The Foundation of Peace – A Unique Program of Value and Peace Education for Schools

An Introduction to

THE FOUNDATION OF PEACE

A Course on Value and Peace Education for Schools

 

General Introduction

We live in an age of crisis–a time of great opportunities for humanity and a time20160110_184249 of great danger for the whole human race. The forces of construction and destruction are to be seen at work worldwide. Never in human history has there been such a desperate need to develop and improve the various approaches for creating a unified, harmonious, peaceful and just world within which the nations develop internal cohesion and tranquility. This worldwide crisis comes right down to the local community, the family, and the individual, as we must deal with violence at all levels in all its forms. This in essence is a crisis of principles, values, ethics and morality. The survival of a large portion of the human race is at stake. One of the most vital approaches toward achieving the ultimate aim of a new, different, and better world for all peoples is peace education; an innovative approach to teaching and learning that is strongly linked with values and morality.

Peace education has been promoted internationally for years by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Steps are being taken to develop and strengthen it on the regional, national, and local levels. One example is the recent efforts of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in India. The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 has stated that “Education for peace seeks to nurture ethical development with values, attitudes and skills required for living in harmony within oneself and with others including nature.”

The NCF-2005 of NCERT provides a road-map for the structuring and delivery of school education in India. It actively supports and promotes the introduction of peace education in schools. Related excerpts from the NCF are presented at the end of this document.

Peace Education – A New Approach

20160110_184124In response to this pressing need, Animator Publications has published a new series, The Foundation of Peace: A Course on Value and Peace Education, Books 1 to 5, written and developed for primary schools throughout India and for other countries. This includes Teachers’ Guides, Books 1 to 5 and the matching Activity Books 1 to 5 for use by students of classes Lower K.G. to Std. 5. Together they provide a powerful, effective program for educating school children that not only can be used throughout the whole school year but seeks to transform children over the years as they move through the program. Testing and practice of all aspects of the content has taken place in Indian schools and has been found that it can easily take up the moral education periods in schools, preferably of 35 to 40 minutes each.

This particular program has many important effects.

  1. Over the long term, positive changes in behavior of the students are noted.
  2. It effectively develops communication and linguistic skills in the students.
  3. Through the use of cooperative learning, on which delivery of the content is strongly based, academic achievement is accelerated.
  4. The students apply what they have learned, such as higher order thinking, problem solving and conflict resolution competencies, to everyday life. In short, they are being trained to become thinkers and social problem solvers with the appropriate values and attitudes firmly in place–in other words, they are learning to become peacemakers–endowed with the qualities, attitudes, skills, knowledge and abilities to prevent conflicts, and resolving them as and when they occur at school, at home and in the neighborhood.
  5. Teachers who have received in-service or pre-service training in this particular program and have used it over time have expressed how they themselves are changed by it for the better.
  6. Students are required to carry out activities at home with their family members. This ensures that the benefits of the program also reach the homes of children.

Through this program, children thus come to appreciate the fundamental unity of the whole human race and develop a keen awareness of social problems that often lead to conflict.  And in the Indian tradition, children are guided to develop inner peace, but linking it with promoting harmony in society.

In-Service Trainings and Follow-up:

The key to the success and effectiveness of this peace education program involves:

(a)    A full understanding and long-term support of school heads, and

(b)    Full participation of designated teachers in the in-service training courses that will be offered along with the necessary follow-up. 

Teachers benefit greatly by the in-service trainings associated with this peace education program in classroom management, cooperative learning and cooperative games. The utility and effectiveness of these trainings are further enhanced by the fact that teachers can easily and usefully apply the related techniques and approaches to teaching all other primary school subjects: English, Hindi, other languages, science, social studies, mathematics, environmental studies, etc. Thus, the in-service training offered in relation to this peace education program serves a curriculum-wide purpose and will be of immense value to schools and teachers. 

In-service trainings will be organized for schools either locally or regionally,peaceBW depending on the number of participants in each such training. These trainings will be facilitated by experienced trainers. Additionally, schools that adopt and introduce the peace education program will benefit from follow-up activities involving a band of qualified experts and consultants assisting participating schools to constantly improve the quality of the program.

