to acknowledge that efforts relative to peace education must be intentional and will often
be contrary to standard educational practices that emphasize individual achievement
through competition and hierarchical practices. This deviation from traditionally
accepted practices might cause some to be hesitant in adopting a pedagogy of peace, and
it is important, therefore, to highlight the fact that there are numerous successful
programs of peace education in operation around the world. Church (2015) outlines seven
examples of such programs, demonstrating the real-world application of peace education
theory and supporting the premise that alternatives to predominant school violence
prevention strategies do exist, and they are effective.
The educator who is interested in making the commitment to pursue pedagogical
strategies reflective of peace education might consider the five postulates described by
Harris as a starting point; examining how they may impact both personal and professional
lives is a useful way to introduce peace education pedagogy into practice. It is important
to reiterate, however, that peace education is not primarily concerned with teaching about
peace and its relationship to violence, nor is it about teaching strategies to be more
vigilant against perceived threats of violence. If school violence is to be addressed
through peace education, educators and school administrators must step up to the
challenge of being introspective, thoughtful, and intentional in creating learning
environments conducive to peace education. Rather than arming teachers with guns in the
hope that future shooters will be “taken out” when they appear on the campus, peace
education equips teachers and students with the knowledge, competencies, and
sensibilities that foster communication, cooperation, empathy, and other skills that will,
over time, have a much greater impact on school violence.
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