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Attributes of a Peace Educator Final

Page history last edited by Stephanie Knox 10 years, 5 months ago

1.1 Attributes of a Peace Educator

Lesson Objectives

At the end of this section, the participants will:

  • Be able to discuss the qualities that are important for a peace educator

Guiding Questions

Before you read this section, consider the following questions:

  • What are the attributes of a peacemaker? Think of famous peacemakers (Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela). What characteristics did they have that made them peacebuilders?
  • What are the attributes of a peace educator? Make a list before you continue.
  • What skills does a peace educator need? Brainstorm before you continue.



Attributes of a Peace Educator

Peace educators must internalize the concepts they are teaching to their students. This does not mean that as a teacher, you need to be a “finished product” of perfect peace knowledge, skills, and attitudes. On the contrary, peace education is inherently a process of life-long learning, and we are all students that are perpetually seeking greater knowledge and understanding. It does mean, however, that you should be constantly trying to “practice what you preach,” and constantly self-reflecting on the alignment of your teaching and your actions and behavior, and honestly acknowledging your limitations. This is perhaps the most important attribute of a peace educator.


Successful peace educators possess an array of attributes.  The following list is not an exhaustive checklist; it is rather a list of attributes that are frequently observed in peace educators.  Before you read this list, be sure that you have answered the guiding questions above as best you can.


The attributes of an effective peace educator include:

  1. The teacher is a responsible global citizen and has a vision for positive change in the future.  S/he believes that education is for positive/constructive change.
  2. The teacher is motivated by a desire to serve and is actively involved in the community where s/he teaches.  
  3. The teacher is a life-long learner.  
  4. The teacher is “both a transmitter and transformer of cultures.”  The teacher transmits his/her own culture but is also critical and reflective to be an agent of change and understanding of other cultures.   
  5. The teacher's relationships with students and faculty must nurture peace via the creation of a community.  
  6. The teacher must be aware of racism, sexism or any other form of discrimination that may occur in the classroom and both how s/he perpetuates it and how other students perpetuate it.  
  7. The teacher uses constructive criticism to help his/her students grow.  
  8. The teacher knows all of the learners as individuals and responds effectively to their differences with a caring attitude.  
  9. The teacher creates an environment in which the students are free to inquire by creating questions that address issues.  The teacher is the poser of questions rather than the answerer.  
  10. The teacher is constantly reflective about his/her own teaching methodologies.  
  11. The teacher knows and uses the skills for communication and conflict resolution to build a community.    
  12. The teacher utilizes cooperative learning.  
  13. The teacher is able to elicit discussion from the students.
  14. The teacher motivates and inspires his/her students.
  15. The teacher is joyful and positive; promoting hope.  
  16. The teacher is passionate and compassionate.
  17. The teacher is gentle and fair.
  18. The teacher is comfortable using personal stories to connect to the learning
    (Navarro-Castro & Nario-Galace, 2008). 

Standards for Peace Educators

The following is a list of standard skills that teachers of peace education should demonstrate (Carter, 2006):

  1. Facilitate student construction of their concepts of peace and positive processes for increasing it, based on their collective experiences and new information.
  2. Integrate positive contact with, as well as information about, diverse cultures in the local region and afar to overcome ignorance, misinformation and stereotypes.
  3. Accommodate cultural norms of students including their diverse learning styles.
  4. Engage in cross-cultural communication with multicultural school participants, including families, thereby modeling acceptance, accommodation and celebration of diversity through pluralism.
  5. Demonstrate positive regard for all students, regardless of their misbehaviors, to convey unconditional care and respect for them as valuable people.
  6. Use compassionate and equitable communication in dialogic facilitation of classroom management.
  7. Train students through modeling of dispositions and skills that develop peace, including the practice of nonviolence before and during conflicts.
  8. Create a nurturing “school-home” environment which nourishes and provides a safe place for communication about concerns related to violence.
  9. Listen to families’ ideas of how peace can be developed in the classroom and school and then collaborate with them in the facilitation of their suggestions.
  10. Use strategies that support peaceful interaction with the self and all people, including restorative practices in post-conflict situations.
  11. Model action for peace development on and beyond the campus, thereby demonstrating a community norm of social justice.
  12. Cultivate and support the student’s responsibility for their own peaceful-problem solving while you stay aware of, and responsive to, their needs.
  13. Integrate across multiple subject areas information about past, present as well as future peace developments and strategies.
  14. Create and support venues for expressing current and future peace development.
  15. Show appreciation for all student achievements in, and aspirations for, peace.
  16. Attend to and teach ecological care of the physical environment, including sustainable use of its resources.
  17. Teach about socially and environmentally responsible consumerism and the conflicts which result from exploitation of producers and laborers.
  18. Teach about power relations in current events as well as history to help students recognize sources of structural violence.
  19. Facilitate student examination of militarism and its impact on the social order.
  20. Teach students to critically evaluate sources, perspectives and evidence provided in information they have access to while enabling them to recognize the types of information they do not have, but need, to develop clear understanding of spoken and written presentations.
  21. Enable students’ discussions of controversy and unresolved problems locally and globally, thereby cultivating their intellectual and communicative skills for comprehending and analyzing conflicts.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Compare the list you made at the beginning of this section to the list presented above. What were the similarities and differences?
  2. Compare yourself to the attributes on the list. What are your strengths as a peace educator? What are your potential weaknesses? Choose one or two attributes that you feel you are lacking, and explain how you will go about making those attributes part of your professional identity.
  3. Review the list of standard skills for teachers of peace education. What skills do you already have? What skills do you need to improve upon? Again, choose one or two skills that you are lacking and explain how you will work towards acquiring them.


Carter, C. (2006). Standards for Peace Education. A Florida Center for Public and International Policy Paper. Florida: University of North Florida. Retrieved from



Navarro-Castro, L., & Nario-Galace, J. (2008). Peace Education: A Pathway to a Culture of Peace. Quezon City, Philippines: Center for Peace Education, Miriam College. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/16686241/


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