Use of the Foundation of Peace Series:

This series of peace and value education books was successfully introduced in a number of schools in its very first year of publication and this number has rapidly increased over the years.

The Foundation of Peace is designed for Indian schools and in some cases reflects Indian culture, social problems, etc. But it can be adapted, with prior permission of the publisher, for use in other countries, reflecting the specific cultural and societal issues in each case, as most of its content is universal. An adapted French version of this series is currently being used in Belgium.

Author and Publisher of the Series:

The Foundation of Peace has been developed by Dr. H. T. D. Rost, a prominentAP Logo educationist, who served for many years at the New Era Teacher Training Center (NETTC) at Panchgani, India. Dr. Rost undertook pioneering work in the promotion of educational approaches based on cooperative learning and cooperative games in India. He was also involved in developing peace education curricula and associated approaches for the past 30 years.

Animator Publications (Panchgani, India) are the publishers of these books. The publishers may be contacted as follows:

Email: – animatorpublications@gmail.com

Phone:  +91 8657198999,8806342284

Cost and Other Details:

Copies of The Foundation of Peace books in English may be ordered from the publisher as per the following price-list. These prices include postage and handling charges. A discount of 20% is offered on the cost of the teacher’s guides and activity books to schools that decide to introduce the Peace Education program as part of their moral and value education curriculum. This discount would not be applicable when books are ordered for reference or library. 

 Price List:

Title Level of Book
            Price (Rs)
Teachers’ Guide Book 1

250

Teachers’ Guide Book 2

250

Teachers’ Guide Book 3

250

Teachers’ Guide Book 4

250

Teachers’ Guide Book 5

250

Student Activity Book Book 1, level 1 (U Kg)

  45

Student Activity Book Book 1, level 2 (Std 1)

  85

Student Activity Book Book 2 (Std 2)

  100

Student Activity Book Book 3 (Std 3)

  100

Student Activity Book Book 4 (Std 4)

  100

Student Activity Book Book 5 (Std 5)

  100

Training Charges:

As mentioned, teachers designated to teach The Foundation of Peace curriculum will be offered training free of charge. Travel costs for visiting trainers will be borne by the school. Arrangement for food and stay for the duration of the training would also need to be made by the school.

Teachers who are not directly involved in teaching The Foundation for Peace curriculum, but who wish to participate in the training will be required to pay a nominal charge of Rs. 750 per teacher. These teachers will be trained to use basic cooperative learning structures, cooperative games and practical approaches for better classroom management.

Mode of Payment:

Payment against supply of Peace Education books will be accepted when made through direct bank transfer or Demand Draft. Cheques will not be accepted.


Excerpts from the National Curriculum Framework (2005) of the NCERT supporting Peace Education in Schools in India

“Building a culture of peace is an incontestable goal of education. Education to be meaningful should empower individuals to choose peace as a way of life and enable them to become managers rather than passive spectators of conflict. Peace as an integrative perspective of the school curriculum has the potential of becoming an enterprise for healing and revitalizing the nation.” [P 6-7]

“The space of peace education within the framework of National School Curriculum document is compellingly clear in the light of the escalating trends of, and taste for, violence globally, nationally and locally. Education is a significant dimension of the long-term process of building up peace – tolerance, justice, intercultural understanding and civic responsibility. However, education as practiced in schools often promotes forms of violence, both real and symbolic.” [P 61]

“Education for peace seeks to nurture ethical development, inculcating values, attitudes and skills required for living in harmony with oneself and with others, including nature. It embodies the joy of living and personality development with the qualities of love, hope and courage. It encompasses respect for human rights, justice, tolerance, cooperation, social responsibility, and respect for cultural diversity, in addition to a firm commitment to democracy and non-violent conflict resolution.” [P 61-61]

“Peace education must be a concern that permeates the entire school life – curriculum, co-curriculum, classroom environment, school management, teacher-pupil relationship, teaching-learning processes, and the entire range of school activities.” [P 62]

