Peace education contributes to the social growth of all children if it helps them develop characteristics essential for the attainment of peace – a sense of dignity and self-worth, a confidence to question their values, communication skills, an ethical awareness, and an empathy for others. (Harris, p. 35)
This capstone paper outlines my work as a teacher in a Vermont Public School and my work as a peacebuilding trainer. Currently, I work full time in a southern Vermont Public School, spending half a day with a first grade class, and half a day with a fifth grade class. I also teach an afterschool program twice a week combining music, movement and stories with peace education. The school where I teach has nearly 400 students, is the largest elementary school in the district and serves the most disadvantaged of our area. It has been a rewarding experience.
My research question was how might a peace education unit benefit K-6 grade students at a public school in southern Vermont? I interviewed four afterschool program parents and five primary grade teachers. My research confirms the desire by both parents and teachers to include a peace education unit in the public schools, both during and afterschool. Eight out of nine respondents noted that students “couldn’t get enough of this type of education.” (see Data & Analysis)
Curriculum and Instruction | Peace and Conflict Studies
Chertok, Victoria, "Peace Education in the 21st Century: the benefits of teaching conflict transformation skills to Vermont students in a K-6 public school" (2007). Capstone Collection. 3.