A Professional Development Program in Peace Education
A professional development certificate program in Peace Education at Teachers College Columbia University Tokyo Campus (2003–2008 – Now offered in Japanese at Seisen University in Tokyo) provided one model of an intensive in-service curriculum distilled from the requirements of a masters degree concentration as it was formerly offered at the New York campus. Acceptance into the program required completion of an undergraduate degree and at least 1 year of teaching experience Certificates were awarded upon completion of five non-matriculating courses offered as seminar/practicums (4 core and 1 special course).
Each course provided a conceptual framework for inquiry based, critical study of a fundamental substantive dimension of peace education and practical training in the pedagogical theory and teaching methodologies most relevant to the particular substance. Special emphasis was placed on practical applications to the subjects and grade levels taught by the participants.
Each also offered an inquiry into a particular and distinct set of issues and demonstrations of the pedagogies most relevant to teaching about them, with a view to cultivating a relevant set values and skills to enable learners to confront the issues and overcome the problems and obstacles they pose to the achievement of peace and justice.
Course procedures comprised lectures, seminar discussions and participation in demonstration lessons in participatory and cooperative learning.
Brief Descriptions of the Four Core Courses
The courses, intensive equivalents of the core of the graduate degree specialization, as it was offered in New York constituted the fundamental substance and pedagogical principles of peace education. They also reflected theories and assumptions about the causes of violence and assertions about the learnings required to overcome them.
The conceptual framework for each course explicated essential organizing concepts derived from the fundamental content of peace education. Each course described below introduced participants to pedagogies most relevant to the organizing concepts and related issues and problems.
The Pedagogy of Peace Education: Translating Theory into Practice
This course stressed the general problematic of violence and the assumption of the systematic relationships among all forms of violence, referred to as “the war system.” It outlined a learning approach to a comprehensive understanding the problematic and the development of the fundamental skills and attitudes necessary to resolution of the interrelated problems, the envisioning of a culture of peace, the design of alternative systems to assure it and the strategies and actions to achieve it. The Pedagogy of Peace Education is a practical, “hands-on” introduction to peace education.
The background readings comprised selected work from the international field of peace education recognized as the world’s leading peace education theorist/practitioners.
The theoretical bases of the pedagogy, its primary methodologies and a systematic form of curriculum development consistent with the theory and pedagogy were presented and demonstrated as a general introduction to the field. The framework of the course comprised concept based curriculum, inquiry process, critical pedagogy, and participatory and cooperative learning. Actual lessons will be demonstrated through a participatory pedagogy and prototype materials were offered to enable participants to develop teaching materials, particularly relevant to their own respective classrooms.
Conflict and Peacemaking: Multiple Approaches to the Prevention of Violence
Consideration of multiple perspectives and a process approach to the analysis and resolution of problems are integral to learning the ways of peacemaking. This workshop course explored possibilities for peacemaking that lie in the consideration and assessment of alternatives to violent conflict processes.
The preparatory readings were drawn from among works in conflict resolution and conflict transformation that have influenced the field of peace education.
The conceptual framework was constructed on four distinct perspectives on conflict: conflict resolution, conflict management, strategic nonviolence and conflict transformation. Each was considered in light the fundamental assumption that while conflict is an ongoing phenomenon in human experience, there is a need for profound change in the processes through which it is conducted. An experiential methodology was used to facilitate participants’ development of practical conflict skills, understanding of alternative conflict processes and the ability to use these methodologies in the design of materials for use in their own teaching.
Education for a Culture of Peace and Human Rights: Focus on Gender and Violence
Many of the cultural and normative changes required for the achievement of “a culture peace,” one in which violence is anti-normative, are in the realms of human rights, political exclusion and oppression and social and economic inequities United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace (2000). Gender has been recognized as a major factor in these exclusions and inequities. One of the fundamental assumptions underlying the demonstration of a gender perspective on a culture of peace is that the requisite cultural transformation is most likely to evolve from knowledge of and respect for human rights.
Course readings were selected from the literature of human rights, human rights education and the growing field of gender and peace.
The course offered an introduction to the international standards of human rights and other normative and conceptual attributes of a culture of peace with a particular focus on gender as a key factor in replicating and sustaining cultural norms and practices. It involved participatory demonstrations of curricula and methods for education for social justice, human rights and tolerance.
Peace Education Perspectives on Security: Alternatives to War and Armed Force
The assumption that underlies this alternatives approach to teaching and learning about global security is that problems must be viewed from a systems perspective, to better understand the present international system of increasingly armed nation states and to assess possibilities for alternative security systems.
The line of inquiry followed in this workshop course is centered on the question of what constitutes national and human security and their connection to global problems and relationships. This question will be explored from systemic, normative and functional perspectives on various security alternatives. Special emphasis will be placed on exploring the potential consequences of such structural changes as proposals for disarmament and the recommendations of the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice in the Twenty-first Century. Participants will be guided and assisted in formulating their own learning units on alternatives to armed conflict and violence.
One or two special workshops are offered within each calendar year. These special offerings, based on topics not addressed by the core workshop courses vary in subject matter, introducing recent innovations in peace education so as to provide participants an ever broadening view of the field. Participation in at least one special workshop is required for completion of the certificate. Among the topics were: teaching for tolerance; environment and peace and inter-cultural and inter-religious understanding through study of peace traditions of major religions and world cultures.