“There is a need to bring parents together for more than only academic purposes. The responsibility of development of personal ethics does not rest solely with either parents or with the school.” [P 63]

“The teaching and practice of ethics go from the personal sphere to social and community-oriented thinking and then link up with global perspectives. A teacher who is oriented to the perspective of peace can introduce such opportunities for reflecting at these scales, and identifying the inter linkages between them. Teacher education programmes should consider introducing peace education as an optional subject of study.” [P 64] 



The Foundation of Peace: A Course on Value and Peace Education for Schools

Program Structure

Introduction:

We are all aware of the tremendous need for the transformation of war, conflict, and violence in all its forms into peace and tranquility; immorality and depravity into virtue; degradation and destruction of the Earth’s environblack_peace_symbol_fav_wall_paper_background-1969pxment, another form of violence, into caring, conservation and preservation; and helpless ignorance of the world’s masses, lacking the tools to deal effectively with the multifarious social problems perplexing them, into empowerment to overcome these same problems. No need exists to go into details. But it is clear that the future of a large proportion of the world’s population is at stake.

Children are an obvious starting point in addressing these problems through the inspiration of the divine teachings. It is with this intention that ‘The Foundation of Peace: A Course on Value and Peace Education’ series of books have been developed in English for school students from kindergarten through standard 5 (ages 4 plus to 10 plus) which includes five teacher’s guides and six student activity books. The whole series aims at producing peaceful, morally mature people who are active peacemakers contributing to a more unified, peaceful and progressive world.

Why Schools?

The onus of providing a complete, whole-student education today increasingly falls on schools. This is especially true in the case of value and moral education. Most parents either do not have the time or expertise to nurture the moral development of their children. The increasing materialistic and permissive culture that children are exposed to requires their participation and involvement in well thought out programs that will equip them with the moral capabilities that will help them counter the negative influences that exist all around them–of media, peer-pressure, social permissiveness, conflict and violence, and many others.

If schools are not going to take a lead in meeting this challenge, then there is no hope for the future for they are best equipped to provide this vital and oft neglected aspect of education to the children committed to their charge.

Content Structure:

A unique facet of The Foundation of Peace curriculum of value and peace education is the breaking down of essential concepts, attitudes, virtues, skills and information that children at different age-groups require to develop in order for them to become active peacemakers–inwardly and outwardly peaceful and endowed with the capability of dealing with situations that can disrupt peace. Not only this, but children also develop the capability of anticipating conflict situations. This breaking down of the essential aspects of the capabilities required for children to become peacemakers is a unique facet of this curriculum absent in most contemporary value education programs.

The following table provides insight into the concepts, values, attitudes, skills and information that The Foundation of Peace seeks to help develop among students of different age-groups:

SUBJECT MATTER

Age-Group

CONCEPTS:

 

Peace and Conflict; Thinking about the Consequence of our Actions.

6 plus

What is Peace and what is Conflict? Our Peaceful Classroom; Importance of Rules and Laws; Following Good Examples.

7 plus

My Actions Affect How Others Feel; Practicing Peaceable Behavior; The Peace House; The Threat of Physical Harm; Inner and Outer Peace; Seeing Yourself as a Source of Social Good.

8 plus

The Purpose of Our Lives; The Concept of Peace; Understanding Conflict: Dangers and Causes of Conflict, Increasing a Conflict, Dealing with Conflict; Who Should be our Friends? Humankind is Noble; Humankind is not Naturally Aggressive; The Unity of Humankind: Our Needs are the Same; Practicing the Unity of Humankind.

9 plus

Inner Peace and Meditation; Rules and Laws in Practice; Peace and Peacemaking; Developing Virtues as the Purpose of Our Lives; Developing Virtues and Achieving Peaceful Relationships; Some Barriers to Peace – Teasing, Backbiting, Prejudice

10 plus

VALUES:

 

Friendship

4 plus

Friendship; Compassion; Unity of Mankind; Peace and Happiness; Peace and the Practice of Love.

