Creating Peaceful and Nonviolent Schools in the Midst of a Culture of War and Violence
Originally Published In
In P. R. Carr & B.J. Porfilio (Series Ed.) Routledge research in education: 79. Educating for peace in a time of “permanent war”: Are Schools Part of the Solution or the Problem? New York, NY: Routledge.
What is the meaning of peace, why should we study it, and how should we achieve it? Although there are an increasing number of manuscripts, curricula and initiatives that grapple with some strand of peace education, there is, nonetheless, a dearth of critical, cross-disciplinary, international projects/books that examine peace education in conjunction with war and conflict. Within this volume, the authors contend that war/military conflict/violence are not a nebulous, far-away, mysterious venture; rather, they argue that we are all, collectively, involved in perpetrating and perpetuating militarization/conflict/violence inside and outside of our own social circles. Therefore, education about and against war can be as liberating as it is necessary. If war equates killing, can our schools avoid engaging in the examination of what war is all about? If education is not about peace, then is it about war? Can a society have education that willfully avoids considering peace as its central objective? Can a democracy exist if pivotal notions of war and peace are not understood, practiced, advocated and ensconced in public debate? These questions, according to Carr and Porfilio and the contributors they have assembled, merit a critical and extensive reflection. This book seeks to provide a range of epistemological, policy, pedagogical, curriculum and institutional analyses aimed at facilitating meaningful engagement toward a more robust and critical examination of the role that schools play (and can play) in framing war, militarization and armed conflict and, significantly, the connection to peace.