Thursday, August 18, 2011


I believe the personal mood of the teacher affects the class he/she is teaching and in most cases, dictates the atmosphere during the classes.

With the above in mind, I have cultivated the habit of ensuring I prepare my learning activities before the time of the class. Prior to entering a class, I have a habit of mentally preparing myself for some minutes before starting a lesson. During this period, I say a silent prayer, take a deep breath and paste a smile on my face before going into the class.

This personal formula helps me get off the class on a peaceful note and allows me to bring out the enthusiasm in the students. Once I am able to make that connection, the actual task of teaching, guiding and instructing on the subject matter usually flows along harmoniously.

Promoting a culture of peace in the classroom is not about reading out dry, empty theories, definitions, and guidelines; I take it to be a process of creating and maintaining an environment that encourages every member of the class to feel inclined to live and work peacefully.

Conflicts are inevitable in any human relationship, and the classroom is no exception. One of my preferred methods for settling disputes among students is to get them to agree upon a mutually acceptable arbitrator (from other members of the class) and get aside for a discussion session. At the end of their discussions, if successful, I simply call them all together and outline the importance of peaceful coexistence. If there still remains an unsettled issue, I could then come and help them find ways of resolving them. In most cases, petty misunderstandings are usually resolved without needing my intervention. In fact, it is long ago since I had a case of verbal abuse or physical violence in among my students. They all take to this method very quickly.

To aid effective classroom management, at the beginning of the programme, I usually guide the class to set up a Code of Conduct to serve as a constitution for class conduct for everyone. I guide them to decide on the rules of acceptable behaviour, which we jointly agree on.

By making them part of the policy making process in the class, they mostly willing to follow the rules and thus eliminate conflicts that usually occur due to indiscipline in the classroom. If one student is doing something that goes against the class code of conduct, it is mostly the other students who bring them to order by reminding them of what we have earlier agreed upon.

I teach Computer Application packages ranging from the MS Office suite to the Corel Draw suite and some other packages. Being a hands-on practical programme, the students create works using the Application packages they are learning. I have created a body of sample learning materials that are based on different themes like Happiness, Peace, Poverty, Illiteracy, and Justice etc. The basic structures of these learning materials outlines the topics to be covered while I usually guide the students to provide inputs to use in building the works. As we go about learning the various computer operation techniques, the salient messages in the selected themes are brought up for discussion.

Examples of such learning materials include:
 Ms Word:
A letter to a local newspaper outlining measures that can be taken to reduce ethnic/religious conflicts in the community.

 Ms PowerPoint:
1. A slideshow with slides portraying cooperative efforts between people of different ethnic/religious groups.
2. Slideshow with slides on the effects on deforestation, with some proffered solutions.

 Ms Excel:
Spreadsheets on data about number of women and children who die from violent conflicts.

 Ms Access:
A database of successful collaborative efforts between diverse groups.

The list is in fact endless, and I am able to incorporate any current issue into the learning materials to educate the young minds on the concepts of the culture of peace and this allows them to understand its effects locally, nationally and globally.

My current pet project is being designed to guide my present crop of students to create a PowerPoint presentation and Pamphlets on the need for peaceful coexistence in our society.

The training programme is designed to run for 15 weeks and the students are currently in their 4th week. I intend moulding all their learning activities around the concept of peace and hope to showcase their works on the concept of a culture of peace at a ceremony at the end of their programme.

Being a practising teaching, I have the unique opportunity of using my teaching to guide my students to imbibe the culture of peace. This is a golden opportunity, which we as teachers have. My position as a teacher in the community also gives me further leverage to initiate and promote the culture of peace among our people.


  1. Ibraham,

    Some great ideas in bringing the topic of peace into your students' coursework. I can see that these assignments are a great way to plant seeds and instill in your students a sense of civic duty as well as giving them a chance to imagine a peaceful community. They will not forget this assignment when they are finished with the course and hopefully will continue their involvement outside of the classroom because of it.

  2. Yes, one of main objectives is to raise their awareness.
    Once they get involved, i hope they will keep it up as they go ahead


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