is a way of life
Humanize education and create
positive change within society.
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What Is Peace Education?
Peace Education is a deliberate and comprehensive process to help people understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values. It is a transformation to a learner-centered culture whereby holistic development is the norm. It is about humanizing the educational process.
Peace Education goes beyond absence of war; it is a way of life. It is a complete transformation of thoughts, values, skills, actions, and eventually habits. Arguably, the three major factors responsible for the continuous violence throughout history are trying to solve violence by using violence, being passive about promoting Peace Education, and endorsing an educational system that is authority-centered. If history teaches us anything at all, it clearly shows that violence produces more violence. It also teaches us that lighting candles, holding hands, and chanting love songs are positive acts, but are not sufficient to overcome aggression and stop wars. Additionally, it has become clear that we must switch all educational organizations from “authority-centered” to a “learner-centered” environment.
The best approach to ensuring that Peace Education becomes a way of life at school is to use a comprehensive approach. Such an approach is implemented through the following means:
1. One period per week for every class or assembly per section dedicated to peace education
2. Integration of peace education within every area of the curriculum
3. A community service program
4. Events, functions, and field trips centered around Peace Education
5. Model of the Peace Education components (Democracy and Citizenship, Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, Environmental Education, Health and Safety, and Service Learning) throughout the communication and actions of the school’s personnel
6. Inclusion of Peace Education as a part of the school’s mission
It may not be feasible at your school to activate the entire list above immediately. Begin with any of the means, and slowly, add the rest until you complete the list. Remember, schooling is about facilitating a learning environment that gives each student the opportunity of becoming a positive change agent in society. Education is about reforming society, not conforming to it.
A holistic and integrated approach to Peace Education leading to positive human development has been endorsed and supported by universal declarations, global and regional pronouncements and commitments, and other documents, which share a common belief in the importance of values in a holistic and integrated education toward a culture of peace and social justice among them:
1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations (UN), 1948), Article 26(2).
2. The UN Declaration on a Culture of Peace (UN, 1999).
3. The 1993 Kuala Lumpur Declaration of the Ministers of Education of the Asia-Pacific Region (MINEDAP V1).
4. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 21st Century Talks (UNESCO, 2004).
5. The Character Education Handbook and Guide in North Carolina, USA, 2001 (Public Schools of North Carolina, 2001).
6. The Character and Citizenship Education in Alberta Schools, Canada, 2006.
7. Citizenship Education in Europe, 2012.
8. The Manifesto on Values, Education, and Democracy—Department of Education of South Africa 2001.
9. Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians 2008.
10. Shape of the Australian Curriculum, 2011.