On April 27th, a 5-hour teachers training workshop was held at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation for people interested in pursuing a career in Peace Education.
As an issue of global significance, peace education is a powerful engine of social change that has been widely ignored by the public school systems and politicians. Leah Wells, the facilitator and organizer, introduced the advantages of studying peace as a permanent part of high school and college curriculum, and revealed the necessity of peace education to local educators, community members and activists.
As the Peace Education Coordinator, Leah has been an influential advocate of Peace Education being implemented in school curriculums nation-wide. She teaches Solutions to Violence, a nonviolence curriculum developed by Colman McCarthy at the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, DC, in two local high schools, including a private Catholic school and one continuations school. Twenty people attended this teacher training workshop, including educators, writers, documentarians, students, activists, and local non-profit leaders.
One of the goals of the workshop was to discuss methods of teaching students how to be peacemakers on an individual, local, state-wide, national, and global level. The most important element of peace studies is that it is not only a worthwhile academic endeavor but also a way of life. The group discussed methods of confronting some of the problems that implementation of peace education faces, like lack of funding and viewing nonviolence as a credible and plausible response for addressing personal, local, national and global issues.
Those who attended the workshop learned about the different philosophies of giving grades and how to encourage students to assume responsibility for their education, as well as concrete lesson plans and nonviolent teaching techniques which can be implemented immediately in any classroom!
A crucial issue concerning students and potential educators is the under-representation of Peace Studies in high school, college and university curricula, as well as the lack of credential programs for future peace educators. Because of this, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has begun to consult with educational institutions on beginning Peace Studies programs across the country.
Due to the infectious enthusiasm of the attendees and their desire to further explore certain critical issues, a follow-up workshop has been scheduled on June 15th, 2002 at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation to discuss other classroom strategies, lesson plans, and, more importantly, ways of taking action to promote Peace Education. In addition to the follow-up workshop, the NAPF Peace Educators Network was formed out of the need to assemble and communicate with others involved in peace education.
Those who attended received a list of resources including recommended reading lists, internet websites, and a contact list of teachers currently teaching peace nation-wide. If you are interested in attending the follow-up workshop or have questions about how to take action, contact the NAPF Peace Education Coordinator Leah Wells at 805-965-3443, or via email at email@example.com.