WHAT IS PEACE EDUCATION?

 

LORI ADAMS

PRINCIPAL, WANUP PUBLIC SCHOOL,

SUDBURY, ONTARIO

RAINBOW DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

 

PHILOSOPHY AND VISION

- having been an educator for 30 years, my love for children has grown as well as my understanding that:

1. education lays the foundation of society
- as a general rule, the more educated we are, the more civilized is our society
and the richer the quality of life,

2. children are the key to the future
- what children learn determines quality of life as time goes on
- in particular, the values children develop and later adopt as adults have direct bearing on our quality of life,

3. school are not isolated entities - they reflect their local community
- key elements of local and global communities are: how equitable and just living conditions are, how caring are its members
- if we don’t know what we value, we can’t protect it,

4. education plays a vital role in raising our awareness of social issues - political, economic, health, education - of issues that affect our personal lives but also issues that impact on the global village,

5. in some way children and adults must take action to DO something to make a DIFFERENCE in building a more peaceful world,

6. laying the foundation of a peaceful world is one of the greatest challenges for families, schools, communities, governments
- peace starts at home, spreads to school activities and recess school yard, extends to community (protect environment, volunteer time and help to others), becomes part of workplace (amount of teamwork, cooperation, job satisfaction), leads to involvement in activities that address global inequities, injustices

-share belief and vision that as we live together on this planet, no matter what place, situation or circumstance each of us may find ourselves in as individuals, we each have a special role to play through our own daily lives to create peaceful lives, schools, communities, countries
- one of the most important missions for humanity in the 21st century is to bring people together as one with the shared goal of creating world peace (Masami & Hiroo Saionji, Chairperson & President of Goi Foundation)
- 2001-2010 is the United Nations’ International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World
- around the world, at various levels, from grass roots to conferences such as this, from NGOs to coordinated governmental efforts, steps are being taken to build the ground work for world peace
- however, giant strides await us when:

- an Afghan mother holds her child weak from hunger and sickness, and wonders, "Where is peace?" as she peers out from the tent of their refugee camp
- a 10 year old child in Sudan, who has never learned to read or write, is taught as a slave soldier to shoot members of his own village, and wonders,"Where is peace?"
- a youth in Colombia gazes at the newly built hydro dam and the surrounding flooded area of rainforest, home and life to his peasant community, and wonders,"Where is peace?"
- an Israeli or Palestinian family sees their home crumble before their eyes, and wonders, "Where is peace?"

- we have a torch to carry in weaving a culture of peace for ourselves and for people around the world, both today and tomorrow
- may we accept the challenge to look beyond differences of race, religion, ethnicity and culture, and to be active peacemakers in building a world founded in a culture of peace and non-violence for all people

 

PEACE EDUCATION - AN INTEGRAL PART OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM

WANUP PUBLIC SCHOOL ...

A WORLD CLASS SCHOOL & PEACEFUL SCHOOL COMMUNITY

As a World Class School of Rainbow District School Board we strive to create a school environment in which students and staff excel, parents and community care. A strong learning partnership founded in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation between all stakeholders is the key. Standards of academic excellence enhanced by a character education program provide the framework for each child achieving to his/her full potential as a learner and caring citizen both locally and globally. (Please refer to the section World Class School below.)

Our vision to build a Peaceful School Community lies at the heart of our academic and co-curricular programs. We are proud of various past peace initiatives including our Peace Pole, Peace Garden, International Peace Pal Exchanges, Wanup P.S. Creed, Manifesto 2000 Messenger Certificate and two Rainbow Peacemakers’ Symposiums. Rewarding programs such as Terrific Kids, Gotchaa, Harvey’s Homework Huggers, Caring Citizens, Conflict Resolution , Peacemakers, Roots & Shoots and E-Team Regreening /Naturalization Project help to develop responsible citizenship. In addition, our fabulous Breakfast Club is a healthy way to start the day off right. Many parents and community volunteer their time and resources to help create a kind and caring school in which our students achieve to their full potential. Through DOING something, we can make a DIFFERENCE in creating families, schools and communities that are non-violent, peaceful and environmentally responsive.

 

A WORLD CLASS SCHOOL

As a World Class School of the Rainbow District School Board, our emphasis is to meet standards of academic excellence and to develop valuable life skills of good character. Understanding the relationship between school discipline and student achievement, we strive to provide a World Class holistic education in which all students find success academically, socially, emotionally and physically.

Character development, being a primary focus, begins and is nurtured in the home. When home and school support one another through consistent expectations of student behaviour, consistent modelling of positive character traits and consistent rules and routines, children grow to be happy, healthy, productive citizens.

 

Expectations for World Class Students

Imagine a school like this! In a World Class School you enter the building and see students engaged in their learning. The children are happy and ready to work. They love school and so the students are seldom sick. They hate to miss school!

The students respect each other and are on task!

World Class Students

BE THE BEST THAT I CAN BE!

Expectations for World Class Teachers

In a World Class School teachers take their job seriously and work together. They enjoy the challenge of teaching.

Teachers know that they are equal partners collaborating to assist each child achieve his/her potential.

