Peace Education Resources
Published: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:37:00 +0000 I was compelled to join the peace movement when at a young age I learned that people actually killed each other because of their differences. I never totally recovered from hearing the news of wars, violence and mass destruction. How could a race so advanced and intelligent, so spoiled for choices at the same time be so ignorant, violent and destructive? I felt I had to do something. I thought, instead of focusing all our energy on conflicts and problems, we must learn to focus on finding peaceful solutions.
Children can be caught up in wars in more ways than one – often forced to become soldiers. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images In an unsettled world, the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September is an opportunity to reflect on peace and reconciliationboth globally and in our personal lives at school and home. It is also a day of practical action, to make acts of peace and observe a day of worldwide ceasefire and non-violence. We have some powerful resources on the Guardian Teacher Network to use on Peace Day and beyond. Peace One Day (POD), founded by filmmaker Jeremy Gilley, has some stirring and engaging resources.
Delving into research through reading, deep listening and conversing over the past few years in preparation for the publication this year of a book (i), I have found cause for hope for the learning and teaching of peace. However, as educators we will be faced with significant challenges in the decades to come. I see the following themes emerging for our work: 1) we are going to have to learn to live the idea of uncertainty; 2) we will be required to teach toward building resilience ; 3) the concepts of community and social capital will increasingly be important, and 4) we and our students must develop the skills of visioning and action toward a hopeful future . These themes are set against a backdrop of a significant increase in the development of the field, yielding an exponential rise in interest in and in the number of programs in peace education and peace studies.