their own lives, we can better envision peacemaking as the default mode for living in a
world with and among others.
Peace Education A Conventional Perspective
When I consider how the individual educator might understand what it means to
teach for peace, I immediately conjure an image of “Peace Education” as a particular
strand or unit of an established educational curriculum created to address the conflicts
and complexities of a sophisticated and technologically connected world that is, at the
same time, mired in patriarchy, power relationships, and violence. On this view, the
mental image before me reflects an institutionally sanctioned teaching model of
educational strategies grounded in global contexts that encompass a number of core
principles pertaining to human values, cultural diversity, and the inevitable multiplicity of
competing points of view. For instance, social values of care and cooperation would be
contrasted against national and international interests based in competition and conflict; a
stance of acceptance and respect would be contrasted against attitudes of disdain,
ridicule, or violence towards people whose cultures and lifestyles are different from our
own; and openness to multiple and varying points of view would be contrasted against
rigidly-held (meaning not open to critical inquiry), narrow worldviews often promoted
and maintained by family and religious cultures, as well as by social and governmental
institutions, that do not welcome dissenting or competing opinions.
From my existentialist perspective, I am asserting that a global model, such as
that just described, represents a more conventional or mainstream model of peace
education, one that presupposes that students must be informed about diverse cultures
around the world (multicultural education), and that awareness of the “other,” whether in
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