Monday, May 23, 2011

Multiple Definitions of Peace education - My Reflections

Just like there is no single “perfect” way of defining “peace” or “happiness”, defining peace education in so many ways reflects the diversity that exists in our world.  All definitions agree that conflict should be prevented and peaceful coexistence should be promoted. The most important factor to consider when considering any definition, is to to ensure it is tailored towards integrating the concepts of tolerance, friendship and mutual understanding into the curricular so that our youths can grow up with the outlook we all crave (i.e. peace loving citizens of world, who will see themselves as having a stake in ensuring the world remains peaceful)

Placing a single “agreed upon” definition on peace education, will actually negate what it stands for, it will then force everyone to have to adapt to some universally defined concepts, standards and methodologies which may actually not be well suited to work in all environments. By  having these flexibility in the definitions which all have a common aim, the educator is offered the opportunity to see the concept from different levels of human relations. At this point though, I wish to add that peace education should not be seen as an academic subject that will be designed to decide students’ competence through a Pass/Fail system, rather it is should be a programme aimed at introducing an culture of love, peace and understanding among peoples of diverse cultures and beliefs.

There is no single perfect method of teaching on how to achieve and maintain sustainable peace, every peace education curriculum will have to base its definition on the peculiar cultural and sociological contexts that exist in the society in which it is to be adopted.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ibrahim,
    Thank you for sharing these insightful reflections. Indeed, I agree with you that peace education is inherently contextual and as such, must be defined based on the local context and needs. What is most pressing on one area will be different from the next. However, I think we can apply some universal principles to all peace education - such as you state, "a culture of love, peace and understanding among peoples of diverse cultures and beliefs."

    More soon,


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