Peace Education Train the Teachers ETUCE Cyprus Conference


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This is a presentation I gave at the ETUCE conference in Cyprus (May 2013) for teachers on peace education.

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  • Thank you so much for the ETUCE for inviting me here today to speak to you and learn with you. It is truly an honor, and I only hope that what I can share with you today will be valuable to you.
  • In reflecting on the title of this conference, “The role of teachers in promoting peace,” it reminded me of why I came to the peace education field in the first place. For one thing, I was and still am a teacher myself, working as an English as a Second Language teacher, a grassroots community educator in Niger, as well as a yoga teacher, prior to finding my place as a peace educator. I remember the moment that I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life promoting peace. It was at the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War in Japan in May 2008.I had just moved to Tokyo to teach English as a Second Language. Prior to that, I had done a lot of peace-related things – I served for 2 years in the Peace Corps, I volunteered for environmental education organizations, I sought to understand other cultures and to broaden my perspective of the world. At the time, I didn’t realize that I was doing these things “for peace,” but in hindsight, each step makes sense, each step was a step on my path of creating peace in the world. I had just moved to Tokyo to teach English as a Second Language when I found a volunteer opportunity with an organization called PeaceBoat, which needed volunteers forits international conference to abolish war. I happened to get a break when Cora Weiss was giving the keynote speech. “It’s time to abolish war.” She repeated this over and over, using examples of things that humanity had abolished and overcome, such as slavery and apartheid. At one time, people probably felt as doubtful that we could abolish slavery as they do now about abolishing war. If we could abolish slavery, we could abolish war. Her argument made so much sense and spoke directly to my heart. Weiss recently gave a similar speech at the UN for the High Forum on a Culture of Peace: “The United Nations has decreed an end to slavery, colonialism, and apartheid. It has unanimously called for a Culture of Peace. Its mission is to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.  It is time to abolish war.”As I listened to her words in the giant arena, standing alone but surrounded by over 10,000 people, I felt a pull, a calling – to promote peace in every aspect of my life. I had been cultivating a sense of inner peace through my yoga practice, and was always trying to volunteer or seek ways to promote peace in my spare time. But I want this to be my life, I remember thinking. I want everything I do to be towards promoting peace. I want this to be my life’s work. I felt the presence of the 10,000+ people around me, all of whom were working to abolish war and promote peace. I felt supported, encouraged, inspired, motivated. I want to dedicate my life to peace too, I thought. And at that moment I made a resolve to do just that. I felt I needed to learn more, so I started to search for master’s programs, and found a perfect fit through the peace education master’s at the university for peace in Costa Rica, where I earned my master’s degree.
  • What  brought me to peace education, specifically, was the belief that, to paraphrase the UNESCO charter, war and peace begin in our minds, in our consciousness. And if that is true, then as the charter states, it is in our mind that peace needs to be constructed. In order to create peace, we need to change our minds. If the foundations of peace are to be created in our minds, then it must be something we can learn. And if we can learn it, logically, we need peace educators who will teach about peace! I saw a tremendous power in teachers as multipliers of peace. If you think about it, over the course of their career, one teacher affects hundreds if not thousands of students. What an amazing potential to change the world!  
  • While teachers have a special role to play, this role is not limited TO teachers. We all have the choice to live our lives peacefully, and in turn to model peaceful behavior for others to follow. We all have the ability to share peaceful living practices with others, and to engage in dialogue in our community about issues relating to peace, justice, diversity, and equality. We all have the power to be teachers and leaders for peace – we simply need to answer the calling. The beautiful thing about promoting peace is that you really can do it through anything – whether you are working 9-5 for a peace nonprofit, or whether you are a mom or a teacher or a bus driver. We each can promote peace in our own little corner of the world.However, if peace can be taught and learned, then teachers have a particularly important role to play in their ability to truly shape the minds and hearts of so many students they encounter, and this underscored the need for teachers to have peace education training. All of our actions ripple out into the world, but teachers ripples have the potential to have farther-reaching effects.
