MSVU, Halifax NS

Faculty of Education

GFDD 6657

Peace and Social Justice: Pedagogy and Practice

January-April 2005               

Dr. Sue McGregor 457-6385     


Course Description and Objectives

            Peace education assumes people are naturally inclined towards living in peace and is about (a) teaching children and others how to be peaceful, (b) teaching strategies to build a desire for peace (including a respect for the role of conflict in daily life), (c) and how to build a culture of peace, a culture of non-violence (resolve conflict constructively). Peace education brings together multiple traditions of pedagogy, theories of education, and international initiatives for the advancement of human development through learning. Peace education has both a consciousness raising component (one’s desire to live in peace) and a teaching component (how to achieve peace) (Ian Harris, 2000).

            Pedagogy is the act of imparting knowledge to someone and is made up of two things: (a) what counts as knowledge and (b) what is the most effective way to get this knowledge across to, or solicit it from, the “learner.” Knowledge can come from: (1) personal/cultural as lived each day, (2) popular culture, press and the media (mainstream and alternative), (3) mainstream academics (Western research paradigm), (4) transformative academics (this approach challenges the mainstream academic), or (5) school knowledge found in books and curriculum guides. One’s pedagogical approach is a key determinant of human relationships in the educational process. It is the medium of communication between teacher and learner, and the aspect which most affects what learners receive from their teachers and vice versa. Also, some pedagogical approaches challenge, reveal or expose the status quo while others reinforce, conceal or obscure the status quo, that being the current context that perpetuates violence, oppression, exclusion, injustice, etc.

            Peace pedagogy Peace education brings together multiple traditions of pedagogy. Learners should leave the course with a closer appreciation of their own professional understanding of a peace education pedagogy. To that end, each learner will be expected to participate fully in class seminars on each of the building blocks of the course and be prepared to lead discussions and share comparative analyses. This engagement with other learners and course material should lead to a deep understanding of how various scholars and you understand what a peaceful classroom “looks like.” The word look means more than just the outward appearances and includes peace education processes and philosophy (values, attitudes, goals and principles) that create that peaceful look you see when you peak into a peaceful classroom. Source of this picture is



Harris, I., & Morrison, M.L. (2003). Peace education (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarlane.


Web articles are integrated into the schedule below.


A tentative schedule of topics follows



Unit Topic (10 classes)

Seminar Topic


Readings from the professor

Readings from the Internet and other sources

                                                   UNIT ONE - The Big Picture
Challenges to Peace Education in the Current World Paradigm



1. Globalization and Neoliberalism



Articles # 3 & 4 at

 Plus some e-attachments on globalization from Professor.   UN 2001 Report on the World Social Situation. 19 pp Entire report is 300 pages. There are sections on peace, violence and justice.  (2003 report is 90 pages)

What elements of the scientific, mechanistic paradigm get in the way of peace education?

Robin Burns (2000) Globalization and peace ed at (11 pages) 



2. Current State of the School System in the context of globalization and neoliberalism




Apple (1999) neoliberalism and education at 10 pages

See also  6 pages

Privitization and educational equity (Cookson, 1999) at 6 pages

Bob Stewart, Paradigm Shift in Canadian Education (2003, pp. 1-4) at

Http:// A person's story of going to a Mennonite grade school and then to a fundamental Christian US high school and how this experience shaped her approach to peace education!




3. Challenge to Peace Education (in the current school systems)

C. 9

C 5, 8,


I will present a summary of CBIE’s (2002) - are schools part of the problem?

(Passi, 2003) 3 challenges to peace ed (1 page)





4. How schools need to change - a new paradigm for peace

C 4

C 11 (Hit the Role of Schools button - 1 page)

Shapiro (2000) Peace or Hate? (What a peaceful educ looks like)  (4 pages)

Miller & Ramos (2000) Transformative peace ed (13 pages) at 

Unit Two - 3 classes

Peace Education as a Philosophy




1. Different conceptualizations of peace over time, religions, famous people and through the peace movement


C 2


GFDD 6656 Reader (peace movement)



2. What is peace and what are the 6 strategies of peace (one being peace education)?


C 1


Which way to peace? At

The kind of peace we have determines the kind of peace education we need  -Sandy & Perkins (2002) at



3. What is peace education (goals, values, attitudes, principles, etc)?


C 1

KON monograph (Part 1)

GFDD 6656 Reader (Hicks, Toh, Fisk, Peace Education Network)

The Nature of Peace Ed (Hicks) at

UNESCO 1995 Educ for Peace, HR and democracy - read pp.7-14 at

UNICEF (1999) Peace Education (See table of content for aims - pp. 22-24)

Hoepper (2002) Peace Education in Queensland as a key learning area (includes creating a peaceful classroom and practicising peace) - Relevant material is from pp 1-22)



4. What is NOT peace education but is related to it (global ed, etc


C 3


David Selby Click on Table 1 Global Ed Key Areas

UNICEF (1999) Peace Education  (See Section 2)


Unit Three No classes since we did this in the other course

 Peace Education as a Knowledge Base


1. Collection of general concerns forming a conceptual base for peace education: violence, conflict, justice, rights, war and defence, security, non-violence, responsibilities,


C 6


GFDD 6656 Reader  In the left column, there are five units

Click on Holistic peace at

Unit Four 5 classes

Peace Education as a Process



1. What are the five types of knowledge and how does one’s choice of a specific type of knowledge affect their peace pedagogy?




