Thank a Teacher Day on Nov 25th – StoryCorps Listens to Teachers

The StoryCorps project is hosting a “Thank a Teacher” day on November 25th as part of the National Day of Listening. StoryCorps hopes to get citizen-led interviews of teachers in every state in the United States. Seems like a great project for young journalists and researchers and an opportunity for administrators to appreciate some of the great teachers they know.

The Term Bullying Has Little Resonance with Teens

Danah Boyd has written a very insightful piece on how teens experience conflict and how the term “bullying” is not working well in terms of connecting with them. A case example is provided of two girls (Janiya and Precious) who have a conflict that is long-standing and unresolved. It is definitely worth reading. As she note in the concluding paragraph:

Combating bullying is not going to be easy, but it’s definitely not going to happen if we don’t dive deep in the mess that underpins it and surrounds it. Lectures by uncool old people like me aren’t going to make teens who are engaged in dramas think twice about what they’re doing. And, for that matter, using the term “bullying” is also not going to help at all either. We need interventions that focus on building empathy, identifying escalation, and techniques for stopping the cycles of abuse. We need to create environments where young people don’t get validated for negative attention and where they don’t see relationship drama as part of normal adult life. The issues here are systemic.

Call for Nominations: Evens Prize for Peace Education (EU-based projects)

Through its new Prize for Peace Education, the Evens Foundation seeks to recognize organizations, associations or institutions – based and working in the EU – that offer training programs to teachers (among others) in learning how to manage interpersonal and/or intergroup conflicts in a positive and constructive way.The prize money of € 25,000 awarded by a professional jury and the Evens Foundation, will be shared between the award-winner and the dissemination/promotion of the winning training program (in cooperation with the award-winner). Deadline for submission: October 1, 2010.

Promoting “Peace One Day” September 21, 2010

I just visited the “Peace One Day” website: and was impressed with what I found there. The website houses a number of great resources to help teachers and their students celebrate “Peace One Day” on September 21. September 21 is the UN International Day of Peace, a day of global ceasefire and non-violence: Peace Day. If you register on the site, it is possible to receive free resource materials for your school. Their goal is to provide education resources to every school on the earth! The materials are designed to help students gain insight into peace in a multicultural world. The materials use instructional methodologies such as reflective and individual group activities, critical thinking and modern technology to help student gain an awareness of Peace One Day. Nineteen interactive lesson plans can be used to help teachers explore issues like Bullying, Conflict Resolution, Intercultural Cooperation, Art, Music & more. It is recommended that the resources be used in conjunction with Jeremy and Jude Law’s documentary video: “The Day After Peace”. The 32 minute classroom resource video link is available on the website to view online for free. The video can be viewed with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese [Mandarin] French, Russian and Spanish. The materials obtained from the site would also be very helpful for teachers wanting to create projects with their students and/or create themes and projects to prepare for participation for Conflict Resolution Day this October 21st. Behaviour Challenge video module

The U.K.-based site has just released a very engaging learning module called The Behaviour Challenge which places you in the classroom with three students who are presenting problems that may interfere with the learning environment. You choose which student to focus on first, and then what approach to try with them and you see video of their response and some commentary from a coach. It’s a nicely done interactive learning tool. I wonder what others think – Does it incorporate enough Conflict Resolution concepts in the learning?

Now Accepting Applications – International Institute on Peace Education

Looking ahead this year – the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) will take place on July 12-18, 2010 in Colombia.  The theme for the event is: Learning to Read the World from Multiple Perspectives: Peace Education Toward Diversity and Inclusion”.  This event is not a conference but a meeting of a “Learning Community” in which the organizers and the participants will work together to nurture a highly interactive, inclusive learning environment.  It is an intensive multicultural and cooperative learning experience in which participants learn from and with each other about substantive peace issues and interactive teaching approaches.  Program and application information are now available on the IIPE website at:

Great Video: Learn & Live: Resolving Conflict at O’Farrell Middle School

I found this video very interesting and most helpful. The philosophy at O’Farrell Middle School aims to enhance student life in not only academics and family life but also to stress the benefits of Student Social Development in order for children to perform well. The school regularly welcomes the participation of staff of community agencies on site to help in this initiative. Specialists and staff meet with students weekly. For example, regular meetings include visits from Counselors to to talk with groups of children about Conflict Resolution techniques and visits from Counselors to discuss gang issues. One interesting facet of conflict and resolution that arose during a student-teacher discussion session in the video was how the issue of the student’s boredom in the class affected the student-teacher relationship. You can view the video as part of our online video collection.

UNESCO Prize for Peace Education

Perhaps it is time to start thinking about who should be nominated for the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education? While I think not enough people are aware of it, this prize is an important form of recognition of the critical need for Peace Education in modern society. The prize was first awarded in 1981. Here’s a brief excerpt from UNESCO’s Peace Education Prize page describing the qualities of an acceptable candidate:

Candidates, who shall not be subject to any discrimination whatsoever on the grounds of nationality, religion, race, gender or age, shall have made a significant contribution to alerting public opinion and mobilizing the consciences of humankind in the cause of peace. Candidates shall have distinguished themselves through outstanding action, carried out in accordance with the spirit of UNESCO and the United Nations Charter, extending over several years and confirmed by international public opinion, in the following fields:

– the mobilization of consciences in the cause of peace;
– the implementation, at international or regional level, of programmes of activity designed to strengthen peace education by enlisting the support of public opinion;
– the launching of important activities contributing to the strengthening of peace;
– educational action to promote human rights and international understanding;
– the alerting of public opinion to the problems of peace through the media and other effective channels;
– any other activity recognized as essential to constructing the defences of peace in people’s minds (Rule 3.1 of the General Rules).


