International Alert, British Council and the Cambridge Peace and Education Research Group launched the report, 'Peace Education in Formal Schools: Why is it important and how can it be done?’ via a webinar on Wednesday 27 January 2021.
Alongside researchers and practitioners in peace education, this event explored the findings of the paper and discussed what peace education in schools looks like, its potential impact and how it might be realised in practice within various conflict-affected contexts.
Fundamentally, peace education aims to counter a culture of war by promoting a culture of peace. It challenges the assumption that violence is innate to the human condition and seeks to equip students with the capacity to resolve conflict without recourse to violence. Peace education aspires to enable students to become responsible citizens who are open to differences, capable of empathy and solidarity, both within and across geographic borders and social groups, and who are able to deconstruct the foundations of violence and to take action to advance the prospects of peace. After all, formal schools not only provide knowledge and skills, but they also shape social and cultural values, norms and attitudes.
Advancing peace education within a formal school context requires a multifaceted approach and process. The report provides practical recommendations for educations, peacebuilders and policy makers on how this can be achieved.
Speakers at the event:
- Caroline Brooks, Programmes Manager, Syria at International Alert (Chair)
- Basma Hajir, Doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge
- Dr Hilary Cremin, Reader at the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge
- Dr Kevin Kester, Assistant Professor of Comparative International Education and Peace/Development Studies at Seoul National University
- Maria Nomikou, Youth Skills & Inclusive Communities Sector Lead, Europe at the British Council
- Nomisha Kurian, doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge.
- Dr Phill Gittins, Education Director at World BEYOND War
- Rhian Webb, Senior Teacher for Adults at the British Council
- Dr Tony Jenkins, Managing Director of the International Institute on Peace Education & the Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education