For a summary of CRE activity in this area please review the (now rather dated) OCDRCM website profile for this country.
For the purposes of definition the terms peace education and conflict resolution education are blended into a mix of approaches when applied to Victorian schools.
The most common ways that schools incorporate PE & CRE are through:
The provision of safe, supportive learning environments. This will include attention to such things as relationship building, reduction of bullying, social skills development, conflict management, violence prevention, multiculturalism etc. Schools may organise activity around particular frameworks such as National Safe Schools, Values Education, Health Promoting Schools or Essential Learnings
Program approaches such as Civics and Citizenship Education, Human Rights Education, Values Education, Global Education and personal development (these are often hybridised to form the basis of a peaceful school program or
Philosophies such as peer mediation and restorative justice
Such responses are housed within whole school approaches. In general terms this means that:
– there are agreed (shared) values and vision directing school practice
– the curriculum includes student wellbeing, the school organisation, environment, policies and practices
– attention is paid to prevention, early intervention and targeted intervention.
– school leadership, teachers, students, parents and the wider community seek to collaborate and share the responsibility of developing a community of learning
– the practices are inclusive and multidisciplinary
The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme has been operating in New Zealand since 1991. It has been delivered to nearly two thirds of our schools nationwide. You can get the latest information on the program via http://www.peace.net.nz/
This proactive programme empowers people by teaching them skills and processes to resolve conflict peacefully. Individuals learn how to use conflict scenarios as an opportunity to build positive relationships with others. Non-violent, constructive, co-operative, WIN/WIN solutions to a problem are negotiated. Agreements are made which are mutually acceptable to all parties concerned. When implemented as a whole-school programme, it has a positive impact not only on students, teachers and parents but also for the wider school community.
Schools successfully implementing the programme report that 80-85% of minor disputes are settled permanently by peer mediators helping to make the school environment (both playground and classroom) a happier, safer, more peaceful place to be. Students are providing a service for other students as “peace-keepers”. They are modelling skills and processes, which will last a lifetime and are readily transferable to the home, workplace, community etc.
New Zealand is becoming increasingly multi-cultural. This cultural and ethnic diversity is often reflected in schools. The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme training increases the students’ awareness of cultural differences and fosters understanding and respect of diversity so that every child’s uniqueness is recognised and embraced.
There are three programmes available in New Zealand: Cool Schools Primary (Years 1-8); Cool Schools Secondary (Years 9-13); Cool Schools Parents’ Programme, and we are now developing Cool Schools International.
Roots of Empathy – Puna Atawhai
Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an award winning programme that has shown dramatic effects in reducing levels of aggression and violence among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. It also provides these children with a clear understanding of the needs of a baby and what it is to be a good parent, thus offering the potential to break intergenerational cycles of family abuse.
Culture of Peace Outreach Programme
The Peace Foundation also offers schools the Culture of Peace Outreach Programme. The project was launched by the Minister of Education Mr Trevor Mallard from the Beehive, and operates mostly in the Wellington region.
Outreach educators are available to visit schools to:
– Lead classes in various aspects of peace education
– Assist teachers in developing peace education in their classroom
– Demonstrate, display, discuss and distribute peace education resources
– Discuss other Peace Foundation programmes suitable for schools
– Consult with the principal, teachers and other school officials on problems and needs they have in regards to violence/conflict.
Lesson elements include:
– Affirmation and self esteem
– Communication skills
– Approaches to solving conflicts in the home, school, wider community or internationally
– Co-operative games
– International law and international organisations including the United Nations and International Court of Justice.
The classes and educational materials offered are designed to conform to Health, Social Studies, Science, English and Environmental Curricula, and are in accordance with the Peace Studies Guidelines developed by the Ministry of Education.
