Today I gave a Prezi presentation and facilitated a discussion on peace pedagogy for a group of City Year Corps Leaders. City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. My presentation focused on the work I have been doing within the field of peace education, looking holistically at how one can teach peace, no matter the subject or age level, in order to cultivate peaceable classrooms and communities. My presentation was part of a larger program American University organized for City Year and involved presentations by several other American University professors. Continue reading to learn more…
I was delighted to be a part of this program for several reasons. (1) It shows that American University and City Year have an interest in peace education and (2) it gave me an opportunity to try and condense a lot of the thinking I have been doing around this topic over the past few years into a short presentation.
I am currently teaching a peace pedagogy graduate course at AU and this presentation was an attempt to condense the main ideas and themes covered in that course into 45 minutes. I was not necessarily successful in that effort, in that I had to really speed through things at the end, but it got me thinking about how to succinctly capture the framework for peace pedagogy I have been developing.
The framework I have developed is an attempt to fuse a lot of different conceptions of peace education into one. As it stands now, I have outlined 7 pillars or spheres of peace pedagogy – (1) Community Building, (3) Enabling Multiple Intelligences, (3) Nurturing Emotional Intelligence, (4) Exploring Approaches to Peace, (5) Reframing History, (6) Transforming Conflict Nonviolently, and (7) Skill Building.
My presentation began by asking the City Year Corps Leaders why they are interested in this field and then I explained a little bit about what experiences inspired me to focus on peace education. I then walked them through the different spheres and for each one they worked in pairs to discuss some of the questions that I believe can help all teachers and educators think, design, and facilitate as peace builders and peace makers. After the discussions I asked a few of the leaders to share what they talked about with the rest of the group and then I shared some examples of teaching activities and methods I have used or seen that work to advance each of the spheres.
Click here to check out the Prezi presentation. This is a work in progress and I look forward to developing it further with the help of other peace educators.