Monday, May 23, 2011

A personal definition of Peace education

In a mufti-cultural society like the one live here in Kano, Nigeria, peace education must be one that seeks for ways of educating the populace on the benefits of peaceful existence, one that educates the youths on the dangers and negative effects of political violence, ethnic clashes and religious crisis. An effective peace education must teach the students to see each and every member of the society as a necessary contributor to the effort at developing the society.
I will define peace education as a curriculum that:
“enlightens people on the negative impacts of conflicts while highlighting the benefits of peaceful coexistence and cooperation with one another. Peace education should guide them to learn how to live peacefully with one one another and teach them to accept and respect peoples of diverse cultures/beliefs and ensure they learn to resolve their differences through well defined peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms.”


  1. Hi Ibrahim,
    Please disregard my previous question asking how you would define peace education :)

    Do you think peace education needs to be a curriculum? Does it have to be a formal intervention?

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    To attempt answering your questions with a simple YES or NO will not satisfy the depth of the subject matter. I’d prefer to offer my little contribution based on my expectation of what Peace education should be about.
    1. Curriculum is a course of study, containing the body of subject matter officially taught in schools.
    2. Curriculum means all the learning activities a learner has under the guidance of the school.
    3. Curriculum is a programme of activities designed by the school to enable learners attain, as far as possible, certain educational objectives.
    4. Curriculum is a continuous process of insight into the life of the society with a view to bringing out improvement.
    5. Curriculum is a product of the society.
    Peace education aims at combating the current culture of discrimination and intolerance in the society through the process of promoting the cultivation of a culture of love, respect and peaceful coexistence.

    I hope that someday we won’t even need to say ‘peace education’, it will simply be education – that there will be education for all and that all education will be education for peace (Knox Cubbon, 2010)

  3. The ultimate goal of peace education is the formation of responsible, committed, and caring citizens who have integrated the values into everyday life and acquired the skills to advocate for them. - Betty Reardon

    To think of Peace education as a curriculum that is planned and guided “fixed by certain individuals”, or as a product that is acquired from educational institutions, doesn’t do justice to the goals outlined above.
    Like Lawton rightly espoused, Curriculum is a product of the society and thus, it must be flexible and adaptable to different social contexts. The society is in itself in a continual process of dynamic transformation and for Peace education to be relevant, it must not be modelled as a fixed body of knowledge that is static. This will make it impractical and negatively impact its relevance.
    If Peace education aims at transforming the minds of men from a culture of war to one of peace, then it must be fashioned to be a continuous process positively effecting the transformation of reality through reflective exploration and action. Modelling Peace education as a Praxis will allow it to always be relevant and adaptable to diverse contexts since it will continue to always be in a state of transformation itself.

    There is a global acceptance of the need for peace and peaceful coexistence among earth’s inhabitants. This view, though universally shared means different things to different people and so it is nearly impossible for any set of rigidly fixed body of learning activities to be designed to achieve global peace.
    The UNICEF outline of expected factors to be considered in Peace education could serve as a policy instrument to guide the practice of Peace education globally. Its adaptation to each society should be based on local needs depending on the realities of each society.
    At the school level (Nursery – Tertiary), I’d prefer Peace education to be integrated into current curriculum than to attempt creating it as a standalone subject of study. Educators should be guided to model their current learning activities to serve as vehicles towards Peace education.
    Globally, in every local context, there are manifestations of the culture of war (Structural violence or negative peace) and the Peace education curriculum should be one that would be flexible enough to be adapted to local needs.
    With a basic set of universally accepted, uniform policy instrument like the UNICEF’s to guide what Peace education should aim to achieve, Peace education practitioners (both in educational institutions (Formal and informal) and other sectors of the society) can then create their local models that will satisfy local needs.
    This model will also help us build a diverse array of practical methods from practitioners all over the world that will help us all learn from one another.
    With regards to Peace education for educators in programmes like the TWB Peace education programme, the present guided format of building a framework for topics around global themes and then calling for participants to contribute based on their local societal realities, is highly practical.
    We educators at all levels are well positioned to integrate the concepts of Pecae education into our learning activities and thus contribute to creating a world where it will be more difficult for the flames.

    Every political leader will claim they are dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in their societies. Likewise, global agencies like the UN and others also claim Global peace is their goal.
    Whatever our perception of their efforts may be, it at least shows that everyone accepts that “Peace” is a lofty goal which should be attained.
    Taking the above into consideration, we could use the UNICEF


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