All About Peace Education
ALL ABOUT PEACE EDUCATION *Dr. Ajay Kumar Attri, Lecturer; Department of Education, MLSM College ; Sundernagar; Mandi (H. P) ? INTRODUCTION: Education shall be directed toward the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. Article 26, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Peace education is an elusive concept.
Although peace always has been and continues to be the object of an unceasing quest in almost all communities and groups, the training of each new generation centers on divisive issues of in-group/out-group differentiations, intergroup conflict and ongoing preparation for defense and war against real and perceived enemies. The universal presence of conflict and war in human history has always necessitated that priority be given to education for conflict management and war preparation, and for the preservation of the larger community, every new generation has been prepared to be sacrificed at the altar of war.
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However, as a result of experiencing the world-devouring and technologically advanced wars of the last two centuries, and the parallel emergence of world-embracing concepts and perspectives on the fundamental oneness and interrelatedness of all humanity, in recent decades the concept of peace education has gained momentum and is gradually being accepted as an important and necessary dimension of truly democratic and progressive societies. The promotion of peace through education is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission.
As stated in its constitution of 1945, UNESCO advances international peace and the common welfare of humanity through educational, scientific and cultural relations between peoples of the world. Though the world has changed over the past sixty years and continues to change at an ever increasing rate, UNESCO’s mission – a commitment to promoting universal values of peace and nonviolence, human rights and social justice, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding – persists with growing urgency.
UNESCO’s approach to educating for peace is multidimensional, in that it links education with a range of activities that address the root causes of violence, from human security to sustainable development. The goal of UNESCO’s education programmes and partnerships is the development of comprehensive systems of education that embrace the values of human rights, intercultural understanding and tolerance. Education for peace and non-violence promotes the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire these values. ORIGIN OF PEACE EDUCATION: In 1945, the United Nations was established to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, “to reaffirm faith in the …dignity and worth of the human person [and] in the equal rights of men and women”, “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”, and “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…”. Preamble to the UN Charter) Peace education has developed as a means to achieve these goals. It is education that is “directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”. It promotes “understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups” and furthers “the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. ” (Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Peace education encompasses the key concepts of education and peace. While it is possible to define education as a process of systematic institutionalized transmission of knowledge and skills, as well as of basic values and norms that are accepted in a certain society, the concept of peace is less clearly defined. Many writers make an important distinction between positive and negative peace. Negative peace is defined as the absence of large-scale physical violence – the absence of the condition of war.
Positive peace involves the development of a society in which, except for the absence of direct violence, there is no structural violence or social injustice. Accordingly, peace education could be defined as an interdisciplinary area of education whose goal is institutionalized and non-institutionalized teaching about peace and for peace. Peace education aims to help students acquire skills for non-violent conflict resolution and to reinforce these skills for active and responsible action in the society for the promotion of the values of peace.
Therefore, unlike the concept of conflict resolution, which can be considered to be retroactive – trying to solve a conflict after it has already occurred – peace education has a more proactive approach. Its aim is to prevent a conflict in advance or rather to educate individuals and a society for a peaceful existence on the basis of non-violence, tolerance, equality, respect for differences, and social justice. ? PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE EDUCATION ? Definition of the Philosophy of Peace Education:
The philosophy of peace education can be defined, most simply, as the elaboration of reasons why we ought to be committed to peace education. To some extent, all writers on peace and peace education may be said to be articulating reasons why we ought to be committed to peace education. However, if we think of an organized philosophy of peace education, this implies that such reasons for the commitment to peace education as organized within the context of established philosophical traditions.
A philosophy of peace education is thus more than a personal statement of the importance of peace education, as valuable as this might be. There must be some argumentation of the importance of peace education through either established philosophers and/or established schools of philosophical debate. ? Dearth of Attention to the Philosophy of Peace Education: There are many within the field of peace research and education who have lamented the dearth of attention to developing a systematic philosophy of peace education.
In 1965, Johan Galtung referred to “dephilosophizing” within peace research, that is, merely “collecting research experience without having a satisfactory definition and a conceptual framework and a deductive theory” . Galtung was referring to peace research, although the diagnosis from Galtung regarding peace education is similar. Galtung contended in 1971 that a theory for peace education had yet to be developed and the need for such a theory clearly existed.
Over a decade later, Nigel Blake reached a similar conclusion, ending an essay on peace education with a call for philosophical work on the field; as such work was “urgent”. ? Reasons for a Philosophy of Peace Education: The reasons for developing a philosophy of peace education are, at one level, similar to the reasons for developing a philosophy for any educational activity. Put simply, if the state and civil society are expected to commit resources to peace education, then it is reasonable that the state and civil society be told why this is important.
Peace education is often mentioned within United Nations instruments as being of central importance, although it most instances this is an assumed importance (Page, 2004:4,5). The importance of peace and education for peace may well be obvious to some, although it does nevertheless need to be argued. In addition to this, there is a special reason for articulating an educational philosophy with regard to peace education: peace education is often prone to accusations of political correctness (something which we might define as fashionable morality) or constituting a form of indoctrination.
If indeed peace education is to be regarded as more than political correctness or indoctrination, then a well developed philosophy of peace education is one way of countering this accusation. In developing a philosophy of peace education, we are arguably engaging in an apologetics of peace education and subtly also an apologetics of peace. ? The Expansive Nature of a Philosophy of Peace Education: One of the central problems for articulating a philosophy of peace education is the definition problem of peace education, in much same way that the definition of peace is a problem for peace research.
