Peace Education in Early Childhood Education

Peace Education

What is Peace Education?

Peace Education is “a process during which the concepts, information, attitudes, skills, and values are taught to individuals which help them live in peace”  (Polat, Arslan, and Günçavdı, 2016, p.1 )

The common objective of the world’s peace education programs is “to foster changes [that will] make the world a better, more humane place."

Five compenents of Peace Education:

  1. Dialogue: Encourages students to become active participants in their classroom. The teacher and students are co-learners and co-investigators.
  2. Cooperative Learning: Will lead students to have the realization that they can work together, depend on each other, help each other problem solve, and share the joys of success.
  3. Problem Solving: Allows students to develop critical thinking skills that will help them resolve conflicts preacefully throughout their lives.
  4. Affirmation: Targets students' self esteem and self worth so that they feel confident in their peacemaking abilities and are empowered to make peaceful change when situations arise.
  5. Democratic Boundary Setting: Invites students into the rulemaking process and "explains to students the necessity of setting boundaries and limits for acceptable behavior" (Harris, 1990, p.266)

How does Peace Education impact classroom achievement and student behavior?

Through explicit teacher instruction, students are able to learn how to use peaceful vocabulary and behavior in the classrooom setting and outside of it. Teachers no longer have to stop instruction in order to correct student behavior, therefore saving valueable instruction time. Students are more engaged in their own learning because they have learned how to take responsibility for their actions. In the long run, Peace Education leads to greater student achievement and better student behavior.

How to implement Peace Education in an Early Childhood classroom:

Literacy:

  • Regular read alouds and philosophical discussions
  • Incorporating diverse cultures and perspectives into the classroom

Social Studies:

  • Teach multiple perspectives
  • Edcourage students to question the content
  • Use of inquiry

Science:

  • Tell students where to look but not what to see
  • Exploration, inquiry, investigation, and discovery
  • Students construct their won knowledge and teachers are co-investigators

Math:

  • Frequent group work
  • Providing students autonomy over the strategies and methods they use

Other:

  • Explicit vocabulary and behavior instruction
  • Weekly peace meetings
  • Implementing a "peace corner" or "peace table" 
  • Use of literature and storytelling

Resources:

Katherine Brandon & Carly Bieler