5 plus

Friendship; Kindness; Helpfulness; Politeness; Cooperation; Encouraging to do Good; Humanity is One.

6 plus

Caring About Each Other’s Feelings; Seeing Good in Others; Love; Truthfulness; Friendship; Helpfulness; Kindness; Cooperation; Patience; Courtesy; Respect; Honoring and Obeying our Parents; Unity; Caring for the Earth; Compassion and Empathy; The Unity of Humanity.

7 plus

Seeing the Good in Others; Respect; Love, Unity and Peace; A Kindly Tongue; Truthfulness; Honesty; Justice and Fairness; Patience and Setting Goals; Forgiveness; Cooperation; Service to Others; Caring for the Earth; The Unity of Mankind.

8 plus

Virtues Overcoming Vices: Peacefulness Overcoming Violence; Love Overcoming Hatred; Compassion and Empathy Overcoming Indifference; Caring for the Earth: Overcoming Ignorance, Indifference and Greed; Truthfulness Overcoming Falsehood; Trustworthiness Overcoming Unreliability; Honesty Overcoming Dishonesty; Justice Overcoming Dishonesty.

9 plus

Empathy: Listening with Empathy; Emotions and Empathy; Emotions, Empathy and Peace; Respect for the Views of Others; The Rule of Love and Acquiring Excellent Character; Developing the Virtue of Service; Developing the Virtue of Peacefulness; The Oneness of Mankind.

10 plus

ATTITUDES:

 

Associating with Good people; Being Responsible; Taking Responsibility for Problem Solving; Cooperation in Problem Solving.

7 plus

Controlling My Own Anger; Removing Prejudices.

8 plus

Friendship and Understanding Each Other’s Feelings; Peacemakers are Good Listeners; Respect for the Views of Others; Reducing Prejudices. 

9 plus

Dealing with Anger; Standing up Against Unreasonable or Aggressive Behavior.

10 plus

SKILLS:

 

Problem Solving.

6 plus

Good Listening; Peaceful Talk; Bringing Ourselves to Account Each Day; Dealing with Anger; Problem Solving Strategies: – Listen, Talk it Over, Share, Take Turns, Get Help, Apologize; Mediation (Teacher as Mediator).

7 plus

Good Listening and Not Listening; Bring Yourself to Account Each Day; The Goal of Developing a Virtue; Protecting our Virtues; Conflict Resolution Techniques – Share, Take Turns, Outside Help; Quick Decision Making; Reflective Thinking and Meditation; Mediation (Students Beginning to Develop Mediation Skills).

8 plus

Reading Our Goals; Bringing Yourselves to Account Each Day; Problem Solving; Quick Decision Making; Ways of Doing Conflict Resolution – Moral Teachings as the Foundation, Outside Help, Share, Take Turns, Compromise, Postpone and Avoid, Humor and Chance; Meditation (Reflection Before Action).

9 plus

Making More Good Friends; Dealing with Conflicts; Problem Solving; Brainstorming and Win-Win Situations; Various Techniques for Dealing with Conflicts

10 plus

PEACE AND THE GOLDEN RULE

 

The Golden Rule and Kindness, Helpfulness and Politeness; The Golden Rule and Cooperation, and Encouraging to do Good.

6 plus

The Golden Rule, Compassion and Empathy; The Golden Rule, Justice and Fairness.

7 plus

The Golden Rule and Listening; Empathy and the Golden Rule.

8 plus

Empathy and the Golden Rule; Dealing with Conflict Through the Golden Rule; The Golden Rule for Youth; The Golden Rule and Love; Meditation and the Golden Rule.

9 plus

The Golden Rule and Ahimsa, Justice.

10 plus

INFORMATION:

 

Inspiring stories and examples from the world’s great religions

6 plus

Some Worldwide Problems – Equality of Men and Women, Education for All, Poverty

10 plus

The United Nations

10 plus

Training Children in the Principles of Religion:

The primary means for achieving the aim of developing children into active peacemakers is a growing understanding of what are termed universal human values and the various ways and means of practicing them according to the capacities and potentialities of the learners. These values are derived from the world’s great religions.