Working from Galtungian theory, peace is now generally taken to include direct peace, structural peace and cultural peace. So too, peace education may be taken to include development education, futures education, educational for international understanding, human rights education, inclusive education and environmental education. One problem which flows from this is whether a philosophy of peace education ought to constitute a philosophy of the expansive understanding of peace education and, if so, how the definitional boundaries ought to be drawn.
A related problem for a philosophy of peace education is the closeness of peace education to peace advocacy, especially if we think of education operating within formal and informal contexts. For education within formal contexts, it is relatively easy to distinguish peace education from peace advocacy, although the distinction is not so straightforward for education within an informal context. In some respects peace education is a form of peace advocacy.
This expanded notion of the philosophy of peace education is not something we ought necessarily to feel uneasy about: the leading figure of modern educational philosophy, John Dewey, famously equated philosophy with the philosophy-of-education, suggesting that philosophy may be described as a general theory of education and that philosophy substantially originated in response to educational questions. ? Philosophy of Peace Education: Future Directions for Research: One of the adages of philosophy is that there is always more work to be undertaken and this applies also to the project of establishing a philosophy of peace education.
The challenge of encouraging individuals and groups to interact harmoniously and creatively, with themselves and their environment, is such a profound and multifaceted challenge that it is appropriate that we should think of the task of establishing a philosophy of education as one which still yet to be completed. Areas for further investigation include: the interaction between religious education and peace education; peace education and indoctrination; a post-foundationalist basis for peace education; non-western sources for peace education; imagination and peace ducation; eschatology and peace education; peace education and justice education; and a philosophy for teaching peace to the military. The philosophy of peace education is fundamentally a theoretical exercise, although it may nevertheless serve as an exercise in applied philosophy. A formal philosophy of peace education can assist to undergird both individual and institutional commitment to peace education, in all levels of education. For instance, within each of the five philosophical rationales for peace education outlined in the previous section, there are hints as to what some practical approaches to peace education might look like.
Peace education may be thought of as encouraging a commitment to peace as a settled disposition and enhancing the confidence of the individual as an agent for peace; as informing the student on the consequences of war and social injustice; as informing the student on the value of peaceful and just social structures and working to uphold or develop such social structures; as encouraging the student to love the world and to imagine a peaceful future; and as caring for the student and encouraging the student to care for others. WHAT IS PEACE EDUCATION: UNICEF and UNESCO are particularly active advocates of education for peace. UNICEF describes peace education as schooling and other educational initiatives that: • Function as ‘zones of peace’, where children are safe from violent conflict. • Uphold children’s basic rights as outlined in the CRC. • Develop a climate that models peaceful and respectful behavior among all members of the learning community. • Demonstrate the principles of equality and non-discrimination in administrative policies and practices. Draw on the knowledge of peace-building that exists in the community, including means of dealing with conflict that are effective, non-violent, and rooted in the local culture. • Handle conflicts in ways that respect the rights and dignity of all involved. • Integrate an understanding of peace, human rights, social justice and global issues throughout the curriculum whenever possible. • Provide a forum for the explicit discussion of values of peace and social justice. • Use teaching and learning methods that stress participation, cooperation, problem-solving and respect for differences. Enable children to put peace-making into practice in the educational setting as well as in the wider community. • Generate opportunities for continuous reflection and professional development of all educators in relation to issues of peace, justice and rights. (Peace Education in UNICEF, Working Paper Series, July 1999) Peace education may be defined as the process of acquiring the values, the knowledge and developing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment.
There is thus no shortage of official statements on the importance of peace education. There are numerous United Nations declarations or instruments which confirm the importance of peace education. Koichiro Matsuura, the immediate past Director-General of UNESCO, has written of peace education as being of “fundamental importance to the mission of UNESCO and the United Nations”.
Peace education as a right is something which is now increasingly emphasized by peace researchers such as Betty Reardon and Douglas Roche There has also been a recent meshing of peace education and human rights education . Ian Harris and John Synott have described peace education as a series of “teaching encounters” that draw from people: their desire for peace, non-violent alternatives for managing conflict, and skills for critical analysis of structural arrangements that produce and legitimate injustice and inequality.
James Page suggests peace education be thought of as “encouraging a commitment to peace as a settled disposition and enhancing the confidence of the individual as an individual agent of peace; as informing the student on the consequences of war and social injustice; as informing the student on the value of peaceful and just social structures and working to uphold or develop such social structures; as encouraging the student to love the world and to imagine a peaceful future; and as caring for the student and encouraging the student to care for others” .
Often the theory or philosophy of peace education has been assumed and not articulated. Johan Galtung suggested in 1975 that no theory for peace education existed and that there was clearly an urgent need for such theory. More recently there have been attempts to establish such a theory. Joachim James Calleja has suggested that a philosophical basis for peace education might be located in the Kantian notion of duty. James Page has suggested that a rationale for peace education might be located in virtue ethics, consequentialist ethics, conservative political ethics, aesthetic ethics and the ethics of care.
Since the early decades of the 20th century, “peace education” programs around the world have represented a spectrum of focal themes, including anti-nuclearism, international understanding, environmental responsibility, communication skills, non-violence, conflict resolution techniques, democracy, human rights awareness, tolerance of diversity, coexistence and gender equality, among others. Some have also addressed spiritual dimensions of inner harmony, or synthesized a number of the foregoing issues into programs on world citizenship.
