WHERE DO I START?
Q. - I am a retired teacher, and have been thinking about teaching peace and how to go about it. I was under the impression that we needed to export the efforts to the warring nations overseas; but with the re-election of President Bush I see that we need it badly right here in the USA. How can I get started importing your ideas and using them to educate our people? Being retired, I have time but need info and guidance. Where do I start? (Shirley from Texas)
Next, you will want to raise the level of your own understanding. The purpose of our web site www.peace.ca is to help you better understand in a relatively short period of time what has taken me ten years to learn (and make no mistake, I am still learning as are all peace educators and peacebuilders). Our web site also recommends a lot of other reading (eg. http://www.peace.ca/topten.htm ) and links. During the process of personal study (P.S. "The only learning which significantly influences behaviour is self-directed, self-appropriated learning." Carl Rogers), you should develop your own mission or vision statement -- mine is, "to significantly reduce the human cost of violence in our communities and world". Your personal vision will help guide you through tough times, and keep you focussed. (A person could spend months or years studying all the material on our web site. Do not get bogged down in study -- study without action is meaningless. In fact, service learning or praxis is a most important feature of peace education. Get active when you feel comfortable, or even before you get totally comfortable -- sometimes we must go outside our comfort zone, and not wait until we have things perfect or they will never start.)
In a separate email, I will forward a copy of a standard letter that I have on tips for things you can do to start . In short, I have a profound belief that the most important thing we can do as peace educators is to facilitate conferencing, where people who share an interest in peace education can come together to share information, dialogue, network and develop action plans and solidarity. "Selling" the idea of a conference on education for world peace may be a tough sell at the start, in certain quarters. In such a case, consider the idea of a conference on education to significantly reduce violence in our schools and communities. This is an example of being creative, and somewhat 'subversive' -- getting peace education onto the local agenda (or hidden curricula).
Please also see the article at http://www.peace.ca/betheguide.htm . Also, for many reasons, retired people may be the most important resource for peacebuilding -- particularly if they have a concern about the world that their children and grandchildren will have to live in. They should realize that 'Time is of the essence' to fix this planet, and have their own time and resources to do something.
There is so much I could write, but I think that is sufficient for the moment. Please feel free to contact me as necessary. Best wishes in your very important work. I hope to meet you in person some day.
P.S. Here is a
quick list of fun things your students could take charge of:
some of this gets your students’ creative juices flowing. I think it is
best for them to find out what “turns them on”, and then give them the
support, direction and challenges to grow themselves in their area of interest.
Q. - Hello there,
I am an Education student at the
Links and resources –
our web site at www.peace.ca
is a very extensive collection of resources.
Specifically, I would draw your attention to www.peace.ca/curricula.htm
for a list of educational materials.
I would draw your attention to www.peace.ca/topten.htm
for a list of the best books and videos that I can recommend to you and your
I would draw your attention to http://www.peace.ca/peaceleader.htm
for a list of resources on leadership, since educators are leaders and it is
I would draw your attention to http://www.peace.ca/wheredoistart.htm
with some practical suggestions to get started.
I would draw your attention to http://www.peace.ca/montessorisites.htm
to learn about the Montessori Method of education. As education students
you should know about the best example of peace education that I have found.
Also see http://www.peace.ca/EVOLVING%20CANADIAN%20CULTURE%20OF%20PEACE%20PROGRAM%202005.ppt
for a Powerpoint summary of the evolution of peace education in
A hint from Carl Rogers, "The only learning
which significantly influences behaviour is self-directed, self-appropriated
learning." My personal preference is to provide "Our
Mission: To Advance a Culture of Peace and Non-violence, at home and
abroad" … “Our Vision:
To Significantly Reduce the Human Cost of Direct and Indirect Violence”
… and “Our Method: Through Peace
Education, to Raise the Level of Social Intelligence (i.e. Relationships) –
skills, attitudes and behaviours to live together more successfully” …
challenge the students to find solutions, and provide them with direction and
support as they require based on their development level (competence and
commitment). The sphere of peace work is so broad that anyone can find
something that turns them on – then they will be motivated to work hard as
their passions unfold. Most importantly, peace starts from within –
peace educators must model peaceful behaviour in order to win others over.
This requires peace educators to “get their own act together” –
understanding and mastering their own values, then understanding their
student’s values, then communicating in terms of their student’s values.
I hope some of this helps.
Please feel free to write with any more specific enquiries, and I would love to
hear how you proceed. In the meantime, best wishes in your work – what
you are doing is most important.