Visualising a peaceful world. Creative visualisation and art on creating a peaceful world. Ages 5-12
Affirmation and self esteem. Exercises to develop self-esteem and to learn to affirm others. Ages 5-12
Conflict resolution (a). Role plays and discussions on solving conflicts in students’ lives. Ages 5-15
Conflict resolution (b). Simulated exercise on conflicts between groups. Introduces concepts of identity and conflict, negotiation strategies, what winning means, and equality v equity. Ages 14-18
Advanced conflict resolution. Tools for conflict analysis and resolution. Ages 15-18
Co-operative games. Games to build trust, communication, co-operation and confidence. Ages 5-18
Sadako and the thousand cranes. International children’s response to nuclear weapons. Includes making an origami crane, the Japanese peace bird. Ages 9-13
Non-violence as a response to environmental violence: The example of Greenpeace. Ages 12-18
Nuclear weapons and the Pacific. Nuclear testing, nuclear weapons free zones, the World Court cases and the Abolition 2000 campaign. Ages 14-18
International approaches to peacemaking, peacebuilding and war prevention. The examples of the United Nations, International Court of Justice, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and others. Ages 15-18
The Solomon Islands is a sprawling archipelago to the north-east of the Australian continent. The country has a population just over 400,000 people and more that 70 language groups signifying its cultural diversity.
Peace Education is considered especially important for the region given the experiences with escalated social conflict that have occurred in the last decade. Violent conflict in the Solomon Islands, locally referred to as ‘the tensions’, began in 1998 when a group of militant youths from the island of Guadalcanal attacked settlements of islanders predominantly from Malaita (a neighboring island) in northwest Guadalcanal, an area bordering the capital city Honiara. Their actions were prompted by the failure of successive national government’s to address issues raised by the indigenous people of Guadalcanal. Many people were displaced in the next few years due to the growing militant behaviors. The violence escalated at the start of 2000 when a resistance group named the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF), claiming to represent the interests of the Malaitans who had been displaced, armed themselves by raiding police armories and subsequently took control of Honiara. Small arms skirmishes took place frequently between MEF and Guadalcanal militants around the city limits and other key areas on Guadalcanal and neighboring island. Reductions in armed conflict were negotiated at the Townsville peace conference in 2000, with the signing of the Townsville Peace Agreement.
As the rule of law returned and donor activity restarted the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) commissioned a Peace and Conflict related Development Analysis of Solomon Islands within this context. In partnership with the Solomon Islands National Peace Council and the Department of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, a UNDP team led by Dr Ken Bush interviewed over 300 people representing governments, donors, private sector, non-government organizations and community representatives such as village elders, chiefs, senior women and church leaders. Initial consultations were held with eminent people in government, NGOs, the church and the donor community. After this focus groups were created and participatory peace and conflict research techniques were completed within these groups. The focus group work was supplemented by field visits to provincial areas that were directly and indirectly affected by the conflict. The resulting report, released in 2004 has helped build an understanding of what the conflict was and was not, and it tore down widely held and potentially dangerous beliefs that the conflict was fundamentally about ethnicity.
Peace Education Curriculum
In the aftermath of five years of civil unrest in Solomon Islands, educational institutions, the National Peace Council, and NGO leaders expressed a need to build capacity in educational and community settings to teach peace building concepts and skills.
In 2004 a peace education curriculum was developed with support from UNICEF for primary and secondary schools. The secondary module was pilot tested in November 2004 and the primary module was pilot tested in February, 2005 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource. The Peace Education module for youth and young adults entitled “Practicing Peace: Come Together, Talk Together, Work Together” aims to help young people resolve interpersonal and inter-group conflict through productive and peaceful strategies and to teach young people how they can participate in public life. AusAID and the UNICEF New Zealand National Committee are contributers to the peace education programme.
The Peace Education Module for Youth and Young Adults promotes deep and reflective thinking on issues of peace, diversity, conflict. It includes practical activities and lessons on practicing inter-personal and inter-group peace and on good governance and peace. The module contains set lessons to be implemented in secondary schools over a period of time through a range of activities like role play, discussion, small group work, opinion polls and negotiation exercises. UNICEF had been implementing the Pacific Stars Life Skills curriculum in community settings. Practicing Peace is intended to be used as the final module in this curriculum. It can also be used as a stand alone module.