ANNUAL PEACE EDUCATION CONFERENCE FOR CANADA
McMASTER UNIVERSITY, NOVEMBER 7 - 11, 2002
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (draft December 4, 2002)
This summary is phrased in terms of "proposals": we have attempted to take the extensive input received during the Conference and play it back to Canadian peace educators for another round of input and consensus building via the CPIdiscussion email listserver (instructions to subscribe below). To see the Detailed Conference Agenda click here.
We had over twenty participants for the Action Planning Workshop. Some people had to leave during the day, and it was noted in the late afternoon that we had an equal number of students and others - this was quite important because coincidentally we arrived at a concluding proposal that, consistent with Senator Pearson's urging, we should turn our world of peace education 'upside down' and put students/youth/children at the top. (Reference 'A World Fit For Children' http://www.peace.ca/AWorldFitForChildren.pdf and Children's Forum Message http://www.peace.ca/ChildrensForumMessage.htm ) This implies giving youth a voice at the table of peace education, being student/learner driven and we peace educators supporting the youth ("symbolic: passing the peace education baton to youth ... we are your resource and support system").
PROPOSED SHORT TERM VISION: PLACE PEACE EDUCATION PROMINENTLY ON THE CANADIAN AGENDA.
Paraphrasing the Global Campaign for Peace Education, "to cultivate public awareness and political support for the introduction of peace education into all spheres of education, including non-formal education, throughout Canada and to promote the education of all teachers to teach for peace".
PROPOSED LONG TERM VISION: ASSURE PEACE EDUCATION IS INTEGRATED INTO ALL CURRICULA BY THE END OF THE DECADE.
Paraphrasing the Global Campaign for Peace Education, "the goal of the campaign is to assure that all educational systems throughout Canada will educate for a culture of peace". Peace education starts at home.
PROPOSED ACTION PLAN: From the above vision all else flowed (note the following is not in any particular order).
- making a personal pledge of action (look at what needs to be done and pick something that interests you)
- planning for next year's National Conference (consider revolving around November 20 which is U.N. International Day for Children; recommend holding the 2003 conference in Hamilton again for consistency; involve high school students: need a stronger voice of young people, have to give preparation)
- promoting this Conference outcomes
- promote Provincial Peace Education Conferences (we must engage Provincial Ministries of Education and governments; self examination of our education systems; Donald Grayston of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver firstname.lastname@example.org has offered to initiate a planning committee for BC and Carmen Everall has offered to help; Lowell Ewert of Conrad Grebel College/U.Waterloo email@example.com has indicated his interest in a Provincial conference for Ontario and Brandon Gallant has offered to help - contact these people if you wish to support)
- involve youth, children (including being interactive; get on the level of youth/children; the classroom is moving too slowly for them/behind the times; employ TV, Internet; designed and built by youth)
- promote 'cooperative learning'; holistic; service learning; out-of-box thinking
- include parenting education
- incorporate a Canadian Committee for the Global Campaign for Peace Education http://www.peace.ca/globalcampaignforpeaceeducation.htm
- promote a Canadian Peace Prize (with an adult and child/youth categories)
- post the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in each class http://www.udhr50.org/UDHR/default.htm ; post the Culture of Peace Manifesto in each class http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/uk/uk_sum_cp.htm and http://www3.unesco.org/manifesto2000/uk/uk_manifeste.htm
- use media (need marketing and media strategy to get focussed and reach out to our varied key stakeholders; mainstreaming; include publishing; stories in teacher newsletters, etc. starting with this conference results)
- get money (we need a substantial Peace Education Foundation in Canada)
- inventory and centralize resources (need information management strategy)
- promote the use of the CPIdiscussion email listserver (for communication, networking, information dissemination among peace educators) and increase membership of Canadian peace educators (instructions to subscribe below).