I have been visiting www.peace.ca
regularly over the last year and a half and am astounded by the wealth of
information and ideas you’ve gathered/generated.
some time I’ve known that I must get in touch with you. As a teacher,
facilitator, peace educator, wilderness instructor and curriculum/program
designer among other things I have for the last few years participated in fascinating
developments in the realm of “youth leadership education for social change”.
While I work full-time as an outdoor/ experiential educator throughout
the school year, the most heartfelt and engaging part of my work is the time I
spend as a curriculum coordinator at the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership (PSYL)
am I writing to tell you all this you ask? Well, so impacted am I by the
am also drawn by the list of potential courses you suggest we should teach
If you’ve made it this far, I thank you for reading! I do hope to hear from you and will sign myself up for the appropriate list-serves ASAP. Thank you for all that you are doing. Sincerely, Jennifer S.
a wonderful way to start my Saturday. Thank you for your kind comments
about my work, and thank you for your inspiration to work for peace J
questions challenge me to think about what we can do, and so I offer some
thoughts for your consideration:
the need to incorporate a significant paradigm shift towards self-awareness
teachings in order for any systemic change to occur – Agreed. It is
truly unfortunate that our current Western Education System does not teach the
most important things in life: social intelligence, how to build relationships,
nonviolent communication, how to have difficult/crucial/confrontational
conversations, conflict transformation, personal and financial management,
servant leadership, understanding our own psychology and training the mind,
etc., etc. The irony is that we do not need to re-invent the wheel on this
– there is a lot of excellent intelligence available about what we should be
teaching. What we need to do is clarify and share this Vision and
consistency in this area in our public (or private) education system – Agreed.
It will take longer to sway our public education system (it is the nature of
bureaucracies and the people in them). Hence, we must find paths around
them (not that we will ignore the formal Education System – we simply must
have a multi-pronged approach, spending our resources of time, money, people
where we get the biggest pay-off). The Montessori Method of education
provides the best example of peace education that I have found (followed by the
Steiner/Waldorf method) – we can work with them to strengthen what they are
doing, and they may be most receptive. The other alternative is to start a
new “private-type” system (which has its pros and cons). Somewhere in
the middle ground is an informal system of education, taking advantage of the
Internet (online or virtual education system, which www.peace.ca
is an example) and Peace Cafés in every community with a peace resource library
(books and videos), conversation cafés, mentoring (by peace studies students
and retired professors, for example), etc.
When do we start developing those courses and running a pilot project? – Many
hands make light work. In other words, as soon as we recruit people
(primarily) and money (secondarily). For people to work on this
voluntarily (i.e. without pay) they will have to share the vision and get other
value from it (eg. students getting internship experience or academic credit,
retirees getting fulfilment and self-actualization, etc. We must also
raise millions of dollars, which I am developing a plan to do.
How do we get public funding for a
How do we truly teach/ learn in a Peace Education model and still ensure
students are able to pass the standardized test mandated by the BC Government?
Montessori schools are the best example of peace education that I can point to.
Their experience is that, not only do Montessori students pass the standardized
tests, they excel at them. Peace Education students will excel in all
regards, and this is a major selling point.
programs and research are already out there that might serve to support my
interest/ desire to make change?! Tons. There is an ocean of
information and misinformation out there, the problem is that you can drown in
it. The good news is that you have the Internet to find people and
information resources that you need, and you do not have to find and know all of
it – the most important thing is for you to develop yourself and model
peaceful behaviour, and consider the images at http://www.peace.ca/EVOLVING%20CANADIAN%20CULTURE%20OF%20PEACE%20PROGRAM%202005.ppt
(I have attached a copy of the final image, which is built up in the
Powerpoint.) You can have all the knowledge and programs, but people will
not relate if you do not model peace (ref. http://www.peace.ca/beingpeace.htm
any guidance, advice or support you might be able to offer in the journey.
– Save time by asking for specific guidance, advice and support when you need
it, of the best people who can provide it. Meditate. Look at http://www.peace.ca/topten.htm
and particularly read http://www.peace.ca/socialintelligence.htm
I would also be thrilled to get involved with some of the tasks that need doing
– what are some of the ways that I might get involved in the initiatives you
have on the go? – First, you should analyze yourself, identify your highest
values (your own psychology, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
– in other words, your mind) and your Mission and Vision for your life (at
this stage – it will evolve with time and experiences). Then, you will
be in a better position to decide on your path and how working with some of the
initiatives that I have on the go might integrate.
would be very happy to continue our dialogue after you have considered some of
this. Know that you have the power to do whatever you set your mind to,
and will never fail – whatever you choose will be right for you at this time.