Throughout all eleven books of The Foundation of Peace series, the basic themes are inspired by the Sacred Writings of all great religions of the world, and quotations from various sources have been used to illustrate and explain humanity’s shared values and its desire for inner peace, peace in society, world peace, and peace with nature, along with the concepts, attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to achieve them. Testing and use of the materials in various schools in India have clearly shown that schools with diverse student populations and other schools led by those with tolerant, broad-minded views have greatly benefited from the series.

When we speak of universal human values, there is no difficulty in linking them with the development of morality, good conduct, and virtues, a priority in education in all its forms. So, in The Foundation for Peace great stress is placed on developing peaceful virtues and good character through participatory learning including a wide variety of activities, cooperative learning, and cooperative games. Thus, children learn these peaceful virtues not only through what is taught as part of the course content, but also through how it is taught.

The reference that The Foundation for Peace makes to the great Religions and the inspiration that it draws from their teachings is consistent with India’s national education policy. In its Education for Values in Schools–A Framework (2012), the NCERT observes that, “The study of religious stories highlighting the essentials of all religions would be rewarding as a step towards harmony among religions as basic teachings of all great religions of the world are the same”.

Training Children to become Peacemakers:

The Foundation of Peace series concentrates on the development of good thoughts of8cEjzaoAi love, unity, and peace leading to good words and, above all, good deeds. So, great stress is placed on the students’ developing not only inner peace, but peace and unity with others and becoming peacemakers. Students are empowered, through suitable approaches and carefully designed activities, to acquire the understanding and skills of ways and means of spreading peace and unity among their fellow students, peers, parents and families, far more than in any curricula of the past. Through their participation in the programme, children begin to develop and demonstrate peace-inducing traits and behavior within their immediate environments–at home, at school and in the neighborhood.

Training Children to Develop Virtues:

The series also aims at producing lovers of humanity, with special sections devoted to this end and repeated reference to it in other sections. Students learn from the age of 5 the principle of unity in diversity in the human race and appreciate that we are all basically the same.

In order to develop peaceful, unifying virtues and qualities such as love for humankind, justice and fairness, kindness, service and trustworthiness, virtues and qualities that reinforce inner peace in the individual and peace in the society, the students are systematically trained from age 5 onwards to develop moral judgment through exposure to social and personal problem solving situations, ‘moral dilemmas’ and answering numerous contemporary questions closely related to their own particular situations. Each of these questions has many possible answers, and in some cases students attempt to identify the best ones. The aim of this series is to produce higher level thinkers and problem solvers.

The Golden Rule:

To develop such judgment so as to help students make mature choices of good or bad, right or wrong, various approaches, either directly given or suggested by the Sacred Scriptures are used prominently in The Foundation of Peace series. One of the obvious ones is the Golden Rule in its various formulations, with its innate connection to empathy, putting one’s self in the place of the other person and doing to him/her what one would like done to one’s self under similar circumstances.

So, starting with younger children and gradually gaining strength through the years, students gain the feelings, understanding, qualities, attitudes and skills necessary to practice the Golden Rule.

Bringing One’s Self to Account:

Another approach adopted in the series is to bring one’s self to account each day. This may be linked to meditation for various peaceful purposes. Techniques of problem solving and conflict resolution are also learned as well as an introduction to mediation. All these and other means of peacemaking tools are developed in this series.

Developing Awareness about Contemporary Problems:

A tremendous need exists for the masses of the world’s peoples to become aware of the core of the important problems and complex needs of our time. Therefore, as the series moves to the standard 5 level, it continues to build up understanding of and concern for world problems including the inequality of men and women, lack of education for all, the problem of poverty, and degradation of environment. In this connection the students are also introduced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations. Over and over again throughout much of the series the problem of the various forms of prejudice and injustice, and how to reduce or end these is stressed, an item that is of great import in multi-religious, multiethnic and multicultural societies such as ours in India.