While academic discourse on the subject has increasingly recognized the need for a broader, more holistic approach to peace education, a review of field-based projects reveals that three variations of peace education are most common: conflict resolution training, democracy education, and human rights education. New approaches are emerging and calling into question some of theoretical foundations of the models just mentioned. The most significant of these new approaches focuses on peace education as a process of worldview transformation. FRAMEWORK AND RATIONALE OF PEACE EDUCATION: Many teachers are already practicing peace education without calling it by name. Historically, in various parts of the world, peace education has been referred to as Education for Conflict Resolution, International Understanding, and Human Rights; Global Education; Critical Pedagogy; Education for Liberation and Empowerment; Social Justice Education; Environmental Education; Life Skills Education; Disarmament and Development Education, and more. These various labels illuminate the depth and diversity of the field.
Using the term peace education helps coordinate such global initiatives and unite educators in the common practice of educating for a culture of peace. Because the year 2000 is the International Year for the Culture of Peace (UN Doc A/RES/52/15) and the period 2001-2010 is the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (UN Doc A/RES/53/25), the UN Cyberschoolbus Peace Education site promotes the global movement to build and sustain a culture of peace through education. The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001-2010: As the lead agency within the UN system for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001-2010, UNESCO is responsible for coordinating and directly implementing activities that promote the objectives of the Decade through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.
The culture of peace is defined as a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence and aim to prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes through dialogue and negotiation between individuals, groups and nations. UNESCO promotes the culture of peace through an intersectoral platform. This platform involves all five sectors of UNESCO: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.
It seeks to mainstream intercultural dialogue in policies and actions with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, tolerance and respect, all of which are considered to be creative forces for a sustainable future. The intersectoral platform will also develop tools based on good practices in intercultural dialogue. Education for non-violence and peace includes training, skills and information directed towards cultivating a culture of peace based on human rights principles.
This education not only provides knowledge about a culture of peace, but also imparts the skills and attitudes necessary to defuse and recognize potential conflicts, and those needed to actively promote and establish a culture of peace and non-violence. The learning objectives of peace education may include an understanding of the manifestations of violence, the development of capacities to respond constructively to that violence and specific knowledge of alternatives to violence. Two fundamental concepts of peace education are respect and skills.
Respect refers to the development of respect for self and for others; skills refer to specific communication, cooperation and behavioral skills used in conflict situations. UNESCO’s activities, projects and partners in education for peace and non-violence work with a holistic approach to establish and nurture the respect and skills needed to build a culture of peace. ? PREREQUISITES AND COMPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE PEACE EDUCATION: Based on the insights emerging from peace education research four prerequisite conditions for effective peace education are identified.
These prerequisites also constitute the main components of peace education. In other words, the requirements and components of effective peace education are identical and give peace education a self-regenerative and organic quality. Thus, peace is a requirement for effective peace education, and peace education creates higher states of peace. ? Prerequisite I: truly effective peace education can only take place in the context of a unity-based worldview Peace education and civilization are inseparable dimensions of human progress.
Expressed differently, peace education is the only route to true civilization and true civilization is both peaceful and peace creating. However, in practice, nearly all segments of society ignore this fundamental fact and train every new generation of children and youth in accordance with conflict-based perspectives. The reason why peace education is ‘such a difficult task’, Ruth Firer (2002, p. 55) observes, is ‘the continuous war education that youngsters and adults have been receiving since the beginning of mankind’.
Firer’s observation is validated when we critically review the current underlying worldviews that shape and inform our pedagogical philosophies and practices and it becomes evident that most current approaches to education revolve around the issues of conflict, violence and war. This is equally true about education at home, in school, within the community, through the example of ethnic and national heroes and leaders and through the mass media (television, Internet and the entertainment and recreation industry).
In the context of family, not infrequently, parents find themselves facing conflicts that they are often unable to resolve effectively and positively. Many parents also— intentionally or inadvertently—provide their children with the notion that the primary purpose of life is to ensure one’s own survival, security and success in a dangerous, conflicted and violent world. Many teach their children that the most primal and powerful forces operating in life are those of competition and struggle. Children receive the same message from other influential sources of education in their homes, namely television, Internet and games.
In school, children once again are introduced to these conflict-based views through the actual experience of school life—with its culture of otherness, conflict, competition, aggression, bullying and violence—and through concepts provided by teachers and textbooks that further validate these conflict-oriented ideas and experiences. History textbooks, by and large, are the accounts of rivalries, conflicts, wars, conquests and defeats, with men as the main actors on the stage of social life. Many works of literature are renditions of the same processes in dramatic, emotionally charged and highly stirring manner.
In biology classes, the emphasis is on survival and struggle that is observed at all levels of life. However, issues of coexistence, interdependence and cooperation—factors that are at the core of both formation and maintenance of life— are often given less attention and credence. In social studies, children are taught the dynamics of in-group and out-group and the notions of foreignness and otherness. Political science revolves around issues of power, competition, winning and losing and economic theories promote various concepts based on the notion of the survival of the fittest.
