and vehemently negates the student’s (and the teacher’s) propensity to think
independently, analytically (in terms of abstract thinking as opposed to data-driven,
analytical computing), philosophically, and creatively. Why? Because to encourage such
independently sourced and inspired modes of thinking in the educational realm would
present a threat to
21st
century norms that depend on conformity and compliance to keep
the current system intact and in power. This is why I consider myself an advocate of
philosophical education. I advocate an emphasis on independent thinking and
philosophical inquiry as primary objectives of teaching and learning - across academic
disciplines using strategies based in inquiry, problem-posing, reflection, and dialogue
that are infused with moral/ethical considerations relevant and meaningful to the human
condition.
Quite naturally, then, my vision of educating for peace in the classroom setting
would start with a philosophical foundation of studying what “peace” means in a variety
of contexts that further problematize and challenge students’ understandings of peace,
both as a personal state of mind and as a way of relating with others. How are individual
conceptions of peace complicated by upbringing and family, the culture at large, the
media, our government and its leaders, and the larger world of which we have much less
insight and little to no influence?
Within a pedagogical framework of Socratic questioning, I would first explore
such variegated renderings of peace with my students so that there would be a consistent
interplay with self and peers, totally necessary to questioning long-held assumptions, as
well as to exploring and expanding existential attitudes about how to live well and in
relative peace with ourselves and the others in our lives. As an educator, the exercise of
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