World Class Teachers

 

Expectations for World Class Parents

Education research consistently and convincingly demonstrates that student achievement is improved by positive parental involvement as a partner in education.

Four important factors over which parents exercise direct authority which impact their child’s learning are:

 

World Class Parents

 

Expectations for World Class Principals

In a World Class School, the principal is visible and approachable throughout the school and knows the students by name.

Each day is accepted as a new challenge for fostering a positive learning environment.

 

World Class Principals

 

Homework Policy for World Class Schools

The Rainbow District School Board recognizes that homework is a necessary part of the learning process, teaching students to be responsible and independent learners. The assignment of purposeful homework is an effective means of extending student learning time. It fosters parental involvement in their child’s learning while monitoring their child’s progress.

Therefore World Class Schools endorse the regular use of homework according to established guidelines for each division.

 

A PEACEFUL SCHOOL COMMUNITY

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS TO PROMOTE PEACE EDUCATION

1.) Character Education Program

a) Character Traits

- 2001/02 - survey completed by students, parents, staff, School Council to determine top 10 character traits (respect, responsibility, self-control, kindness, cooperation, politeness, patience, honesty, fairness, friendship)
- one trait per month - introduced by assigned class at Terrific Kid Assembly (1st Monday of month), cloth banner created by class hung from ceiling beam in hallway, morning announcements, integrated in curriculum in each classroom, monthly newsletter with "Kids and Character - Tips for Parents"
- 2002/03 - at each grade level - weekly character focus introduced in formal lesson on Monday, reinforced throughout week through use of Agenda character insert, morning announcements, monthly newsletter with "Kids and Character - Tips for Parents"

b) Agenda including Character insert in all grades

c) Terrific Kids Program

- sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Sudbury for past 2 ½ years
- Terrific Kid chosen from each class weekly to recognize achievement in attaining learner and citizen goals established in each classroom - pupil names called during Monday announcements and students receive small award
- Terrific Kid Assembly on 1st Monday of month - invitations sent to all parents/guardians of Terrific Kids for month - students receive certificate, two names drawn for t-shirt, group photo taken and displayed in main entry

d) Gotchaa Program

- students rewarded frequently, anywhere in school, for demonstrating character traits and other prosocial skills by all staff
- 10-12 names called during Monday announcements and students receive small award
- one Gotchaa! student per class awarded Wanup Gotchaa! lunch/cooler bag at Terrific Kid Assembly on 1st Monday of month - sponsored by Zoo Casuals

e) Harvey’ s Homework Huggers Program

- sponsored by Harvey’s Restaurant, Regent St., Sudbury
- one student per class who has completed homework and shared the Agenda with his/her parent daily earns a Harvey’s lunch at school on Wednesdays

f) Caring Citizens Program

- after 10 hours of service to others at school, students receive card to take home and certificate is displayed in hall
- after 5 certificates, students receive a gift certificate sponsored by Valley Truck Centre

g) Learning Partners

- students from JK to grade 8 are assigned to same Learning Partner group for year to share monthly and special events cross-curricular activities

h) Reading Buddies

- students in grades 1, 2,3 are partnered with a buddy from grades 7, 8; students in Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten are partnered with grade 5, 6 students - weekly reading with reflection sheets to complete

2.) Conflict Resolution Programs

- with Princess Anne P. S. staff, developed and implemented CR program which focussed on development of listening, communication and problem solving skills - extensively used Sunburst and PeaceWorks resources
- introduced same program at George Vanier P. S. and Wanup P. S.
- George Vanier P. S. - Peacemakers program - students trained to help others on playground resolve arguments - interested peacemakers were required to obtain 3 references (parent, teacher, friend) - training period in which they learned to follow a script to resolve problem - weekly assigned recess - hat, duotang (record details of conflict and solution) and clipboard
- Wanup P. S. 2001/02 - grade 2/3 class had good success with Second Step Program
- Wanup P. S. 2002/03 - to introduce series, "I Can Problem Solve," in Primary, Junior, Intermediate

3.) Anti-Bullying Program

- loan from Media Centre on bi-monthly schedule Bullying Kit and videos dealing with bullying, anger management, friendship, peer pressure for primary, junior and intermediate levels
- integrated into Health, Language

4.) Wanup P. S. Creed

- in each classroom, discussed differences between rights and privileges, brainstormed ways that students treat one another that they don’t like or hurt others and their responsibilities to prevent such behaviours
- Student Council reps collated class responses and wrote school creed following model: At school I have a right to ...
This means that no one will ...
I have a responsibility to ...