We teach our children that the world is a jungle, that life is the process of survival in this jungle and that power is the essential tool to emerge victorious in this highly conflicted and violence-prone world. It is, therefore, not surprising that every new generation matures with much greater familiarity, certainty and comfort with the ways of conflict, competition and violence than those of harmony, cooperation and peace. Truly effective peace education can only take place when the conflict-based worldviews which inform most of our educational endeavours are replaced with peacebased worldviews. Duffy (2000, p. 6), in a detailed review of peace education efforts aimed at creating a culture of peace in Northern Ireland, concludes that ‘it is difficult to be optimistic about the long-term possibilities of promoting change’ in conditions of conflict in Northern Ireland unless a ‘dynamic model of education’ is introduced that ‘will encourage young people in Northern Ireland to question the traditional sectarian values of their homes’. In his review of various approaches to peace education in Northern Ireland, Duffy observes that no satisfactory approach has been found, despite considerable effort and expenditure of human and financial resources. Prerequisite II: peace education can best take place in the context of a culture of peace In a review of 50 years of research on peace education, Vriens (1999, pp. 48–49) finds that peace education is a difficult task even in relatively more peaceful communities and concludes that although ‘studies of children’s conceptions of war and peace are very important for the realisation of a balanced peace education strategy’, nevertheless, ‘research cannot tell us what peace education should be’.
Peace research has a better potential to tell us what should not be done, rather than what we need to do to create peace. However, common sense dictates that we cannot educate our children and youth about peace in an environment of conflict and violence. Therefore, in May 2000, when we started the implementation of the EFP programme in six primary and secondary schools in BiH, our primary objective was to attempt to create a culture of peace in and between these schools along the parameters outlined by the United Nations (1998):
The culture of peace is based on the principles established in the Charter of the United Nations and on respect for human rights, democracy and tolerance, the promotion of development, education for peace, the free flow of information and the wider participation of women as an integral approach to preventing violence and conflicts, and efforts aimed at the creation of conditions for peace and its consolidation (A/Res/52/13, 15 January 1998, para. 2).
Following these objectives, it was observed that although significant number of courses and projects on such topics as human rights, democracy, tolerance and equality have been and were continuing to be offered in their respective schools, the overall level of satisfaction with the effectiveness of these programmes was low. Several reasons were identified for this dissatisfaction, among them the facts that: ? In each school only a small number, usually one or two classes, received training in one or another of these issues for a short period as extracurricular activities. At the psychological level, the participating students were not ready to deal with such issues as tolerance, democracy and human rights. They needed careful preparation to tackle these potentially painful and bewildering issues. This applied not only to the students, but also to their parents and teachers at a deeper level because of the direct participation of most adults in the recent war, just five years earlier. At the social level, the necessary degree of trust and confidence has not been developed between members of the participating school communities, who came from other cities and regions of the country, generally viewed by each group as the home of ‘the enemy’. The necessary interface, communication, dialogue and joint activities— essential for removing the stereotypes, misconceptions and flawed information that many of the teachers, students and parents had about the ‘other’ groups— ad not yet taken place between members of participating school communities. In the absence of such close encounters, study of these issues can be perceived as being either unrealistic or not applicable to the realities of the life of these students. ? The fact that the subjects of human rights, tolerance, democracy, equality, freedom, etc. , which the students were learning in these special classes, were not yet present in the mindsets and practices of their respective communities.
The discrepancy between theory and practice always has a detrimental impact on students’ learning processes as it places them in a state of conflict between what is said and what is done. It is for this reason that peace education needs to help the students to develop a worldview based on peace principles within a peace-based environment. As UNESCO states, ‘first and foremost, a culture of peace implies a global effort to change how people think and act in order to promote peace’ (UNESCO, 1998, p. 1).
The issue of the necessity of change of mindset and the behaviour emanating from it is not only a social and political necessity, but is also strongly needed in the religious thinking of people and their leaders. It is a fact that religions have always played, and continue to play, a cardinal role in the worldview and behaviour of their followers and not infrequently have been, and continue to be, the cause of conflict and war in human history. The following statement is of a particular importance with regards to the role of religion in development of peace:
Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth; it should give birth to spirituality, and bring light and life to every soul. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division it would be better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act … Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion (’Abdu’l-Baha, 1961, p. 130). However, the task of worldview transformation is very difficult, even nder normal conditions. But, under conditions of conflict, violence and war a new and more fundamental challenge to the goal of changing ‘how people think’ is encountered. Conflict and violence afflict and damage all aspect of human life. They destroy the physical habitat of people. They inflict physical and psychological injuries on people. They cause social dislocation, poverty and disease and weaken the moral and spiritual fabric of individual and community life.
Conflict, violence and war negatively impact every aspect of life: environmental, medical, psychological, economic, social, moral and spiritual. These injuries make the task of creation of a culture of peace very difficult and point to yet another prerequisite condition for effective peace education—a culture of healing. Successful peace education can only take place in a peace-oriented milieu—a culture of peace—which in turn requires the opportunity for the participants to heal their conflict-inflicted injuries in the context of a healing environment. Prerequisite III: peace education best takes place within the context of a culture of healing One wide-ranging review of peace education activities and research concludes that ‘peace education is an extremely difficult task in war and post-war situations primarily because of the tremendous need for children to overcome the catastrophic impact of war on all aspects of their lives and grieve their monumental losses’ (Vriens 1999, p. 46).
Ervin Staub (2002), reporting on his work in Rwanda, points to the importance of healing from trauma and states that ‘without such healing, feeling vulnerable and seeing the world as dangerous, survivors of violence may feel that they need to defend themselves from threat and danger. As they engage in what they see as selfdefense, they can become perpetrators’ (p. 83). Here, Staub is describing the relationship between culture of healing and culture of peace.
An important aspect of healing is the process of reconciliation, which has received considerable attention in recent years through the institution of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in several different countries. Luc Huyse (2003) identifies three stages in the process of reconciliation: (1) replacing fear by non-violent coexistence; (2) creating conditions in which fear no longer rules and confidence and trust are being built; and (3) the involved community is moving towards ‘empathy’ (p. 19).
