If You Want Peace, Work For It
When it comes to peace education in the schools, we have dropped the ball. Youths are asking for such programs. We promised them, and teachers need support to do the job.
But what is peace education? Is it being taught in our schools, and if so how?
Some teachers develop curricula based on study units devised by Dr. Betty Reardon, who used to head the Peace Education Program at Teachers' College Columbia University. (Dr. Reardon, the doyenne of peace education, is an advisor and writer for UNESCO's Culture of Peace initiatives and travels the world working with teachers on its message and that of the Hague Appeal for Peace's Global Campaign for Peace Education.) She has designed a study unit in which a class "images" a peaceful world, listing its values and agreeing, through a process of small group discussion, on how it might be achieved, say in the next 30 years. What are the international agreements and global conditions that would have to be in place by then? How can these be achieved? What are the present barriers? What are the roles of international institutions, governments, individuals, civil society organizations -- including faculties of education and schools such as theirs?
This article, written by Penny Sanger, appeared in the October 2005 issue of Peace Journalism.
Published Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005