Cooperative Learning and Cooperative Games:

Basic to this peace education curriculum is the use of cooperative learning and cooperative games. Sadly, most schools are today beset with the problem of too much competition. Peace education or any other kind of moral or value education program is destined to fail in competitive schools and classrooms. Too much competition instills in children negative tendencies of anger, envy, stress, conflict and even hate. Reducing competition and increasing the instances of cooperation in schools is thus a great challenge that schools can no longer ignore.

Three fundamental approaches in education exist: competitive learning, cooperative learning, and individual work. Over 900 research studies carried out in various parts of the world confirm that cooperative learning is significantly superior to competitive learning and individual work in terms of students’ achievement as well as their social interactions. In short, they learn faster and better, and they develop positive mutual relations and other inter-personal skills, provided the teachers designated to teach these materials are well trained in it, and administrators understand and support the use of cooperative learning. Following the structural approach to cooperative learning, students accelerate their communication skills through small group discussions, speaking and providing feedback to the whole class, active listening, and reading and writing cooperatively. Thus, The Foundation of Peace series includes a basic introduction to cooperative learning and cooperative games and incorporates them in many of the lessons and activities. A great advantage of cooperative learning and some cooperative games is that they can be used by teachers for teaching almost all school subjects: languages, sciences, social studies, mathematics, etc.

The training given in cooperative learning and related areas such as active listening and steps in problem solving obviously provide a base for mature consultation for students at age levels past this primary stage. Additionally, students learn, from very young ages, to work together, to cooperate while fulfilling assigned tasks, and to extend support to one another in order to succeed. When practiced consistently with the help of well trained teachers over several years, cooperation becomes a habit for them, and elements of a cooperative attitude permeate the diverse aspects of their lives, contributing to their development as active peacemakers. In addition to these obvious benefits in developing intended traits among children, students internalize related concepts and values much better when teachers use cooperative learning structures and approaches, as opposed to the manner in which moral classes are traditionally facilitated by teachers in schools.

Teachers learn how to ensure a peaceful classroom through cooperative learning guidelines, classroom management approaches, the Quiet Signal, class rules, positive attention, group-activities, and the use of various cooperative learning structures. Evaluation in such a setting has a very different emphasis and assumes a more profound meaning than in traditional methods of evaluation and assessment.

Cooperative games, which find prominent application in this series, are much more than activities merely for enjoyment and fun. They have immense educational value. It has been established that if schools did nothing more than introducing cooperative games in a systematic and structured manner, participating students would begin to develop and reflect virtues that are required for cooperation, reciprocity and united action. It is with the intention of reinforcing this process that cooperative games have been prominently used in The Foundation of Peace series. Careful training, again, is essential for teachers who are going to use cooperative games if they are to be effective. A constant danger is that cooperative games will inadvertently be made competitive, negating their positive influence over children.

Use of Visuals and Artistic Activities:

The Foundation of Peace series includes activities that require the students to think about certain situations and to draw them as they conceive them. While the intention is not to seek artistic excellence in these activities, their purpose is to help children visualize themselves responding to certain situations that commonly affect them. By doing so they become more conscious of the consequences of their choices and actions, thus contributing to the process of internalization of concepts and values. In most of these activities, students are also required to color what they draw. These activities, when carried out properly, have a strong peace inducing influence over the students and others.

In some other activities, students are taught to recognize and become more aware of various human emotions. Students learn about these emotions through pictures included in these books, carrying out drawing activities, and through practical demonstrations and practice of emotions in class by the teacher and fellow students. Similarly, visuals depicting different situations are used to help students think more deeply about different situations and the consequences of how they decide to deal with them.

Flexibility of Use by Schools:

The Foundation of Peace series has been designed based on specific age-groups of children. In India, however, schools prefer class-wise grading of study materials which are indicated on the books. However, schools can exercise flexibility in deciding which level of the books to be introduced to which grade of students. For example, in schools with students who know English well, the prescribed grading can be adopted. In other schools, the books can be introduced one step higher – for instance Book-1 Level-1 which is prescribed for Upper KG can be introduced for Std. 1 students, and so on. Benefits from the content and delivery of the program are achieved when participating students have sufficient proficiency in English language to be able to understand the content and participate in the activities.