He furthermore states ‘all steps in the process [of reconciliation] entail the reconciling of not only individuals, but also groups and communities as a whole’ (p. 22). These conclusions, drawn from the recent experiments with truth and reconciliation commissions in South Africa and elsewhere, point to the need for the creation of special environments required for the process of healing the wounds of conflict and violence. The notion of creating a culture of healing includes the realization that ‘healing is inevitably a lengthy and culturally-bound process’ (Hamber, 2003, p. 78).
Cognizant of these challenges, we began the EFP programme in BiH by focusing on those issues that could help students, their teachers and, indirectly, their parents, to gradually free themselves from the immediate psychosocial conditions that were keeping them in a continuous state of considerable fear and mistrust, on the one hand, and deep resentment and anger, on the other. We needed to create a safe and positive atmosphere of trust in and between the participating school communities, whose populations came from all three ethnic groups and who until recently had been at war with each other.
By the end of the first year of the implementation of EFP this objective was achieved at a very significant level through multiple modalities including: conceptual and cognitive instructions; creative and artistic presentations; meaningful, effective and sustained dialogue; complete transparency and openness; and full appreciation and profound respect for the rich and unique cultural heritage of all participants.
Gradually, students and teachers began to discuss the impact of war on themselves and their families and communities in an environment characterized by mutual trust, optimism and a sense of empowerment and a culture of healing began to permeate these school communities. ? Prerequisite IV: peace education is most effective when it constitutes the framework for all educational activities The first three prerequisite conditions for peace education—the need for a unitybased worldview, a culture of peace and a culture of healing—together point to the need for a peace-based curriculum.
The notion of peace-based curriculum demands a total reorientation and transformation of our approach to education with the ultimate aim of creating a civilization of peace, which is at once a political, social, ethical and spiritual state. Political and social dimensions of peace have historically received considerable attention, and in recent decades, moral and ethical aspects of peace have also been incorporated in humanity’s agenda, through national and international declarations of human rights and focus on the issue of nonviolence.
However, the spiritual aspect of peace has received considerably less attention, which is especially significant in the light of current political and social dialogue about the place of religion and spirituality in the individual and collective life of humanity. This is so because, as is evident in our world today and as the history so graphically demonstrates, the political, social, legal and ethical efforts of leaders and peoples combined cannot yield their ultimate desired result—peace. Peace in its essence is a spiritual state with political, social and ethical expressions.
The human spirit must be civilized before we can create a progressive material, social and political civilization. Peace must first take place in human consciousness—in our thoughts, sentiments and objectives—which are all shaped by the nature and focus of our education. To meet these requirements, the peace education curriculum needs to integrate and pay equal attention to all aspects of peace: its psychological roots; social, economic and political causes; moral and ethical dimensions; and transcendent spiritual foundations.
Without any of these factors, achievement of peace remains an aspiration rather than an established reality. Such a comprehensive, sustainable, restorative, transformative, inclusive and integrative programme of peace education requires a multifaceted and multi-level approach. This curriculum needs to be formulated within the framework of a peace-based worldview. It needs to take into consideration the developmental processes of human understanding and consciousness that shape the nature and quality of our responses to the challenges of life both at individual and collective levels.
A comprehensive peace education must address the all-important issue of human relationships. At home, in school and within the community, children and youth are constantly learning about relationships, if not in a measured, thoughtful, systematic manner, then in a haphazard, careless and injurious manner. This curriculum must teach the children and youth not only the causes of conflict, violence and war and the ways of preventing and resolving them, but also the dynamics of love, unity and peace at individual, interpersonal, intergroup and universal levels.
In the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1961): ‘Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfil them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves’ (pp. 291–292). ? THE PRINCIPLES AND THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Since the psychologist Gordon Allport formulated his well-known contact hypothesis in 1954, this theoretical framework became the most applicable principle for programs whose main goal is to change the relationships between groups in conflict.
According to Allport’s theory, for the inter-group contact to be successful and accomplish positive changes in attitudes and behaviour, it must fulfil four basic conditions: the contact groups must be of equal status, the contact must be personal and manifold, the groups must depend on each other working for a superordinate goal, and there must be institutional support for the equality norm.
The numerous re-search projects that tried to verify the predictions of the contact hypothesis provided contradictory results, raising serious doubts about the major cognitive, affective, and behavioural shifts that occur as a result of organized meetings between representatives of conflicting groups. Almost every new study added new conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the contact to be successful. Even if there is a positive change in the attitude toward members of the out-group in direct contact, there is a question of the generalization of the newly formed attitude to the other members of the out-group. The key roblem of peace education is not the interpersonal conflict but the collective conflict between groups, races, nations, or states. Therefore, the issue of transferring the positive attitudes toward members of other groups – attitudes achieved in safe environments such as classrooms, schools, workshops, and the like – to all members of the out-group and all other out-groups remains the pivotal issue of peace education. Children learn about peace and the need for peace in safe protected environments and then return to a wider society where there is still injustice, asymmetry of power, a hierarchical structure, discrimination, and xenophobia.
Therefore, each program for peace education must not only strengthen the capacity of an individual for critical thinking but also strengthen the individual’s ability to resist the majority, if the majority is one that discriminates. As stated by Ervin Staub in 1999, for change to happen and spread there is a need for a minimum mass of people who share attitudes, a culture in which they can express those attitudes, and a society that accepts the attitudes. Based on the contact hypothesis, a very successful technique was developed for improving the relations among groups, highly applicable as a general teaching and learning method.
