The world marked the International Day of Peace (September 21) in different and creative ways as electronic reports have indicated to us. In my case I am happy to report that my colleague, Jasmin Nario-Galace and I celebrated it by launching a book that we conceptualized long ago but had the opportunity to write and complete only recently.
The book is entitled Peace Education: A Pathway to a Culture of Peace. The overall goal of this book is to provide educators with the basic knowledge base as well as the skill- and value-orientations that we associate with educating for a culture of peace. Although this work is primarily directed towards the pre-service and in-service preparation of teachers in the formal school system, it may be used in nonformal education. It can also be a resource for those who want to understand peace issues and some of the ways by which they can help work for change towards a more peaceable society.
Jasmin and I are pleased that we can offer this small contribution to the Global Campaign for Peace Education, which seeks the introduction of peace education in all educational institutions in the world. It is our hope that our work can help in the realization of this vision. This book is firmly rooted in the belief that deliberate and sustained peace education, both in our schools and in our communities, is an important force and pathway towards a culture of peace and the prevention of violent conflict.
This book is based on our study and research as well as on our experiences as teachers and trainers. By writing about what we have come to know and experienced, we are pleased that we are now able to reach a larger community of educators and other concerned people. It is our hope that the ideas contained in this book will circulate widely and promote enthusiasm for both education and action for peace.
We have organized the book into three sections. Part I presents chapters that are meant to help us develop a holistic understanding of peace and peace education. Part II discusses the key themes in peace education. Each chapter starts with a conceptual essay on a theme and is followed by some practical teaching-learning ideas that can either be used in a class or adapted to a community setting. Part III focuses on the peaceable learning climate and the educator, the agent who facilitates the planting and nurturing of the seeds of peace in the learning environment. Finally, the whole school approach is introduced to suggest the need for institutional transformation and the need to move beyond the school towards engagement with other stakeholders in the larger society.
“To reach peace, teach peace!”