Parental Participation:

The Foundation of Peace series seeks to also reach out to parents and families of the children. Students are encouraged to frequently carry out activities at home, involving their parents and families, and to report about them in class. These activities offer students the opportunity of putting into practice what they learn in their peace classes at home as they try to develop the related concepts, attitudes and values for becoming effective peacemakers. They also serve to include their parents and families in the promotion of peace.

Special days are set aside for peace activities such as International Peace Day on 15th September, Parents’ Days, and special Peace Celebrations at the school near the end of the academic year. These are some of the other ways of reaching out to parents and communities other than through the major approach–through the students themselves.

Training of Teachers:

Teachers require in-service training for using The Foundation of Peace, training that can be provided through the publisher of the series. But success in the use of this series also depends on the full understanding and support of school administrators and education officials, sufficient inclusion in each school’s weekly timetable for value/moral character education (the series is designed for 35-40 minute periods), regular assessment of the progress of the program, and other follow-up activities.

Experience with the use of The Foundation of Peace series has shown that it has as much transforming influence on teachers as it has on students. An overwhelming number of teachers have time and again borne testimony to the manner in which their own concepts and attitudes have changed by virtue of their teaching these materials. They report to have become more peaceful, helping them become not only better teachers but better human beings.  

Introduction in Schools:

Introducing and structuring The Foundation of Peace program in schools is simple and can fit into the schools’ allotted moral or value education periods. Needless to say, the more periods assigned to the program, greater would be its benefit to the students and the school.

Teachers designated to work with students in the program can begin doing so by following the easy to use lesson plans provided in the teacher’s guides once they are trained in the use of the material, cooperative learning and games, and the related classroom management tools and techniques.

After implementing the program, schools should gradually move to a ‘whole school approach’ to peace education by following the steps suggested below:

  1. Introduce The Foundation of Peace as a direct approach, where students participate in the program in 2-3 periods weekly with the help of a trained teacher. This should go on for 1-2 years so that peace as a central value begins to gain center stage in the school.
  2. The next step would involve orienting teachers to ways by which they can link their subject teaching to peace. Subjects related to language and social sciences particularly lend themselves to this. This integrated approach process would thus involve the designated 2-3 weekly sessions as well as integrating peace into classroom subject teaching. This phase should be allowed to last for 2-3 years.
  3. The final stage involves a whole-school approach in which the central value of peace goes beyond the confines of the classroom and permeates all aspects of the school’s activities and operation. School policies, rules, regulations, codes of conduct, principles, etc, are reviewed to ensure that they are all consistent with the principle and value of peace. The school’s extra and co-curricular activities, sports, morning assembly, special event celebrations, and all other activities are likewise reviewed and suitably changed in order to align them with the principles and value of peace. The direct and integrated approaches continue throughout for a comprehensive, whole-school approach towards peace education.

Clearly, a whole-school approach to peace education is the most desirable stage to attain as children get exposed to peace inducing approaches in everything that occurs at the school. However, it is not always easy to get there. Capacity and the desire to work to this end will have to be carefully developed among all stakeholders and thus the above suggested approach.

Conclusion:

The Foundation of Peace program is by far a more effective program of peace and value education than what currently exists. Beyond putting together inspiring stories and anecdotes, which most existing moral education materials offer, The Foundation of Peace is a comprehensive program that seeks to help children become active peacemakers, endowed with the appropriate values, attitudes, skills and information. Unlike contemporary moral education materials that offer ‘moral of the story’ each time, The Foundation of Peace helps children think deeply about situations, moral dilemmas, and consequences of following or disregarding certain values in their actions.

The participatory mode of delivery, through the use of cooperative learning and cooperative games ensures that children learn together, become develop high thinking and communication abilities, and enjoy learning.

The unique combination of content and mode of delivery ensures that children benefit not only from what they are learning but also from how they are learning.

Finally, by reaching out to parents and the family at home, the program seeks to take the benefit of peace education to children’s home environment thus adding to its peace inducing influence on them.

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