It is the cooperative learning technique in which a smaller group of students study in face-to-face interaction, cooperating to complete a common task. This technique was very successful both in lower and higher grades of elementary school, not only as a teaching method but also for creating a positive atmosphere in the classroom, reinforcing students’ relationships, and creating inter-group friendships. On the other hand, based on the idea that adopting knowledge and developing skills is the basis for gaining positive attitudes and behaviour, intercultural training programs were also developed.
These basically involve a group of techniques that accept the primary notion that differences between cultures are what lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between groups. Such programs assume that information about the values, customs, and practices of the members of a different culture contributes to better understanding of others, thereby reducing prejudices, negative stereotypes, and tensions between people who belong to different cultures. Research has shown that ignorance about others plays a significant role in the development and perpetuation of prejudices.
Educating students about both cultural similarities and differences is a significant factor in reducing prejudice. ? THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEACE EDUCATION AND ITS BASIC PRINCIPLES: The understanding of the concept of peace has changed throughout history, and so has its role and importance in the educational system from the very beginnings of the institutionalized socialization of children. When discussing the evolution of peace education, however, there have been a few important points in history that defined its aims and actions.
The end of World War I (1914 – 1918) brought powerful support for the need for international cooperation and understanding and helped instill a desire to include these ideas in educational systems. The League of Nations and a number of nongovernmental organizations worked together on these ideas, especially through the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, an organization that was the predecessor of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
World War II (1939 – 1945) ended with millions of victims and the frightening use of atomic weapons against Japan, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1946 UNESCO was founded as an umbrella institution of the United Nations, and it was charged with planning, developing, and implementing general changes in education according to the international politics of peace and security. The statute of this organization reinforced the principle of the role of education in the development of peace, and a framework was created for including and applying the principles of peace in the general world education systems.
The cold war division of the world after World War II and the strategy of the balance of fear between the so-called West and East blocs redirected the peace efforts. The peace movement began concentrating on stopping the threat of nuclear war, halting the arms race, and encouraging disarmament. Somewhat parallel to this, the issues of environmental protection and development found their place in peace education programs.
The contemporary socio-political environment (particularly the events in Eastern Europe since the early 1990s, the fear of terrorism, and the increasing gap between developed and undeveloped countries) has created new challenges for the understanding of peace and for the development of the underlying principles of responsibility and security. A 1996 book by Robin Burns and Robert Aspeslagh showed that the field and the themes that are included in peace education are diverse. The diversity is evident in theoretical approaches, underlying philosophies, basic methodology, and goals.
Within the field of peace education, therefore, one can find a variety of issues, ranging from violence in schools to international security and cooperation, from the conflict between the developed world and the undeveloped world to peace as the ideal for the future, from the question of human rights to the teaching of sustainable development and environmental protection. A critic could say that the field is too wide and that peace education is full of people with good intentions but without a unique theoretical framework, firm methodology, and an evaluation of the outcomes of the practical efforts and programs of peace education.
Some within the field would generally agree with this criticism. Nevertheless, the importance of accepting the specific situations in which programs for peace are being implemented and held should be emphasized. Owing to these specifics, difficulties emerge when one tries to define the unique approach, methodology, and evaluation of the efficiency of applied programs. The complex systems of society, the circumstances, and the context make the peace education field very active and diverse. PEACE EDUCATION DISCREPANCIES:INDIVIDUAL, GROUP CONFLICT: In the active process of achieving positive peace, peace education is faced with a few basic discrepancies: discrepancy between the individual and the group, discrepancy between groups within one society or from different societies, and the discrepancy of conflict as an imbalance of different interests that need to be resolved without violence. ? Discrepancies between individual and group: The modern liberal theory puts the individual’s equality, values, and rights in the center of a successfully functioning society.
This basic thesis is the beginning of the philosophy and practical protection of human rights. From the individual psychological point of view one thinks in terms of educating a complete person. In the educational system this does not mean transmitting only the facts, but it includes the complete social, emotional, and moral development of an individual; the development of a positive self-concept and positive self-esteem; and the acquisition of knowledge and skills to accept responsibility for one’s own benefit as well as for the benefit of society.
The development of a positive self-concept is the foundation for the development of sympathy for others and building trust, as well as the foundation for developing awareness of interconnectedness with others. In that sense a social individual is a starting point and a final target of peace education efforts. ? Discrepancies between groups: People are by nature social beings, fulfilling their needs within society.
Many social psychologists believe that there is a basic tendency in people to evaluate groups they belong to as more valuable than groups they do not belong to. This ingroup bias is the foundation of stereotypes, negative feelings toward outgroups, prejudices, and, finally, discrimination. In the psychological sense, the feeling of an individual that his or her group is discriminated against, or that he or she as an individual is discriminated against just for belonging to a particular group, leads to a sense of deep injustice and a desire to rectify the situation.
Injustice and discrimination do not shape only the psychological world of an individual but also shape the collective world of the group that is discriminated against – shaping the group memory that is transmitted from generation to generation and that greatly influences the collective identity. Belonging to a minority group that is discriminated against could have a series of negative consequences on the psychological and social functioning of its members, for example, leading to lower academic achievement or negatively influencing the self-concept and self-esteem.
