same as violence. Conflict is inevitable in human affairs but violence is not. Conflict can be a positive and creative force for change. Conflict can be approached as a challenge, offering people the chance to be inventive and creative, and to develop in ways they might not have thought of. Dealing with conflict creatively is a vital part of peace education.
PEACE EDUCATION ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
(Drawn from the national curriculum for England and Wales)
Reading and writing: past and present experiences of peace as seen from a variety of viewpoints; communication with other people-particularly those given authority to express opinions about present and future decisions for peace in societies at all levels.
Speaking and listening: working collaboratively with others to reach consensus, particularly over controversial and cross-cultural issues.
Processes of obtaining, analysing and evaluating evidence and making predictions develop social skills for peace and collaborative citizenship; learning about science in everyday life and how to treat living things and the environment with care and sensitivity require awareness of the ethics of science and social responsibility.
History and Geography
Historical knowledge and understanding can be used for explicit learning about experiences of war-making and peace-building in the past; historical skills of interpretation, enquiry and communication can all develop skills for relating learning from the past to planning the future.
Geographical skills of using and interpreting sources can help develop awareness of messages and meaning from different perspectives; learning about places can show how environment and economic factors affect social welfare in different ways in different parts of the world and so help understanding of how local, national and international conflicts may arise and may be resolved peacefully.
Languages and Expressive Arts
Communicating skills and knowledge of a modern foreign language can help young learners express feelings and areas of agreement or disagreement, particularly with first-language speakers, building international exchange and understanding; developing cultural awareness can increase appreciation of values in different societies.
In Art as in Design Technology investigating and making can be practised collaboratively in the classroom. Knowledge and understanding of the arts and crafts of a diversity of societies can heighten sensitivity to different ways of seeing the world and so contribute to future perceptions of peace.
In Music, performing and composing can be collaborative skills, while listening and appraising can encourage appreciation of other cultural values.
Design & Information Technology
Design and making skills can be developed collaboratively through group projects which practise discussion and consensus building.
In Information Technology, communicating and handling information can give great scope for exchanging ideas and experiences with others, particularly other young people across the world.
Processes of collecting, presenting, interpreting data and calculating probabilities can develop skills in communicating meaning with integrity which contribute to peaceful relationships between different groups of people.
Healthy lifestyles, positive attitudes and safe practice can all help develop in young learners a sense of fairness and consideration of others.
Peace education should also be fundamental to the whole life of a school, in Religious and Moral Education, in learning about Citizenship and Community Service, Equal Opportunities and Global Awareness.
Disputes may be inevitable, but violence is not. To prevent continued cycles of conflict, education must seek to promote peace and tolerance, not fuel hatred and suspicion.
UNICEF 1996 State of the Worlds Children: Anti War Agenda.
Help young people integrate their work for peace with every other aspect of life, with their families and communities, religious affiliations, and their jobs and work relationships. The task of inventing peace will require the co-operation of everyone and it will take many years to accomplish.
How You Can Teach Peace: The Seville Statement 1989
Schools are not immune. The disorder of the world surfaces in school in many ways and the very qualities that are needed to address the global crisis are the very same qualities required in school...Any school can become a community which models how the world may be. For example, each person is respected and honoured; mutuality exists in all relationships; resources are used mindfully and justly... The values of community, simplicity, helpfulness, creativity, celebration and openness to the spirit bring with them the possibility of a school where people matter and where they can be fulfilled. The same values are those that can contribute to a world where justice, peace and care for the environment are made a priority.
Values and Visions: Spiritual Development and Global Awareness in the Primary School 1993.
Say very firmly that children learn responsibility best and gain a sense or moral values by discussing, with good guidance from the earliest age, real and controversial issues.
Bernard Crick Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools. September 1998.
Peace Education Network is an umbrella group which brings together peace education practitioners from Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Peace Museum, Council for Education in World Citizenship (CEWC), Pax Christi, Peace Pledge Union, and Quaker Peace & Service among others.