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Copy of Unit 1: Introduction

Page history last edited by benedettialexa@gmail.com 9 years, 6 months ago

UNIT 1
History, Definitions, Key Thinkers, and Core Concepts

 

Learning Objectives             

At the end of this unit, the participants will:

 

  • Understand the history of peace education
  • Be able to define peace education
  • Understand the philosophical underpinnings of peace education
  • Understand key concepts related to peace education and the field of peace and conflict studies

Guiding Questions

 

  1. What is peace to you? Try to think of a definition, or brainstorm a list of words that you think of when you hear the word “peace.”

 

  1. What is the relationship between peace and education?

 

Introduction

In this Unit, we will look at the foundation and background of peace education – the history, definitions, major philosophers, and concepts that are central to the field. While this unit is largely theoretical, it lays the foundation for the more practical elements that come later in the course. Many of the concepts addressed in this unit are discussed throughout the course, so it is important to have a basic understanding in order to be able to understand later references to the topics first discussed in this unit. We hope that this section will highlight the importance of peace education, and inspire you to continue on the path of a peace educator.

 

However, before we can start talking about peace education, we must first think of peace. What is peace? As peace is a hypothetical construct, it is perhaps easier to identify what peace is not: conflict. Conflict is, from the Latin, “to clash or engage in a fight, a confrontation between one or more parties aspiring towards incompatible or competitive means or ends” (Miller, 2005, p.22). Conflict can manifest in many forms, ranging from the internal (within oneself), to the interpersonal, to communal, to the national and, finally, international.

 

How does peace relate to conflict? Peace is not the absence, nor the management, of conflict but rather the constructive prevention of conflict and promotion of human rights, equality, diversity, and compassion. Peace requires the employment of skills, values and attitudes that offer constructive alternatives to conflict. However, peace is not only characterized by the skills and values that encourage and implement conflict prevention and transformation, nor is it solely represented as the absence of war on the national level. Peace is equally present in a feeling of calmness and ease at the personal level.

 

What is the connection between peace and education? According to the UNESCO charter, “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”(UNESCO, 1945). If peace is something that can be learned, then it is the job of teachers to educate their students to be peacemakers. This is the task of peace education: to transform the minds of learners in order to build a peaceful world. The goal of this curriculum is to show you why this is important, and how to do it.

References

Miller, C.E. (2005). “A Glossary of Terms and Concepts in Peace and Conflict Studies.” University for Peace.

 

UNESCO. (1945). Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. London. Retrieved from http://www.icomos.org/unesco/unesco_constitution.html

 

 

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