[updated December 8, 2002 - see bottom of message]
While peace education is so very important (reference U.N. http://www.unesco.org/cpp/ecp/ , Hague Appeal for Peace http://www.ipb.org/pe/ and other global education initiatives), based on discussions held over the past 18 months, it has been said that there has not been much of a linkage in the past of peace education and training centres, or peace educators, in Canada.
The 'linkage' of peace training centres in Canada is part of the discussion about a new Canadian Peace Institute/Initiative ("CPI"). You can read about the background and past developments of CPI by visiting http://www.peace.ca/educationpartnerships.htm (including a brief inventory of peace studies programs in Canada
http://www.peace.ca/univandcollegespeacestudiesprog.htm ; you will also see from the minutes http://www.peace.ca/canadianpeaceinstitute.htm that most peace educators agree with the pressing need for CPI strengthening the linkage of peace training centres in Canada however funding, people resources, and a shared idea of how to do it are currently constraining factors). A draft summary of CPI, developed in December 2000 from our
discussions, is available at http://www.peace.ca/summarydec15.htm
To date, I have been playing a role of facilitator to try and help bring discussions together and create some action. Unfortunately, I have been very busy since our last meeting at the beginning of June and there has been a lull in activity. Further, the Canadian Peace Researchers and Educators Association which provided the venue in the past for these discussion has been rather quiet on this matter (i.e. on Canadian Peace Education; their President has been ill and certain Members had felt that the CPI should be separated from CPREA, and that peace research should be their focus).
Out of our last meeting (June 2), we had hoped to generate some discussion on a new email listserver about CPI ("CPIdiscussion" listserver on yahoo), consider having a conference on Peace Education in Canada (to consider current status of peace education in Canada, future visions/goals, and an action plan to get there) some time in the next year, possibly preceded by a series of 2 or 3 regional meetings on key Peace Education topics to lay the ground work. However, I have not had the opportunity to initiate those discussions (particularly with it being so hectic since September 11 - although I think we need CPI now more than ever).
Now that things are settling down for me a bit, I hope to reinvigorate the discussion of CPI by outlining the challenge of mounting a conference on Peace Education in Canada and seeking input on agendas, locale, goals, etc. and to suggest 2 or 3 regional workshops as previously mentioned. Accordingly, I wish to put the following ideas on the table to solicit input from all peace educators in Canada.
PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED CONFERENCE
- to strengthen the linkage of peace training centres in Canada (eg. including possibly an association of peace educators in Canada)
- to consider the current status of peace education in Canada (eg. develop the inventory of current peace education programs and resources in Canada)
- to develop future visions, goals, objectives and an action plan for peace education in Canada (i.e. - concluding with visionary, results oriented and practical action plans; eg. focus the approach to peace education goals; improve Canadian peace education leadership, direction and capacity)
- to trade peace education information (eg. curricula, best practices, best readings, best videos, etc.)
- to improve future information dissemination and networking
- to develop partnerships in peace education (if/as appropriate)
- a value added conference which will help participants to increase their success in achieving their respective mandates
- peace educators that teach/train in building peace at the individual, family, community and world levels
- formal peace educators (eg. university, high school, elementary school, primary school, etc. teachers)
- informal peace educators (eg. NGOs, government, industry, etc.)
- other interested parties (eg. retired, youth, etc.)
- considering that every teacher in Canada should be a peace educator, the pool of Peace Educators in Canada that we may target is in the thousands
LIST OF POSSIBLE CONFERENCE ACTIVITIES
The conference may include:
1. Keynote presentations
2. Exchange of information on current peace education programs and resources (and inventory them);
3. Workshops and discussion sessions;
4. Meeting with Government Officials with a mandate for peace education;
5. promoting education for peace
6. fund raising for peace education in Canada
- conference location should attract maximum participation of Canadian peace educators (i.e. logistical considerations)
- conference location should try to keep costs to a minimum (i.e. given funding constraints)
- some time during 2002 that will attract maximum participation of Canadian peace educators
- we do not currently have any money in the bank for this conference, so we will have to be creative. Some funding for a conference on peace education may be available through some government departments and other sponsors. Some funding may be raised through conference fees, however we will have to keep in mind that most peace educators have little budgets and people travelling to the conference will have significant costs to bear. We can look for donations in kind (eg. conference space, accommodation, home boarding, etc.)
- the CPREA considered having this theme at their next Conference in June 2002, however decided that it is not their practice to focus on only one theme and that such a conference as this should be developed separately. There is no other forum, to my knowledge, that provides a venue for the networking of all Canadian peace educators
- the proposed conference could be preceded by a series of 2 or 3 regional meetings (east, central canada and west) on key Peace Education topics to lay the ground work for the conference, and refine the agenda
- a CPIdiscussion email listserver has been set up to facilitate communications. If anyone would like to participate in the Canadian Peace Institute discussion and developments, then from the email account they wish to have on the listserve, send an empty letter to CPIdiscussionfirstname.lastname@example.org Once sent, then Yahoo will send a welcome letter, and ask that you confirm that you wish to join the listserve. The confirmation is simply to hit the reply button and send the welcome letter right back to Yahoo. If you change your mind and decide not to join after all, then simply do not reply, or you can send an empty letter to CPIdiscussionemail@example.com . For more information, visit the CPIdiscussion webpage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CPIdiscussion . If you have any problems, contact the list moderator Bob Stewart at stewartr [at] peace.ca . You can also read past correspondence on the CPIdiscussion site, once registered.
- the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace web site at http://www.peace.ca can be used to keep peace educators informed of developments leading up to the conference
Whether we have a conference with 20 people, or 200, or more, I believe it is important to create a venue to bring peace educators in Canada together to discuss the future of Peace Education in Canada.
You would be very welcome, and encouraged, to join in these discussions and conference plans through the CPI discussion email listserver (instructions to join above). Please also pass this message along to anyone that you know may be interested. The challenge to every one of us to promote Peace Education in Canada is significant. Please share your ideas, and I hope that you can support this process in some way.
Bob Stewart, Director
(email stewartr [at] peace.ca )
Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
(a virtual centre for teaching peace at http://www.peace.ca and informal
network of formal and informal peace educators promoting peace education at
the world, community, family and individual levels in Canada and around the world)
AGENDA AND CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS/OUTCOMES DOCUMENT NOW AVAILABLE - CLICK HEREFor reference to our National Peace Education Conference hosted by McMaster University November 7 - 11, 2002:
The complete "Detailed Conference Outcomes Document" is now available Online. If you wish to access all of the documents associated with the Conference, click on http://www.peace.ca/detailedagenda.htm . A brief summary of the Proposed Vision and Action Plan for Peace Education in Canada can be accessed directly at http://www.peace.ca/conference2002summary.htm . Near the bottom of that page is the link to the Detailed Conference Outcomes Document (which is 12 pages single spaced, probably 20 double spaced which is how I posted it) - to access this document directly, go to http://www.peace.ca/Conference2002OutcomeDocument.htm . There is a lot of reading, but it is very worthwhile. As I say in the Introduction, I believe you will find the results truly amazing (for what could be accomplished in one grass roots conference) and ground breaking.