The nomination form will be available online as of October/November 2009. For more information, please contact: peace&

New Learning Module on Research Strategies

A learning module entitled CRE Program Research Strategies has been added to our collection. It is based on the research portion of a longer 5-day workshop we host on exploring CRE in schools. The new research-oriented module provides basic strategies and frameworks for understanding and conducting useful CRE Program research. We have versions available for viewing online or for download and use in learning management systems like Blackboard or Moodle. See CRE Program Research Strategies to choose the version that works for you.

Report: Teachers Talk School Culture, Safety and Human Rights

Teachers Talk brings the voice of teachers to the debate around safety and discipline in schools. The report by NESRI and Teachers Unite is based on surveys of more than 300 New York City public school teachers from 136 middle and high schools. The report shows that teachers believe punitive approaches toward childern, such as aggressive policing, suspensions and other reactive strategies, undermine the human rights of each child by failing to address the causes of conflict and criminalizing the school environment. Teachers support a holistic, human rights-based approach discipline that uses preventive and constructive approaches to create a postive school cultures, teach behavior skills and use conflict resolution. From the Report:

Conflict resolution and mediation – Over 84% of teachers surveyed said that conflict resolution and mediation are effective or very effective methods for improving safety and discipline. Teachers reported that they need more training so that they can be “the first layer for conflict resolution in any issues that come up with students.” But teachers also said that schools need more intensive programs run by counselors, school aides, or other staff to use conflict resolution and mediation as an alternative to removal when conflicts arise.

Teachings Revolving Door problem

A recent article in Rethinking Schools focuses attention on the ongoing problem of teachers leaving the profession within 3-5 years of starting. The article entitled Teachings Revolving Door points to a number of different explanations for the problem, and as Conflict Resolution in Education advocates know, classroom conflict and management challenges is one of these drivers. Clearly, we need to work on many levels to improve the situation, including helping to prepare new teachers with realistic and practical skills for handling challenging situations. The costs to young people, especially in urban schools, is particularly high, as they most often end up with the most inexperienced teachers due to the revolving door. But, as school administrators know, lack of teacher retention has costs in other ways as well. As the article points out, “Nationwide, teacher turnover costs $7.3 billion a year, according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. In some districts, the costs are shockingly high. In Milwaukee, the average cost per teacher who left was $15,325, according to the commission. In Chicago, the average cost was $17,872, with the total cost to the district about $86 million per year.” Conflict Resolution in Education is part of the solution, but only if we continue to extend the work and make sure it remains relevant to the actual conditions teachers face as they begin their careers.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Turn Spotlight on Need for Education of Children in Conflict

Here are a selection of quotes from Nobel Peace Prize winners speaking on the importance of education for peace. From a post at Save the

“Education provided must be relevant and of high quality – and should teach students the skills of non-violent conflict resolution and help them develop a vision for a just and peaceful world, a world without war, a world where war has in fact become obsolete.”
Ingeborg Breines, Vice-President
Permanent International Peace Bureau, Nobel Peace Prize, 1910

Giving the children the opportunity to learn, write and rewrite their future with a leitmotif of peace calls for broad-based action – for the seeds of peace to grow in the minds of children, many hands have to plant water and nurture them.
Juan Somavia, Director-General
International Labour Organization, Nobel Peace Prize, 1969

Education is a virtue for many reasons, and is the ver y basis of human progress. It is also among the most powerful tools we have for building sturdy foundations of peace. I commend the invaluable efforts of UN partners such as Save the Children, and welcome efforts to “rewrite the future” and ensure that children and youth throughout the world receive the quality education that is their birthright.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General
United Nations, Nobel Peace Prize 1998 and 2001

A better understanding of each other and a willingness to accommodate inevitable differences through direct communication or mediation can almost always lead to peace. Our children, with their inherent innocence and idealism, can be a driving force in seeking this goal.
President Jimmy Carter
Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2002

The old adage ‘education is easy carried’ is so true. It gives one a sense of dignity, of feeling in control of one’s own life. Lack of education can lead to frustration, anger, violence, a sense of alienation and a society storing up problems for the future, when its citizens feel that their right to a good education, and subsequently, being able to obtain employment and fulfilment, is beyond their reach.
Mairead Maguire
Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1976

We must learn to resolve the conflicts that we have… the discord, the discrimination, the racism, the exclusion. We can’t aspire to peace if we don’t have harmony with others… Our youth are no longer going to be intolerant, racist or discriminatory but who enthusiastically want to be diverse, multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual Guatemalans.
Rigoberta Menchu Tum
Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1992

The twenty-first century, for children neglected, abandoned, humiliated and sacrificed, should bring safety and joy for humankind and the future. As always, achieving this will depend not only on children but on us, on our generous and enthusiastic support, so their future becomes one full of love, of life and of warmth. And of peace – the greatest of victories.
Elie Wiesel
Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1986

The education of war has long traditions, compared to the traditions of peace education… There is an evident need in the whole world to increase both the effort given, as well as the level of ambition regarding, the results of peace education… Focussing only on children in peace education is merely a gesture of our own powerlessness and unwillingness to change our global beliefs. This means developing new ways to cooperate with societies, teachers, adults and parents.
Professor Vappu Taipale, Co-President
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Nobel Peace Prize 1985

You can also read the letter (pdf with signatures) and the full selection of statements (pdf).