  • And that’s where Teachers Without Borders comes in. TWB’s mission is to connect teachers to information and each other to create local change on a global scale. TWB was founded on the principle that teachers are agents of social change. From the TWB web site:“At over 59 million, teachers are the largest group of trained professionals in the world. As transmitters of knowledge and community leaders, teachers are powerful catalysts for lasting global change. However, teacher professional development is often irrelevant, inconsequential, or missing entirely.Teachers must therefore have a support network to provide the resources, training, tools and colleagues they need to fulfill their important role. Teachers Without Borders offers that support.”This was the idea that TWB was founded upon, and out of which grew its flagship program, the Certificate of Teaching Mastery, a general teacher professional development course that grew out of the founder, Fred Mednick’s observations that teachers are neglected in the international development picture. Funders want to build schools, but they don’t want to contribute to developing skilled teachers to put in those schools. Don’t get me wrong, school buildings are important – but equally if not more important is putting a well-trained, passionate person in that school to teach.
  • TWB’s programs include the certificate of teaching mastery, emergency education, the MDA program, voice of teachers, a peer-review online journal, country programs in various parts of the world, and finally the peace education program.
  • In early 2010, sectarian violence broke out in central Nigeria, and TWB’s Country Coordinator, Raphael OgarOko, saw the need for peaceful, long-term solutions. He had been working in education and peacebuilding for a long time, and as the violence erupted, he firmly believed that Nigeria needed more than band-aid solutions and quick fixes. He saw education as the best long-term solution, saw the important role that teachers could play, and requested that TWB develop a teacher training program in peace education.This is where I came in. I was a master’s student at the University for Peace at the time, but I had my eye on peace education-related jobs, and I found a volunteer posting from TWB that they were looking to develop a teacher professional development program in peace education. So I, along with a team of about 8 other interns, worked to put together the content of the course. Around the time I graduated, we finished a draft of the project, and TWB hired me as a contractor to finalize it, make it coherent, and edit it.
  • Let me tell you more about the peace education program itself – the star of the show, and my only child (other than my dog, Rocky, of course ). The TWB Peace Education Program was designed to teach teachers about peace education, to give them the space to reflect on what it means to be peaceful in their own lives and in their work, and then how to apply these ideas and principles in their lives and work.
  • The program takes a three-pronged approachKnowledge – What is peace? Developing the understanding of peace-related conceptsSelf-reflection – What do these concepts mean to me as a human being? In my daily life?Application – How can I apply this in my life, classroom and community?Peace education is inherently contextual and should be strongly rooted in the setting where it is taught. As the program is a global initiative, it remains broad, with the idea that there are general peace education principles that are unifying and can be adapted to local contexts. In teaching and facilitating the program, we maintain that educators are experts in their local context and school. The idea is that they learn the general principles of the program and figure out how to apply it in their own setting. Thus today, I am sharing with you how I have applied peace education, and how I work with educators on it, but in terms of your own applications, you are the experts, and while I can guide you and advise you, ultimately it is you who will know best how to facilitate the program, what issues need to be addressed, and culturally relevant ways of imparting this information for transformation.
  • Our philosophy is beautifully encapsulated in this quote by peace educator Pierre Weil, who said……Thus our emphasis is first, on the teachers to internalize these concepts, to be them, to live them, and to transforms themselves to be agents of peaceful change. I often hear from the particpants in our courses thatyes, this changes their work and approach to teaching, but it often has deep impacts on their personal lives and relationships as well.
  • The program is divided into three sections: Core Concepts, Scope, and Pedagogy and Practice. In Part 1, Introduction and Core Concepts, we cover the history of peace education, the definitions (because there isn’t just one definition and we want to be clear that our approach is just one of many approaches) and core concepts such as negative and positive peace, nonviolence, and a culture of peace.
  • Part 2 includes the myriad of fields that fall under the peace education umbrella such as conflict resolution education, human rights education, and environmental education.
  • Part 3 emphasizes pedagogy and what it means to teach peace education – how do we do it? The program concludes by asking participants to create a peace education project, to apply in their local setting, to take everything they have learned in the course and put it into practice in the most relevant way possible.