Five kinds of knowledge (Bing, 2002)



2. What are seven new types of knowledge related to peace?





Seven new kinds of knowledge for peace education - Summary of Morin (Passi, 2003)  Edgar Morin Seven Complex Lessons for Education for the Future 1999 66 pages - Read at least pages 1-3




3. Pedagogical approaches relevant to peace education

transformative, critical pedagogy, reflective, progressive education, contextual learning, critical/creative thinking, collaborative/cooperative learning, constructivist, participatory, global, emancipatory, democratic, dialogical, empowerment, political change agent


See Betty Reardon at

C 10




Short pieces by Dr. McGregor (to be sent via e-mail I think) on contextual learning, transformative learning, critical science pedagogy, critical and creative thinking



Fabulous site on contextual learning (Click on CTL constructs in left column)

Critical pedagogy (Giroux, 1999) at Http://

One pager on critical peace pedagogy at

Transformative peace

(Ardizzone, 2001) at

Educational ideologies (near end of Hick’s article at

Constructivist learning 

Collection of articles on democratic classrooms at 

 Democratic classes 

Also at



4. Peace education curriculum and course design issues (separate course, infusion, etc)



C 5

Handout on basic curriculum design models and approaches to designing curricula

Toward a peace ed curriculum (Hicks) at



5. Peace teaching strategies (instructional methods and processes) stemming from different pedagogies used to create a peaceful classroom or learning experience: value and moral reasoning, participatory domain and affective domains of learning, collaborative teaching, problem solving, stress management, build self confidence/esteem, listening, reflection, conflict resolution, dialogue, consensus, asking Socratic questions

C 7

C 8

C 4,

5, 7,



UNESCO 1995 Educ for Peace, HR and democracy - read pp.7-14

UN Peace ed content, strategies etc (see units at left of page)

Hoepper (2002) Relevant material is In Section 6.1 and 6.2)

Use as a resource

Unit Five

Independent Reading about Maintaining One’s Strength as a Peace Educator




C 5


Bring your own ideas for this topic


Resources (Detailed list of UN peace related documents, covenants etc)

Canadian Peace Education Foundation at

Educating for Peace resources

Choose Chapter 2 - What is Peace? VERY DETAILED - use as a resource.


Evaluation Scheme (4 components)


Class participation is worth 15% and a guideline for what constitutes participating in class will be distributed to you. This mark may also include some critical analysis assignments to be handed in. A lecture/seminar approach will be used to shape the dialogue in class so you have to do the readings and have reflected on each of them separately and in relation to each other (comparative analysis) BEFORE class.


Lead a Seminar

Groups of students will be lead a one hour class seminar on selected topics/chapters from the textbook. This presentation, and preparatory notes, is also part of class participation. Chapters 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 will comprise the seminars, respectively: (a) peace education as empowerment for social change, (b) moral development, (c) controversial dimensions of peace education (7 issues), (d) overcoming the culture of war in schools, and (e) five pedagogical approaches for peace education that surpass all other approaches. (25%)


A Glossary of key pedagogical approaches for a peaceful classroom will be compiled, using the list below. More may be added. Each entry should be 400 words, minimum (if using WP, block text, click on file, properties and then information to get a word count). Try to put as many of these in your own words as possible. You can cut and copy from the web if you reference the material. This must be completed by March 10th . Value 30%.

transformative learning,
critical pedagogy,
reflective pedagogy,
progressive education,
contextual learning,
critical thinking,
creative thinking
collaborative learning
cooperative learning,
constructivist approach and constructivism
participatory approach,
global perspective,
emancipatory approach,
democratic classroom,
dialogical approach
empowerment approach,
political change agent
(participatory domain of learning)


Class Dialogue on Peace Pedagogy in Action (30%)

As you prepare for our dialogue on peace pedagogy in action in the classroom, ask yourself this question for each of the terms in the glossary: “When applying ---- in the classroom, I would:” Prepare a written report to consult during the class dialogue, passing the report into me at the end of class for evaluation.

For example,

When applying a critical science approach in the classroom, I would:

                    teach using themes and issues instead of just content. I would not go in with a developed lesson plan for content but rather a description of the process to be used to ensure critical learning. I would teach the nuances of a broad, universal concept (e.g., Rights) and then facilitates the students’’ selection of issues that can be analyzed from this broader level. This way, students learn concepts and appreciate contexts related to a recurring problem in society!

                    prepare learning plans with the students instead of making lesson plans up by myself. Then, the lesson would be about constructing a broad universal concept rather than just transmitting knowledge/facts, which may still be needed to construct the concept. Learning plans are a way to share power, foster a sense of ownership and commitment since they are developed with joint planning and participation.

The students would pose their own problems instead of me giving them pre-determined questions or directing them to problems already formulated in their textbooks or me telling them what issues will be addressed. The problem posing approach to eeducation is a process of asking questions, exploring a range of answers, and developing a critical perspective. By introducing or fostering the posing of specific questions, the teacher encourages the students to make their own conclusions about the values and pressures of society.

                    I would also use authentic assessment tools. The student decides, at the end of the course, if they learned! This means that normative evaluation controlled by the teacher (true and false, fill in the blank, multiple choice, etc tests) has to be supplemented with authentic assessment tools controlled by the learner (portfolios, rubrics, project based learning, assessment mapping, service learning, student led conferences, alternative grading techniques).