- develop curriculum ideas; workshopping of content of peace education curricula (requires considerable time; this conference was more focussed on process, rather than content; for content start with the Hague Appeal for Peace Agenda: Summary; Detail http://www.haguepeace.org/index.php?name=agenda_english )
- promote preservice teacher training (engage teachers' colleges)
- develop committee structure, with sub themes, to develop and act on plans, evaluate results, make changes
- research, state of the art, asset assessment and needs assessment (possibly use thesis as opportunities for service to peace education)
- teaching tool to debunk myths = simple advice to "non-card carrying peace supporters"
- train the trainers workshop = agents of social change (understand the 'change management model')
- lobbying (including engaging the various government ministries with peace responsibilities; campaigning the business community; service clubs such as Rotary and Lions to make a global Culture of Peace a priority; lobby Canadian Commission for UNESCO to keep the Culture of Peace Program on the U.N. Agenda; use and support other people's initiatives to promote peace education and they might support us as well; run for School Boards, City Councils, Service Clubs, etc.)
- employ a write-in campaign (post cards)
- develop mechanisms to make the Culture of Peace theme ubiquitous
- initiate a Culture of Peace News Network (McMaster students agreed to lead this with David Adam's assistance; need to develop a network of University students for peace education and to connect with K-12 schools)
- liaise with minority groups (eg. black community, aboriginal, etc., etc.)
- promote safe and caring schools and communities programs, and UNESCO Associated Schools Programs (as an integral part of peace education)
- develop a Canadian Peace Education Handbook (to provide a 'common vocabulary', and teacher friendly resource guide; develop models)
- develop video assisted training
- promote city peace commissions (each city should do an annual assessment of progress towards set goals)
- supply teachers and principals what they need to make their work easier (i.e. us support them; acknowledge the difficult/complex situation teachers find themselves in; acknowledge current Culture of Violence in education systems; structural problem; need to deconstruct and reconstruct; top down difficult as need 5 to 20 years for change and teachers do not want to wait; therefore need to subvert the Culture of Violence through the 'hidden/unwritten curriculum'; help with a pragmatic 'scaffold'; help with conflict transformation model for schools, involving adults and community)
- unify peace education movement (shared vision; significantly reduce the human costs of violence; preventative; results oriented vs. activity oriented)
- teach leadership and empowerment (lots of 'champions' vs. one authority; very flat organizational structure vs. old hierarchies)
- create centres for peace education in all (major) communities (longer term)
- a "certified conference" so that teachers (and students) can benefit from a professional development point of view
- need to speak to teachers in a diversity of voices (including engaging teachers' unions)
- take our authority from commitments made by Canada to the United Nations http://www.peace.ca/unesco1974recommendation.htm and http://www.peace.ca/unesco1994declaration.htm and http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001066/106627e.pdf and http://www.unesco.org/education/pdf/15_62.pdf
- attempt to evaluate each peace education effort - Is it working?
In the words of a student upon hearing about current systemic barriers to peace education, "I don't want to curse, but ... Do not leave this important thing to politicians ... we must build a groundswell that they have to accept". To be clear, what we are proposing is the transformation of our education systems in Canada to educate for a culture of peace. This is major. We will encounter resistance to change - that is normal - we have to work smarter, not harder. We have to cultivate a Culture of Peace for the Children of Canada through education, and with support of each other.
A hearty thank you to everyone who participated in the Peace Education Conference. Your participation was exceptional. A thank you for sponsors: McMaster University Centre for Peace Studies, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace, and The Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation. E.&O.E.
CLICK HERE FOR THE DETAILED (12 PAGE) VISIONING AND ACTION PLANNING DOCUMENT. THIS IS '10 STAR' MUST READING.
"The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything."
Join us on CPIdiscussion email listserver for
the next round of discussion on peace education in Canada.
We recognize how important it is to conduct peace education discussion like this in both of Canada's Official Languages. Unfortunately, unless we are successful in acquiring funding for interpretation and translation between French and English languages, this discussion will be conducted in English for the most part. We regret leaving anyone out and will plan to correct this . (We would love to hear from anyone who would like to sponsor this initiative.)
For more information, you may visit our website at http://www.peace.ca/detailedagenda.htm . You may contact the conference coordinator Robert (Bob) Stewart by e-mail at stewartr [at] peace.ca or visit the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace website at http://www.peace.ca .