  • So this is what is on paper. This is the program that you can download for free online. But what does this look like in practice? How do we teach about peace education?
  • In the internet age, I’m not sure that 15,000 downloads is a lot. A friend of mine uploaded a picture of baby sloths with teddy bears, and her picture received 500,000 – yes, half a million – views within 24 hours. I only with that many people had interest in a peace education program! But I digress….
  • The program has been offered both online and offline in workshop format. I’d like to tell you a bit about both versions of the course.With respect to offline versions of the program have taken place in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, the US, Canada and Mexico. I personally facilitated the workshops in North America.As peace education should be inherently contextual, each workshop had a life of its own. The workshops on the African continent were all run and organized by local facilitators who reached out to TWB wanting to offer the course. I would like to share with you a short video about our workshops in Northern Uganda, which gives you an idea about the experience of our partners and teachers there.In all of the areas where we have run in-person workshops, we get the endorsement of the local ministry of education office in order to ensure collaboration and support.I personally facilitated workshops in North America – in the US, Canada and Mexico, and I facilitate the online course. I would like to share with you a bit about both the workshops and the types of activities that we can do in both.
  • In the in-person workshops, the emphasis is on experience, dialogue, listening, and sharing. For these workshops, it is very important that we practice what we preach, so to speak, and that through the workshops we model the types of learning that we hope teachers will espouse. Likewise, the program ends up looking different in each location where it is facilitated. Each time I facilitate it, it’s a little different depending on the group, and each time a local facilitator runs it, the use different activities and put a different emphasis on things. The program is usually shorter, on average 4 days, so it is impossible for us to cover all of the content in that amount of time. Sometimes there are follow-up sessions, and we also use an approach of presenting the workshop like a menu and the participants choose the elements that are most relevant. Some concepts, though, we make sure to cover in every workshop, such as the definitions, core concepts, and communication and conflict resolution.
  • I found this very helpful! 
  • As the mission of TWB is “connecting teachers to information,” a big part of what we do as well is connecting teachers to peace education resources – books, web site, lesson plans, networks etc.
  • There are several different approaches to bringing peace education to the curriculum. It can be taught as a separate subject, integrated into some subject areas, or infused into all areas of school life so that it is a part of everything. While studying it as a separate subject or integrating it into some areas is better than nothing, ideally peace education will be a part of all facets of school life, and all areas of the curriculum/
  • Which ever approach you are taking, it is helpful to think about entry points in the learning competencies of the educational system in which you are working.
  • Peace Education Train the Teachers ETUCE Cyprus Conference

    1. 1. Train the Teachers: Preparing teachers as peace educators in classrooms Stephanie Knox Cubbon ETUCE Conference - Cyprus May 17, 2013
    2. 2. Agenda • Why I came to peace education • Why teachers? • About Teachers Without Borders (TWB) and its Peace Education Program (PEP) • What we teach • How we teach it • Strategies and sample activities • Questions and discussion
    3. 3. Article 9 Conference to Abolish War Japan 2008 Cora Weiss of Hague Appeal for Peace: “It’s time to abolish war.”
