Teaching for Peace Existentially: A Creative Pedagogy for Individual and
Community Peacemaking
Sherly Lieb
University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
While a global view of peace education, taught as a specified subject within
politically constructed teaching/learning contexts, is immeasurably valuable, it is also
somewhat remote from the lived experiences of the average student unless her/his life has
been personally touched by violence or war. Further, while the contemporary global view
rightly addresses multicultural education and the inter-connected nature of our complex,
inter-connected world, I am suggesting that
educational policies and practices,
embedded in standardization and technological priorities, do not cater to an
understanding of education as a peaceful, cooperative, and creative endeavor that should
address the stance of the student as a particular individual; that is, as an individual who
needs to understand peace as a personal project in order to promote peace as a
community and social undertaking. I suggest emphasizing a philosophical approach to
peace education that privileges the student as the primary human gateway to the
advancement of peaceful existence in the world. Peace, as a particular conceptual ideal
and as a working principle for living, should be taught with an initial focus on individual
self-awareness and personal responsibility insofar as these capacities contribute to
fostering peaceful attitudes and dispositions within self and, by extension, toward others.
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