This week we continue sharing basic concepts around Education for a Culture of Peace by Eleni Kotziamani. Keep following us!….

Envisioning the Future

As Meadow et al point out “vision without action is useless.  But action without vision does not know where to go or why to go there” (Hicks, 2004, p. 176).  Therefore, it’s not only important to imagine the future, but also to set goals in order to achieve that future.   The goals will make that transferability achievable.  According to Polak, “potent images of the future can act like a magnet, drawing society towards its envisioned future” (Hicks, 2004, p. 171).  Envisioning the future is an important aspect of Education for a Culture of Peace since the transformation of the societies and the world in general is what it tries to promote.

Ensuring Inclusiveness

Education for a Culture of Peace should provide space for all individuals to express their views.  It should be accessible (by all means) to everyone in the school community, and try to capture the problems, rights or actions of various groups outside the school community.  As Sefa Dei (1997) characteristically states, it “calls for creating spaces for everyone but particularly for marginal voices to be heard.  It calls for dominant groups in society to listen to the voices of subordinated groups” (p. X). Education for a Culture of Peace must be a lifelong process, otherwise it does not possess a powerful impact on individuals and societies.

Using a Holistic Approach

Education for a Culture of Peace must be accompanied by a holistic approach, where the world is viewed as a web of being.  The holistic approach enables individuals to compose the whole picture of the world and connect each and every aspect of their education with real life.  “Every form of education must provide for a holistic understanding and appreciation of the human experience, comprising social, cultural, political, ecological, and spiritual aspects” (Sefa Dei, 1997, p. X).

Respecting Cultural Differences

As Boulding (2000) stated “in this last decade of the twentieth century there are only 188 states in the world and 10,000 societies” (p. 91).  Education for a Culture of Peace recognizes the necessity to respect cultural differences.  This is important not only within the classroom community, but also when addressing issues related to other cultures.  First-hand experiences with other cultures are considered important for breaking down stereotypes and building bridges within different cultures. Societies today have become heterogeneous, and thus interaction and learning from other cultures has become easier.

Empowering Individuals

Another guiding principle of Education for a Culture of Peace is the empowerment of individuals.  “When working with youth, it means encouraging them to help create the programs in which they take part” (Cronkhite, 2000, p. 162).  Empowered individuals are subsequently more likely to be active citizens in their current and future life, to become involved in political and social affairs, and to strive to build better societies.

About POST Research Institute

POST is a non-profit, non-political organization set up by a group of people to work for the cultural, social, and environmental betterment of Cyprus and established at 2002. Vision: To contribute towards achieving an alternative sustainable future, which comprises of an egalitarian Cypriot society, that recognizes the dignity of every living being. Mission: • On the basis of social equality/justice: o To contribute for creating an open dialogue on issues of peace education and reconciliation and working actively for the unification of the island. o To take action against gender discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for achieving positive social transformation. o To advance, sensitize and advocate for a multicultural and diverse society in which all differences are recognized, understood and accepted. • To excel as an Institute in the execution of research and participatory action. • To strengthen research capacity in Cyprus. • To strive for ecological sustainability through the prevention of environmental degradation and destruction.
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