Therefore, peace education is dealing with key elements of individual and group identity formed by historical and cultural heritage, balancing the values of both of these, and trying to teach people how to enjoy their own rights without endangering the rights of others, and especially how to advocate for the rights of others when such rights are threatened. This motivating element of defence and advocating for the rights of others is the foundation of shared responsibility for the process of building peace. ? Conflict and its role in peace education:
Conflict is a part of life, and its nature is neither good nor bad. On the interpersonal and inter-group level, conflict describes an imbalance or an existence of difference between the needs and interests of two sides. It becomes negative only when the answer to a conflict is aggression. It is possible, however, to resolve the difference positively, by recognizing the problem and recognizing one’s own needs and interests and also acknowledging the needs of the opposing sides. In this way, constructive non-violent conflict resolutions are possible.
An important aspect of conflict is that it includes potential for change, and it is in this context that peace education addresses the issues of conflict and conflict resolution by teaching students how to take creative approaches to the conflict and how to find different possibilities for the conflict resolution. Thus students gain knowledge and skills that encourage personal growth and development, contribute to self-esteem and respect of others, and develop competence for a non-violent approach to future conflictive situations. THE INTEGRATIVE THEORY OF PEACE: The Integrative Theory of Peace (ITP) is based on the concept that peace is, at once, a psychological, social, political, ethical and spiritual state with expressions at intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup and international areas of human life. The theory holds that all human states of being, including peace, are the outcome of the main human cognitive (knowing), emotive (loving) and conative (choosing) capacities (Danesh, 1997; Huitt, 1999) which, together, determine the nature of our worldview.
Within the framework of a peace-based worldview, the fundamental elements of a culture of peace, such as respect for human rights and freedom, assume a unique character. ITP draws from the existing body of research on issues of psychosocial development and peace education, as well as a developmental approach to conflict The integrative theory of peace consists of four sub-theories: ? Sub-theory 1: Peace is a psychosocial and political as well as a moral and spiritual condition. ? Sub-theory 2: Peace is the main expression of a unity-based worldview. Sub-theory 3: The unity-based worldview is the prerequisite for creating both a culture of peace and a culture of healing. ? Sub-theory 4: A comprehensive, integrated and lifelong education within the framework of peace is the most effective approach for a transformation from the conflict-based meta-categories of survival-based and identity-based worldviews to the meta-category of unity-based worldview. ITP posits that peace has its roots at once in the satisfaction of human need for survival, safety and security; in the human quest for freedom, justice and interconnectedness; and in the human search for meaning, purpose and righteousness.
Thus, peace is the ultimate outcome of our transition from self-centred and anxiety-ridden insecurities of survival instincts and the quarrelsome, dichotomous tensions of the identity-formation processes to a universal and all-inclusive state of awareness of our fundamental oneness and connectedness with all humanity and, in fact, with all life. ? MODELS OF PEACE EDUCATION: Peace and peace education are themes that are consistent with the overall social and transformative goals of adult education theory and practice.
In fact, most theories of social change and reform tend to incorporate peace education and give attention to issues such as race, class, and gender, among other aspects. Yet the literature in adult education is bereft of adequate models of peace education that can be used in learning contexts such as classrooms, community education programs, training centers, and international development settings. For the most part, the models that exist are practiced in full- and part-time degree programs such as at the University of Peace in Costa Rica; in military contexts such as at the
Pearson Peace Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada; and in ad hoc studies such as at the Institute of Extra-Mural Studies (INSTADEX) in Sierra Leone. These models, although helpful, presume financial and human resources beyond the scope of most adult educators, and they are not based in adult education conceptual frameworks such as transformative learning theory (Cranton & Carusetta, 2004), nor in adult education practices such as participatory rural appraisal (PRA; Chambers, 1992).
To address this gap, this article looks at three of the many existing models of peace education, and then proposes a fourth model that is more practical and rooted in the everyday, and which engages the learner in a lifelong transformative process consistent with transformative adult learning principles. • Three Models of Peace Education: There are many forms of peace education, including entire university degree programs devoted to peace education. These three have been chosen because each illustrates a distinct pedagogical enactment of peace education and a distinctive tradition of peace education in their respective communities.
Furthermore, each model is rooted in practice and has been refined over time, offering thick rich detail on which to theorize and analyze. In addition, none of the models have been examined closely before from an adult education and transformative perspective, and, in our view, studying them here can make a substantive contribution to the literature on transformative learning theory. ? Model 1: The Pearson Peace Centre in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia The center, founded in 1994, was named for former Canadian Prime Minister, Lester B.
Pearson, who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1957 for his work in contributing to peacekeeping (not peacemaking) and to helping establishes NATO and the United Nations. The non-formal program that is offered at this centre is focused primarily on training the international community of military personnel for peacekeeping. There is a curriculum in place, which is used on a consistent basis to train whichever group happens to be in residence at any given time. Primarily designed for peacekeepers from around the globe, this peace centre has the distinction of having trained more than 7,000 people.
The program is physically housed on a military base in rural Nova Scotia. According to its own Web site, it is a “not-for-profit institution serving individuals and organizations involved in peace operations. ” It is highly technological, and its facilities communicate the expertise or expert knowledge in the organization. The Pearson Centre is an example of an educational institute that offers non-formal education programs leading to certificates of completion. ? Model 2: University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica This university is funded by the United Nations and was started in 1980.
