local or international contexts, is implicitly necessary for the future of human existence in
an increasingly connected and complex, global society. Furthermore, categorizing peace
education in overarching global frameworks assures that instruction in peace education
will highlight intercultural awareness as the primary site of attention and investigation, all
the while framing such awareness against a background of social and political conflicts,
national rivalries, and the reasons and justifications of wars, often based on cultural and
social “myths” (Hedges, 2003, p. 24) that many governments and nations perpetuate for
the purpose of privileging warfare as noble and necessary to their physical survival and
cultural integrity. While this global construct of peace education is ultimately necessary
and relevant to our understandings of our
21st
century world, I am making the claim that
the individual student needs, first, to understand peace as an internal attitude and
disposition from which s/he might better engage and contribute to understandings of
peace in global contexts. Therefore, the point of this essay is not to focus on intercultural
awareness and multicultural education as these frameworks have been/continue to be
structured and embedded within conventional peace education curricula and
contemporary educational practice. Rather, the point of this essay is to challenge the
established global perspective of peace education with an individual - or local, if you will
perspective that necessitates a focus on cultivating an awareness of peace, as an
existential choice, from within the individual. As such, I am asserting that an authentic
and relevant approach to teaching about and for peace must address and engage students
as individuals capable of exploring conceptions of peace as a personal and, then, global
project of living.
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