Regional Summary: North America
Read more about this region in Wikipedia.
Active Countries in the Region Include:
Summary of Activities
The Canadian Conflict Prevention Initiative is part of the Global partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). Affecting changes in education at the Provincial/Territorial levels will be a key objective of Provincial Culture of Peace Programs and Annual Provincial Peace Education Conferences. Annual Provincial Peace Education Conferences currently take place in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.
For a summary of CRE activity in this area please review the (now rather dated) OCDRCM website profile for this country.
Legislative and Policy Initiatives:An excellent summary of recent developments in peace education and the culture of peace program in Canada, available for any organizations and individuals interested in advancing peace education and the Culture of Peace and Non-violence Program in their area, is available at http://www.peace.ca/EVOLVINGCANADIANMODELFORPEACE2005.ppt in English and at http://www.peace.ca/CCOPPportuguese2005.ppt in Portuguese. See also these resources: Inventory of University and Other Peace Education Programs in Canada at http://www.peace.ca/canpeaceeducation.htm (this is extensive) Inventory of Peace Education Sample Curricula http://www.peace.ca/curricula.htm Canadian Peace Education Strategy http://www.peace.ca/conference2002summary.htm Fourth Annual Peace Education Conference in Canada: Peace Pedagogy – Educating Educators To Teach Peace http://www.peace.ca/CanadianAgenda2005.htm
CRE Resources:In Canada, education is Provincial (rather than Federal/National). Accordingly, education legislation is the mandate of the thirteen Provincial/Territorial Governments. There is a Canadian Ministers of Education Council which meets annually to discuss matters of common interest. It is our understanding that no Canadian Governmental body is proposing to establish any legislation or policy initiatives with respect to Conflict Resolution or Peace Education.
Summary of Activities
Costa Ricans take pride in their country’s reputation as a peaceful nation, with more than half a century without a standing army or other defense arrangement since 1948. Current President Oscar Arias played a fundamental role in the Central American Peace Plan in the 1980s, for which he is best known throughout the Americas as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Located within a region historically wrought with social and political conflict, Costa Rica is internationally regarded as a peaceful, prosperous country.
As such, Costa Rica is home to the United Nations’ chartered University for Peace, where hundreds of international students graduate each year from prestigious programs including Sustainable Development, Conflict Resolution, Peace Education and International Peace Studies. In 1997, Costa Rica passed a law that requires peace education is offered in every classroom. In September 2009, the Costa Rican government will host the annual international Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace, the first government in the world to host a Summit of this kind.
It is in this national framework of peace that Conflict Resolution Education and Peace Education are received openly in the school system and within the highest levels of government. The Academy for Peace has been instrumental in bringing about a workable curriculum for Peace Education in the Costa Rican school system, as well as establishing legislature to set up significant peace infrastructure within the Costa Rican government. Currently, the Academy for Peace works with 13 schools in the county of Santa Ana, teaching the practice of BePeace, which fulfills the peace education law. With the support of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Education, the Santa Ana BePeace model will be replicated in the public school system throughout the country, strengthening this culture of peace and ensuring that this peace skill is passed on from generation to generation.
Legislative and Policy Initiatives:The Academy for Peace has designed all of its own curriculum and training materials for 40-hour training courses for facilitators and teachers (course manual created), 9-hour parents’ courses, weekend workshops for students, refresher courses in the schools and weekly lesson plans for classroom courses with students. The weekly course curriculum in the schools includes: 4 sessions on cultivating internal peace, 4 sessions on respect (to ourselves, to others and to the environment), and 4 sessions on autonomy, specifically in regards to dealing with anger. Other curriculum themes currently being developed include: acceptance, connection, contribution and appreciation.
CRE Resources:The Academy for Peace of Costa Rica has been successful in creating a congressional Bill, which in the Fall of 2008 faces no governmental opposition and is currently included to be voted on in the present session of the Costa Rican national legislature. When passed, this Bill will establish peace infrastructure within the Costa Rican government, including the creation of the Ministry for Justice and Peace (formerly the Ministry of Justice) and detailing public-private collaboration between the Costa Rican government, non-governmental organizations including the Academy for Peace, and Pro-Peace organizations in Costa Rica. The piece of legislation detailed above serves as the structural basis for establishing peace infrastructure in the Costa Rican government, and providing the foundation for working relationships between the public and private sector toward the creation of a culture of peace. This peace infrastructure is the first part of a two-pronged approach in disseminating a culture of peace throughout Costa Rica. The second aspect of this approach relates specifically to the Academy for Peace’s grassroots work in the public school system, which will be extended to the national level with the recently-acquired support of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), and funded in part by the private Costa Rican organization, the Association of Businesses for Development (AED). The Academy for Peace is currently working with MEP and AED to design and implement a national curriculum for peace education in the Costa Rican school system, based on replicating the BePeace model currently established in the public school system of the county of Santa Ana. The Academy for Peace will train peace educators who will work with MEP in the national public school system to extend the BePeace method throughout the country. The Ministry of Public Education sends teachers on paid time to the 40-hour BePeace Course and allows Academy trainers to train students, teachers and parents throughout the school year. Costa Rica’s Minister of Justice, Laura Chinchilla, has also played an influential role in helping our peace legislature make its way into the national congressional body to be voted on.
Summary of Activities
A great deal of activity is occurring in the United States. This includes work in many individual schools, as well as statewide efforts that coordinate Conflict Resolution Education work across States or within districts.