Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Key Pedagogical Principles of Peace Education

Virginia Cawagas (2007) has identified four key pedagogical principles in peace education:
1. Holism: Demonstrating that all issues are interrelated, multidimensional, and dynamic. Holism stands in sharp contrast to the fragmented way in which school subjects are often taught. A holistic vision allows us to see the complex relationships of different issues. A holistic vision involves looking at the temporal (past, present, future, and how they interrelate) and spatial dimensions (from micro to macro, and across sectors of society) of an issue.

2. Values formation: Cawagas writes, “Realizing that all knowledge is never free of values, educating for a culture of peace needs to be explicit about its preferred values such as compassion, justice, equity, gender-­- fairness, caring for life, sharing, reconciliation, integrity, hope and non-­-violence” (p. 302). Peace education involves teaching for these values in all educational interventions.

3. Dialogue: According to Cawagas, “a dialogical approach cultivates a more horizontal teacher-­-learner relationship in which both dialogically educate and learn from each other” Dialogue is a key component of peace education pedagogy. In addition to class discussion, Cawagas suggests the following tools for dialogic pedagogy:
 Guest speakers: For example, invite street children to a class to talk about their lives;
 Web charting: Make a web chart using a theme (in a circle in the center), and sub-­- themes connected to the center, and draw connections;
 Role-­-play: Have students act out a cross-­-cultural conflict;
 Simulation: Simulate a small-­-arms convention for a lesson on disarmament; have students play different roles, such as that of an arms dealer, arms buyer, protester, etc.;
 Singing;
 Painting;
 Poetry;
 Small group discussion.

4. Critical empowerment: Cawagas writes that “in critical empowerment, learners engage in a personal struggle to develop a critical consciousness that actively seeks to transform the realities of a culture of war and violence into a culture of peace and non-­- violence” (p. 304). Thus, through critical empowerment, learners develop a deeper understanding of problems, and are also empowered to take action to solve these problems. Critical empowerment also requires an understanding of power; in a system of inequitable power relations, empowerment involves reconstructing this system to one of more equitable, horizontal relations.

Cawagas, V. (2007). Pedagogical principles in educating for a culture of peace. In S. H. Toh & V. Cawagas (Eds.)

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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi (mallamibro@gmail.com) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.