Title

Social context for peace education from family to school to the international community

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Nora Femenia

Abstract

This study examines the impact produced by social institutions that teach peace education. The focus is on young people, from pre-school to high school and recent high school graduates who were influenced by some form of peace education, namely conflict resolution, as a learning tool. The concepts of John W. Burton, Iris Marion Young, Mahatmas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., on problem solving, justice and fairness, as well as nonviolence, form the theoretical foundation for this study. Applying these theoretical frameworks, I focused on the impact of some conflict resolution activities employed by students, as when high school students conducted a peer mediation session in the spring semester of the 2003/2004 academic school year. This observation was followed up by interviews and a survey administration for the students. Teachers of the pre-school children were asked to complete a survey to evaluate their learning and the benefits of pre-school conflict resolution workshops. High school graduates were interviewed and asked to assess the impact of conflict resolution training on their present lives. The paper concludes that early conflict intervention education beginning with children as young as 2 years old can be a social benefit. Parents should not only be involved with pre-school conflict resolution education but also practice nonviolent problem solving at home. Schools should include conflict resolution education as a permanent part of the academic curricula. Problem solving as an approach may need to expand to include the transformative empowering and holistic view demanded by today's dynamics and social interactions, however this approach requires training and experience.

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