In this lesson, we’ll discuss why peace education is more important now than it has ever been. We’ll also look at the ten primary objectives covered in a peace education program.
Peace Education: Importance
Strategies for achieving peace fall under three basic categories: peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding.
Peacekeeping generally involves police or military action and strives to achieve peace through strength and force. Peacemaking involves communication skills like conflict resolution and mediation strategies for interacting non-violently with others. Both of these categories are reactive approaches that kick in after a violent incident has occurred. Peacebuilding, on the other hand, is a more proactive approach that uses peace education as a means of creating a more stable and peaceful culture, thereby preventing violent incidents from occurring.
Peace education is critical to creating a culture that reduces the need for peacemaking and peacekeeping by developing a comprehensive program that teaches people how to interact with others and avoid unnecessary aggression. Let’s look at the objectives typically found in peace education.
There are ten primary objectives of peacebuilding, or peace education.
These goals rely on the assumption that while violent conflict is unavoidable, there is a process by which we can address conflict and minimize violence. Peace education seeks to reduce violence and promote peacebuilding using the following objectives to inform the instruction. Let’s review each one:
Appreciate the Concept of Peace
This objective is met by studying the arts and humanities as they relate to peace. Literature such as novels and religious text, films, and documentaries; fine art such as paintings and photography; and even performance art such as theater and music all provide a rich backdrop for understanding the concept of peace and appreciating the art created in its honor.
It is in the nature of warmongers to incite fear among people to generate support for their genocide. Dismantling this deeply ingrained fear is one of the goals of peace education. Peace educators are prepared to allay the fears their students have about both major world conflict and war, as well as their own interpersonal conflicts.
Provide Information about Security
Peace education students need to understand the way national security systems work so they can begin to conceptualize alternatives to war that will keep the nation safer in the future. Peace educators teach about the implications of the arms race and international policy, the nature of the military, the militarization of the police, and the prison industrial complex.
Understand War Behavior
Another objective of peace education is to understand the behavior of war and the conditions under which a group will seek organized violence as an answer to conflict. Peace education students gain exposure to several peaceful societies as well as the role of individuals like Hitler and Napoleon in historical conflicts.
Develop Intercultural Understanding
War is often a direct result of otherness, so developing a deep understanding and respect of other cultures is critical to promoting peace. War profiteers who make money from perpetuating destruction have billions of dollars invested in keeping up with the ‘us vs. them’ mentality, which prevents people from demanding peace and encourages them to support war.
‘Explore the Long Range View
It is important that peace education students see the potential for a future without violence. Peace educators help to promote a hopeful optimism by showing students that it is possible to affect the future based on what we do today.
Teach the Process of Peace
As peace education is not entirely theoretical, this objective addresses the need for students to learn practical skills and actionable steps they can take to bring about peace. Teaching this process encourages students to feel comfortable addressing conflict peacefully in their own lives while helping them understand how to get involved on a societal level.
Promote Social Justice
In relation to this objective, peace educators address institutional injustices such as racism, sexism, and religious discrimination, among others. Students learn to challenge their own assumptions about coercive dominant forces that influence their perspective and ability to see all people as deserving of a violence-free existence.
Promote Respect for Life
This component of peace education emphasizes our personal responsibility to show respect for all kinds of life. Peace educators can help students develop a healthy self-image, build trust with others, promote social growth, and address the suffering in the world while learning compassion and empathy.
Manage Conflict Non-violently
Understanding how to manage conflict non-violently is critical to peace education and can apply not only to students’ individual lives but also on a societal or global level. Students learn how conflict begins, how the perspectives of those in conflict differ, the impact of violent responses to conflict, and alternatives to violence.
There are three strategies for achieving peace, including peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. In this lesson, we explored the ten objectives of peacebuilding, or peace education. Assuming that violence is unavoidable, peace education emphasizes peacebuilding as a means of creating a culture that does not automatically jump to violent responses to conflict.Goals of peace educators include teaching students how to manage conflict without violence, respect all forms of life, and engage in social justice activities.
They also strive to help students appreciate intercultural diversity, learn the skill set for peaceful engagements, and envision a future without war. The goals of peace educators also include helping students understand national security and war behavior. During a peace education program, educators try to address student fears and help them appreciate peace through the arts.