Monday, May 23, 2011


Dewey's contributions to the field of Peace education emphasized giving prominence to the teaching of History and Geography in schools.
He focused on the teaching of the two subjects to highlight the positive values and similarities that existed between various cultures of the world. He believed this will foster better understanding and highlight the connections between different cultures however physically distant from one another they may be.
HISTORY:Dewey proffered that the teaching of history should go beyond rote learning of important dates, names and events. He believed that students should be provided with knowledge about causes of past events, their effects then and possible connections with present problems or events. He believed students should be provided with adequate knowledge of the past and with this knowledge, they would be better guided to understand the problems of the present and recognize possible problems that could arise in the future as a result of the actions of today.
With advantage of such a deep understanding of historical actions and their consequences in the past and potential influence on the present, Dewey believed students will be able to contribute to peace efforts with a sense of more personal responsibility.
GEOGRAPHY:Even to this day, most students grow up with scanty or sometimes "coloured" knowledge about cultures other than those of their immediate environments. They are thus prejudiced in their perception of people from other cultures other than theirs.
Dewey believed teaching students about the diverse world cultures, habits and occupations will create a sense of better appreciation and respect for foreign values. In the teaching of Geography, teachers should guide students to see the similarities between cultures and highlight the relevance of the various cultures to one another.
The teacher should endeavor to use Geography classes to highlight the various exchanges that exist between different cultures. This should include trade, cultural, and technological exchanges. Dewey believed that students should be guided to understand the influence of different cultures on their own lives. How they are benefiting from the products, services and even technological advances of other cultures. It would also be a good idea for the teacher to let his students perceive the various collaborative efforts between peoples of various cultures that are helping make their lives enjoyable. This will enable the students imbibe a culture of accepting other societies as contributing to their lives and thus create a spirit of love and respect for other cultures.
By making them see the interwoven connectivity that exists among diverse cultures of the world, it is expected that students will see reasons why they need to promote peaceful coexistence among all nations of the world.

Dewey also promoted the idea of tailoring education to guide students to see themselves as global citizens with a sense of patriotism to the world, not only to their countries of birth or origin. Patriotism to nations of birth or origin alone he believed led to people seeing themselves as only being concerned with their country’s interests alone with not much care for other countries of the world. In fact, sometimes going to the point of engaging other countries in violent conflicts, all in the name of protecting their selfish national interests.
By being able to see all citizens of the world as members of the same community to which they all owe allegiance, they grow up to consider themselves as joint stakeholders in ensuring peaceful coexistence in the whole world.
His philosophy of a transnational perspective for the world’s citizens sought to bring together the best attributes and values of all societies to form a broader ideological base that will accommodate positive values from diverse cultures

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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.