    4. 4. The role of teachers in promoting peace “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” -UNESCO Constitution  Peace can be learned (and taught)  We need teachers…  …who have peace education training
    5. 5. “Just as war begins in the minds of men, so does peace settle there. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies within each one of us.” -Seville Statement on Violence “Since war begins in the minds of men, it is up to UNESCO and the schools all over the world to put an end to the beginning of war.” -Richard Muller
    6. 6. TWB mission: To connect teachers to information and each other to create local change on a global scale o Provide teacher professional development opportunities online and offline o Bring teachers together in virtual and face-to-face learning communities o Local initiatives with a global impact
    7. 7. TWB Programs • • • • • • Certificate of Teaching Mastery Emergency Education Millennium Development Ambassadors Program Voice of Teachers (peer-review online journal) Country Programs (i.e. Nigeria, Mexico, China) Peace Education Program – October 2010
    8. 8. How the TWB PEP was born - 2010 Nigeria Costa Rica
    9. 9. Peace Education Program • Collaboratively developed from April-September 2010, launched October 2010 o Unit 1: History, Definitions, Key Thinkers, Core Concepts o Unit 2: Scope of Peace Education o Unit 3: From Theory to Practice – Towards a Peaceful Classroom, School and Community • Intended for all educators and community leaders worldwide o Working with local partners to adapt the program
    10. 10. About the program • Theory + Self-Reflection + Practice/action o What are the main theories and concepts of peace education? • Providing a strong theoretical foundation in peace education pedagogy and principles o How do these apply to my life as a human being? • Promoting self-reflection and incorporation of these principles into participants’ lives and work o How do these apply to my teaching practice? • Preparing teachers for practical application • Overall goal: Contribute to a global culture of peace by empowering teachers as agents of peaceful change in their classrooms and communities
    11. 11. “…for educators to be in tune with the times and to be able to respond to the demands of current events, we must provide them with the educational methods for transforming consciousness, starting with their own, so that they themselves can be examples of peace and harmony. Indeed, how can we change other people, if we do not start with ourselves?” -Pierre Weil, the Art of Living in Peace
    12. 12. What do we teach? Content
    13. 13. Part 1: Intro and Core Concepts • History of Peace Education • Definitions • Core Concepts – Understanding Peace, Violence, and Nonviolence o Positive and Negative Peace, Physical and Structural Violence – Johan Galtung o Nonviolence – Gandhi, King, Sharp o Peace Education as Transformative Practice o Culture of Peace o Inner and Outer Peace (new section)
    14. 14. Part 2: Scope of Peace Education • • • • • • • • • • Disarmament Education Education for and about Peace Critical Peace Education Human Rights Education Multicultural Education Gender and Peace Education Global Citizenship Education Conflict Resolution Education Environmental Education Futures Education
    15. 15. Part 3: Pedagogy and Practice • Peace Education as Pedagogy (how we teach is as – if not more – important than what we teach) o Modeling peaceful behaviors Attributes of a Peace Educator Effective Communication The Art of Asking Questions Teaching and Learning Approaches Beyond Classroom Walls – Building a Culture of Peace in Your School and Community • Final Project – Peace Education in Action • • • • •
    16. 16. Basic concepts • Peace can be learned and taught • Peace education should be contextual, relevant to the participants/learner • Everyone in the peace education process is teaching and learning (“edulearner” concept; developing a horizontal rather than hierarchical relationship) and it’s a lifelong learning process • Power dynamics are important – critical peace education (Freire) • Holism – PE deals with the personal to the global, past present and future
    17. 17. How do we teach it? Methods and Strategies
    18. 18. Offering the Program • Free to download => 15,000+ downloads since Nov. 2010 • Offline workshops – US, Canada, Mexico, Uganda, DR Congo, Kenya, South Africa o Average 4 days • Online o Free self-paced version – o Instructor-led version in partnership with National Peace Academy (US) • 12 week-course
    19. 19. Uganda Canada DR Congo South Africa
    20. 20. Uganda– January 2011 • &feature=player_embedded • Peace clubs, radio programme, peace ed as core subject FIRD holding community dialogue meeting on peace education in Lira District
    21. 21. Building Community • Icebreakers, Dialogue, Listening, Sharing
    22. 22. Network of Mutuality • ”I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
    23. 23. Self-Reflection • Peace Education Autobiography exercise - Why are you here? • Inner Peace Practices – How can you cultivate and maintain your own inner peace? Self-care • Setting a peace intention o I go in peace to love the world. – Frank M. o May my heart be open, clear, wise and courageous. – Karen R. • Communication – Compassionate/nonviolent communication
    24. 24. Definitions of Peace Education 1. Walk around the room and read the various definitions 2. Stop at the definition that resonates the most with you. 3. Speak with the other people who stop there. (Why did you choose this definition? What resonates with you? Why didn’t you choose the others? What elements of the other definitions did you like?) 4. Return to your seat and write your own definition of your understanding of peace education, and consider how this definition would guide your teaching, work, and life.