Like the Pearson Centre, the University for Peace has a global mandate. It was developed for the following purpose: To provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations. (Web site for the University of Peace)
The programs that the University of Peace offers include international law and settlement of disputes, natural resources and sustainable development, gender and peace building, and international peace studies. The University of Peace has a traditionally based program with full-time faculty and staff. It complements its core structure with some part-time instructors or visiting professors who teach courses in their respective areas of expertise. Apart from student tuition, the University of Peace receives funding from donors, in particular from Scandinavia, and from the founding body, the United Nations.
Peace Studies is a program within this university and, though the entire student body is not studying peace education, the overall direction of the university supports peace through its basic orientation. ? Model 3: The INSTADEX, Sierra Leone The INSTADEX is a satellite campus of Fourah Bay College, the main university in the capital of Freetown, which opened in 1827. This is a local institute that has been ongoing for some time and which, unlike the two models cited above, has a local mandate to educate nationals of Sierra Leone.
This Institute provides diplomas in adult education and now offers a master of adult education degree. Though not explicitly focused on peace studies, in offering degrees and diplomas in a war-ravaged country (technically, post-conflict) it acts as a resistance to military types of education and indoctrination that are the norm in this country. The students who come here are typically working to establish civil society in a situation where there is considerable civil unrest and a major degree of illiteracy.
Many of the students are teachers, nongovernmental organization workers, and literacy instructors who attend for continuing professional development purposes. A significant number of students are employed or allied with organizations that are working to establish peace in their territory. INSTADEX serves as an agora or meeting place where people interested in civil society can gather to be educated, have dialogue about national security issues, and develop plans to further their vocational interests.
These three models described briefly above are strong in their respective spheres and at least two of them (University for Peace and the Pearson Centre) have an international range of influence. They offer educational opportunities either formally (through degree programs such as at the University for Peace), nonformally (through continuing professional education and ad hoc studies at the Pearson Centre and INSTADEX), or informally and incidentally (through providing space for students and teachers to learn together outside the classroom, such as at the Pearson Centre and INSTADEX).
Some are part-time and some full-time, and each has a distinct mandate. Yet there are challenges with each model. The Pearson Peace Centre in Nova Scotia is focused primarily on training the military for peacekeeping. Its constituents are engaged in military work and form a homogeneous group that is not diversified by participants from the public or civil society sector. In the sense that it has a set or established curriculum, this center is not oriented to participatory planning explicitly designed around learner needs.
The fact that it is housed on a military base in rural Nova Scotia suggests its military agenda and the philosophical constraints of its programming. It is not a full-time university and the expectation is that students come for time-limited studies. As the name suggests, the University for Peace in Costa Rica, is basically oriented to peace. Yet, it’s very structure and organization as a bona fide university militates against participatory planning and widespread attention to indigenous issues.
Although it does have a diversity of offerings in peace studies, including international law and settlement of disputes, its traditionally based program is limited by its hierarchical organization. The third model, INSTADEX, in Sierra Leone, is a local institute but its narrow scope prevents it from having an international or global reach. As strong as these three models are, they do not respond fully to the needs of adult educators who are rooted in participatory, transformational, and emancipatory frameworks.
They do not engage the learner to the degree that those committed to social cause education believe is necessary for long-term transformations that influence not only the individual, but also the local and the global sphere. Proposed here is a new transformative model for peace education (TMPE) that draws on the strengths of these models, and offers the possibility for practical and immediate use—it has the potential to be used to transform existing models, such as described above, or to inform a totally new model and structure for peace education.
We envisage that the TMPE might be achieved or enacted in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the participants and the particular geopolitical and cultural situation in which it is located. ? PEACE EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS: From the very beginnings of the development of systematic peace education, there has been discussion about whether it should be added as a separate program in the schools, or if the principles of peace education should be applied through the regular school subjects. The variety of pproaches and attitudes on what peace education actually is leads to the introduction of a series of titles, such as multicultural training, education for democracy and human rights, and education for development. Many in the field, however, believe that the implementation of principles of peace education into the institutionalized educational system is a better approach, especially within the subjects encompassing the cultural heritage of the dominant society and the ethnic groups belonging to it.
Consistent with this view, Aspeslagh in 1996 wrote about the need to internationalize national curriculum. For example, including within the curriculum the contributions of minority groups to literature, history, art, the general cultural heritage, and the development of the particular nation-state may significantly contribute to intercultural closeness and understanding. ? ROLE OF UNESCO IN PROMOTING PEACE EDUCATION AROUND THE WORLD: Much of the work of UNESCO is centered on the promotion of education for peace, human rights, and democracy.
The notion of a “culture of peace” was first elaborated for UNESCO at the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men, held at Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, in 1989. The Yamoussoukro Declaration called on UNESCO to ‘construct a new vision of peace by developing a peace culture based on the universal values of respect for life, liberty, justice, solidarity, tolerance, human rights and equality between women and men’ and to promote education and research for a this vision. UNESCO and a Culture of Peace, UNESCO Publishing, 1995. ) Underlying all of this work in the field of peace education are the efforts of committed educators, researchers, activists, and members of global civil society. Acting in partnership with the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, and citizen networks have advanced education for peace by linking ideals with extensive research and practice.
The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century (UN Document: Ref A/54/98), is a significant example of such work. One of the first principles of this document is the necessity of instituting systematic education for peace. According to the Agenda, their Global Campaign for Peace Education aims to “support the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World and to introduce peace and human rights education into all educational institutions, including medical and law schools. ” A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace. ” -Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education The International Peace Research Association, founded with support from UNESCO, has a Peace Education Commission that brings together educators working to promote a culture of peace.
The Peace Education Network, bas