Syllabus for One of the Four Core Courses: Peace Pedagogy; Theory into Practice Rationale
As the world appears to become ever more violent with an expansion of wars and armed conflict, leaving few if any havens of peace in the world, people everywhere are beginning to challenge the policies and ways of thinking that accept the necessity of violence for achieving social and political goals. Peace education, now practiced world-wide has made particular contributions to addressing these concerns by seeking to educate toward new ways to transcend violence and deal with conflict and injustice.
Over recent decades a wide variety of approaches and multiple curriculum materials have been developed. Some initiatives have offered possibilities for integrating various approaches and methods into conceptual frameworks integral to comprehensive peace education to enable practitioners to undertake their teaching with methods based on theories and values consistent with the social purposes of educating toward a culture of peace. This course/workshop is designed to introduce educators to major authors, theories and approaches, in order that their peace education teaching practices can be grounded in the academic foundations of the field.
It is designed to provide participants with the capacity to develop conceptual frameworks and to construct their own coherent learning experiences to capacitate their students achieve the social purposes of peace education – to abolish war, prevent injustice and reduce all other forms of violence.
The Goals and Purposes
The course starts with introducing the recent history, leading theoreticians and multiple approaches to peace education through readings, presentations and activities, demonstrating a variety of teaching methods and sample lessons. These will be offered so as to illuminate the interrelationships among objectives, content and methods; how the pedagogy of peace education derives from its social purposes; and the characteristics and components of peace education that distinguish it from other forms of global and citizenship education.
Each participant will design a learning unit within a conceptual framework that clarifies its content in light of social purposes and describes a procedure for meeting specific learning objectives. Participants will be guided in the planning of this unit intended for use in their own respective learning settings.
Conceptual Framework Introducing Peace Education Theory and Curriculum Design
The organizing theoretical structure of this course will be (1) the core notion of conceptual frameworks as the foundation for curriculum, (2) the systematic design of a value based curriculum (3) implemented by learning experiences and (4) planned in order to transmit essential content and (5) develop peace making skills. Key concepts are italicized throughout this introduction.
Guiding Inquiry: Questions for Reflection on Readings
These questions are intended to help you reflect on the readings to prepare for class. Each highlights a concept that will be important to the course. Use them to draw out the perspectives that the readings bring to the concepts. Inquiry is a preferred mode of problem study in peace education.
How might the author define peace ?
What are the obstacles or challenges to peace cited or intimated?
What are the assumptions that underpin the author’s assertions about why peace education is needed?
What issues or problematic does the author propose should be addressed through peace education?
What visions of peace are offered in the readings?
What teaching and learning processes are recommended?
How might you use these examples to develop peace education materials for your learning community ?
What changes or adaptations would be needed?
Main Themes and Learning Sequence of the Four Sessions:
Day 1: Introduction to the origins, purposes and methods of peace education; the use of conceptual frameworks to address some of the main problems areas of concern to peace education.
Focus Readings: UNESCO Integrated Framework of Action; Reardon, “Review and Projection”; Opotow, Gerson & Woodside; Reardon & Cabezudo, Book 1. Reardon, Educating for Human Dignity, pp. 4–7.
Concepts: Frameworks, Problematic, Problems, Concerns, Values, Concepts, Process Approach, the Violence Problematic.
Inquiry: How does a conceptual and process approach serve to organize the complexity of the content of peace education and clarify the problems and issues it addresses?
Day 2: Various regional approaches to peace education.
Focus Readings: The EURED Teacher Training Programme; Diaz, “Peace Education in a Culture of Violence”, Ukita, “Some thoughts on Education from a Non-Western Perspective”; Cawagas and Toh, “From the Mountains to the Seas”; Polozov, “Social Responsibility & Ecological Culture through Ecological Education”; Ihejirika, “Disarmament Education from an African Perspective”.
Concepts: Theory, Assumptions, Perspectives, Approaches, Methods, Infusion, Conscientization.
Inquiry: How do the concerns and assumptions about the key problems of peace influence the approaches and proposals of peace education theorists? How are their concerns and assumptions influenced by the cultures and conditions of their regions and countries?
Day 3: Methodologies of tarticipatory cooperative learning and critical and creative reflection.
Focus Readings: Reardon, B., Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective, pp. 158–179.
Concepts: Inquiry, Reflection, Scenario, Futures Imaging, Dialogue, Listening/Hearing, Diagnosing/Prescribing, Transition/Transformation, Learning Assessments.
Inquiry: What modes of teaching and learning are most conducive to the educational goals and learning objectives of peace education?
Day 4: Methods for construction of learning units.
Focus Readings: Reardon & Cabezudo, Book Two, Reardon, B., Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective, pp.137–157 and Learning Unit Outline distributed in Session 1.
Concepts: Curriculum Plan, Conceptual Planning Matrix, Social Purposes, Educational Goals, Core Concepts, Essential Values, Learning Objectives/Intentions, Learning Process/Sequence, Assessment.
Inquiry: What are the ways in which we can intentionally and systematically plan learning experiences that are consistent with the principles of peace education and that lead toward its purposes and goals?
Peace education curriculum planning matrix: Some sample goals and methods