    25. 25. Creating a Zone of Peace
    26. 26. Zones of Peace – Louise Diamond 1. Make a conscious choice to establish a Zone of Peace. 2. Make a Peace Agreement based on the Four Principles of Peace (nonviolence, cooperation, community, peace starts with me) 3. Restore your Peace Agreement when it gets broken. 4. Declare yourself publicly as a Zone of Peace. 5. Surround yourself with people and things that support your Zone of Peace commitment. 6. Study peace and peacemaking to constantly enrich your Zone of Peace. 7. Connect with other Zones of Peace to support each other and grow the revolution. Retrieved from
    27. 27. This “Classroom” is a Zone of Peace 1. Listen when someone is talking 2. Do not exclude anyone. (Include everyone) 3. Say only kind words. 4. Speak gently. 5. Show respect for each other. Declare your classroom a zone of peace and establish rules to achieve it. Navarro-Castro, L. & Nario-Galace, J. (2008). Peace Education: Pathway to a Culture of Peace. Quezon City: Miriam College. Retrieved from
    28. 28. Tijuana – este aula es una zona de paz
    29. 29. Peace Pledge I pledge In my daily life In my family My work My community My country And my region to: Listen to understand Share with others Preserve the planet Rediscover solidarity Reject violence Respect all life. (UNESCO Manifesto 2000, Retrieved from
    30. 30. Reflecting on Violence • What kind of violence do you/your students experience?(structural, physical, cultural, etc.) • What are the root causes of this violence? • What are actions we can take at the individual/community/national/global level to address this issue?
    31. 31. Staircase Model From Learning to Abolish War, Hague Appeal for Peace
    32. 32. World Café Dialogue – Building the World We Want -Futures Education 1. What is your vision of the world in 50 years if we carry on “business as usual”? 2. What is your ideal vision of the world in 50 years (the world you would like to see)? 3. What can we do NOW (concrete actions) to create that ideal vision of the future?
    33. 33. Tijuana wishes for a better future
    34. 34. Peace Education Resources • Hague Appeal for Peace Peace Lessons from Around the World Learning to Abolish War • Teaching Tolerance • YES! Magazine • International Institute for Economics and Peace (Building Blocks for Peace) • Peace Education: A Pathway to a Culture of Peace by Loreta Navarro-Castro and Jasmin Nario-Galace • Videos/TED Talks o Zoe Weil – The World Becomes What You Teach o John Hunter- World Peace Game o RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson – Changing Education Paradigms
    35. 35. Approaches to Peace Education in the Curriculum Infusion- part of everything (mainstreaming) Integration- part of some areas Separate subject
    36. 36. Identifying Entry Points • Find entry points in the learning competencies of the basic education system o Link subject objectives/standards to peace education objectives o Link subjects/topics to peace education themes/topics If we leave peace education to “accidental teaching” or “teachable moments,” we may never get to it…. Recommended Reading: Candace Carter, Peace Education Standards UNICEF Peace Education Definition (Standards) Infed, Curriculum Theory and Practice
    37. 37. Assignments and Final Applied Project • • • • • Syllabi Lesson plans Workshop Adapting existing lesson plans/curricula Peace events Peace walk for International Day of Peace, Liberia
    38. 38. Next steps • Course for educators on Nonviolence – Metta Center for Nonviolence • Peace Education in Trinidad & Tobago • Online course with John Hopkins University (US) • Chapter on our work in Saltillo (Mexico) in Peace Education from the Grassroots book (2013)
    39. 39. Your “homework”  Commit (or recommit) to your own inner peace practice Create your own peace intention Write your peace education autobiography Learn as much as you can about peace (consider taking our online course!) • Imagine your ideal future and take one concrete action now towards it • • • • “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” -Gandhi
    40. 40. Thank you! Email: TWB Peace Educators Facebook Group: /
    41. 41. Q&A • What questions do you still have about peace education and training teachers? • How might you apply some of the concepts in your work/life/community? • What are some challenges in integrating peace education into your context? • What possibilities do you see for applying or expanding peace education in your community?