5.) Zero Tolerance Approach to Discipline

6.) World Peace Prayer Society Projects

- Peace Pole Ceremonies held at Public Schools in Rainbow District School Board
- George Vanier (1997), Wanup (1999), Pinecrest (2001), Long Lake (2001), Larchwood (2001), Webbwood (2002)

- for example, Wanup P. S. Peace Pole Ceremony

- each class designed and created peace flag
- each class composed peace prayer/message
- Board officials, politicians, rep from Native Friendship Centre, and media were invited
- reception by School Council in library while students prepared for outdoor ceremony
- School Band played as classes marched in behind peace flags
- Student Council reps were Masters of Ceremony
- School Choir sang "Song of the Earth," and "Hands United in Peace"
- student representatives from each class shared class peace prayer/message
- peace pole dedication by teacher
- students unveiled peace pole

- Peace Garden - designed, constructed and planted by students, staff and volunteers

- International Peace Pal Exchanges

- George Vanier P. S. with schools in Ghana and Slovakia (1997-1998) - class introductions, individual student letters to peace pals, art work, video with script
- Wanup P. S. with schools in Ghana (1998-1999) - class introductions, individual student letters to peace pals, school photos with descriptors
- Wanup P. S., Grade 1 / 2 with school in California

- UN International Day/Week of Peace (September 15, 1998)

- September 15, 1998 - each class contributed one line re: Peace is ... and poem was sent to UN CyberSchoolBus web site ( peacepal@worldpeace.org )
- September 2001 - created classroom mandala following discussion of harmony with nature, brainstorming 12 aspects of nature, individual writing of expression of gratitude for one specific aspect

- Rainbow Peacemakers’ Symposium - Nov. 2000

- 120 participants from 14 different schools in Rainbow District School Board
- Welcome/Introductions
- School Choir - "Hands United in Peace"
- am - three workshops: World Peace Prayer Society: Peace Pals and Youth Programs (N. Parker), Global Village (V. Kett, M. Faris), Peaceful School Community Initiatives (Wanup P. S. Student Council & School Council)
- pm - World Peace Flag Ceremony - 199 flags of world carried by Wanup P. S. students presented by continents
- School Choir - "Let There Be Peace On Earth"

- 2nd Annual International Essay Writing Contest for Young People - June 2001

- theme:"Respect for Life"
- Wanup P. S. students in Junior and Intermediate grades wrote individual compositions -
- five students received Certificate of Participation from Goi Foundation/World Peace Prayer Society

- Winter Olympics 2002 - Peace Exhibition and Peace Pole path representing each participating country

- Wanup P. S. students created Peace Cards in each class - 33 cards were displayed in Olympic Village

- 2nd Annual Rainbow Peacemakers’ Symposium - Apr. 2002

- 180 participants from 14 different schools in Rainbow District School Board
- am - three workshops: Creating World Peace (WPPS - N. Parker), From Passion to Action (Kids Can Free The Children - E. Barton), New Trova Music Movement (M. Montecinos)
- displays: Amnesty International (Loellen Park Secondary students), Sleeping Children Around the World (Wanup P. S. students)

7.) Other Peace Organizations & Projects

- Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run - June 2001

- three Wanup P. S. students read their compositions, "Respect for Life" at city event
- Peace Run Team visited school for presentation re: run across Canada and invited all students to make symbolic run around playground field taking turns carrying torch

- UNESCO nominated Wanup P. S. as Messenger of Manifesto 2000 for school collecting over 100 signatures

- students of Peace Committee wrote introductory letter, distributed registration forms, tallied returns

- Kids Can Free the Children

- Anti-Child Poverty Campaign 2002/03
- Embracing Cultures 2002/03

8.) Local and Global Citizens

- student committees implemented fund-raising campaigns to support victims of crisis around world

- Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua (November 1998) - Loonie Day and challenge to all elementary and secondary schools in Board to do same - over $1900. donated to Change for Children re: Nicaragua Relief
- Kosovo (April 1999) - sold books to support refugees

- student committees implemented fund-raising campaigns to support needy children around the world

- Operation Christmas (2000)
- Sleeping Children Around the World (2001/02) - provided 6 bedkits

- student committees implemented fund-raising campaigns to support local needs

- TD Toybank Drive
- Jump Rope for Heart (Heart & Stroke Foundation)
- MS Read-a-Thon

9.) Breakfast Club Program

10.) Environmental Programs

- Destination Conservation ( one of 11 pilot schools in RDSB 2001/02) - energy conservation practices including "Lights Out" campaign led by grade 5/6 class - compared energy use and costs form one year to another, designed switch plate covers and posters, created announcements

- Roots & Shoots Conference - 2000/01 and 2001/02 - representative group of students from junior and intermediate grades participated in activities and shared discoveries with classes - also assumed leadership roles in school’s naturalization project

- Musical production, "Assignment Earth: What Kids Can Do to Save the Planet"

- school-wide involvement and preparations from January to May
- performed for 180 visiting students and again for 250 parents
- curriculum links re: pollution, reduction, reuse integrated in class studies

- E-Team - comprised of selected students, teachers, parents, School Council rep to design and implement Regreening/Naturalization Project

- October 2002 - Phase One , part of Phase 2 -planted 20 matures trees with plans to work curriculum links (ie. research of trees, outdoor classroom, birds and bird feeders)

 

PERSONAL PEACE ACTIVITIES

- Canadian Peace Rep of World Peace Prayer Society

- attended World Peace Ceremony in Tokyo, Japan in September 2000
- attended World Peace Festival in Amenia New York, August 2001
- assisted in planting Peace Poles at schools and churches in Sudbury, Ont. and Burnaby, B. C.

 

May Peace Prevail on Earth!