A Message to Our Readers (May 15, 2006):
I have been taking a sabbatical for a period of reflection on
how I can better serve the Peace Community (by working smarter, not
). In the process, I have
been undergoing a significant personal transformation – a journey that
I will be pleased to share with you over the next few months.
In the process of seeking peace, we are likely to give
ourselves anxiety, pain and even depression – your mind can become a
war zone. Stress is the
signal that it’s time to question your own thinking.
Seeking peace is how you lose the awareness of peace.
But you can only lose the awareness of it, not the state.
That’s not an option, because peace is what we all are.
Look around you and you will find peace in many ways, if you look
hard enough – celebrate them. The
spiritual secret that applies here is this: what
you seek, you already are.
The U.N. Culture of Peace Program calls for the
transformation of all institutions from a culture of violence to a
Culture of Peace and Non-violence. The
first ‘institution’ that must go through this transformation is
ourselves. As Gandhi
instructed us, “be the change you seek in the world”.
In a sense, our old selves (our selves raised in a culture of
violence and reflecting it) must die in order that our new selves - our
selves living a Culture of Peace and Non-violence – may be born.
We must truly be “Renaissance Men and Women”.
I suspect many of you are also labouring with your rebirth.
Each of us has to find the actual experience of
peace and calmness on our own. The secret for doing that is to free the
mind. When it is free, the mind settles down. It gives up its
restlessness and becomes a channel for peace.
As the UNESCO motto proclaims, “Since wars begin in the minds
of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be
constructed.” This applies
to us as well as “them”.
I invite you to join me in this personal transformation.
A major goal over the next period will be to strengthen our
section of the www.peace.ca web site
on Building Peace at the Individual Level.
I will share with you some of the key books that I am reading,
and their highlights. They
Spirituality For Du mm ies, by Sharon Janis
Advanced Reading - click on this link to find highlights of recommended books for the advanced reader
I fully believe that the people who need the most peace
education are peace educators, peace leaders and peacebuilders.
One of our major goals at Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace is
to help with the necessary personal transformations – to accelerate
the personal growth and wisdom of all peace educators, leaders and
builders, by supplying helpful information.
Since everyone is a potential peace educator, leader and builder
– this means engaging everyone. It
truly takes an astronomical vision to make a global difference.
I am very grateful that I have found my purpose in life:
peace education. We all have
our own unique talents to bring to peace education – I am pleased to
bring my unique leadership, management and business talents to bear on
this most worthwhile cause. By
teaching peace and wisdom, our students can transform their lives and
make a difference teaching peace and wisdom.
Today, start to act as if your influence extends everywhere
– you should know that it does.
Happy transformations, and remain centered no matter what
THE WISDOM I AM LIVING
By Bob Stewart
Higher Purpose - work for the welfare
of the whole world, by significantly reducing the human cost of direct and
indirect violence through peace education, raising social intelligence, true
wisdom and self actualization throughout the world.
Higher Purpose - work for the welfare of the whole world, by significantly reducing the human cost of direct and indirect violence through peace education, raising social intelligence, true wisdom and self actualization throughout the world.
Communion – communicate and develop relationships with everyone else in the world, to notify the world’s farthest reaches of the purpose and intention (above).
Awareness – listen to understand, everything that impinges on the purpose (above). Meditate on it, adapt, remain flexible, respond accordingly.
Acceptance – There are no enemies. Understand my values and others’ values, and communicate with myself and others accordingly. I am a genius and they are also. Recognize every one as equally important and interdependent.
Creativity – think thoughts never thought before, ‘dance’ in a way never seen before. Continue to solve the peace ‘problem’ every day, in creative new ways.
Being – obey the universal cycle of rest and activity. Live a balanced life. Sleep on it. Meditate on it. Develop routines and cycles. Live the Nature of Peace, and Peace of Nature.
Efficiency – work smarter, not harder. Prioritize. Seek value, including profit in what is done. Benefits must significantly exceed all costs. Stop doing things that are not significant contributors to the purpose.
Bonding – know that we are all fundamentally the same. There are no outcasts. Extend the hand of friendship to all.
Giving – give and receive automatically, without expectation, without hoarding. Give students of peace your time.
Immortality – pass on your knowledge, experience and talents to others – and become immortal by leaving a legacy of peace education that will keep on giving when you pass on to another plain. Be remembered.