HomeThe Paulinian Compassvol. 2 no. 3 (2012)

Education for Peace: Content, Form, and Structure: Mobolizing Youth for Civic Engagement

Kevin Kester

Discipline: Education



The inclusion of youth in peace-building initiatives brings vibrancy and creativity to peace-building efforts. Believing that youth offer creative energy and active potential for the transformation of violent conflict in the world -- and believing that education is a space for nurturing cultures of peace or cultures of war -- peace educators maintain that practitioners have a responsibility to dialogue with youth on knowledge, values, skills, and behaviors conducive to fostering global harmony and social justice. Peace is described as the absence of physical and structural violence, and the presence of justice; therefore, students should explore the root causes of conflict, know international humanitarian and human rights laws, envision alternative structures of security, and learn skills for managing micro/macro conflict without violence. Accordingly, the goal of this paper is to discuss peace education as education for humane purposes and social justice, where youth are involved in the transformation of society and the construction of peaceful futures. The paper is divided into 5 sections: 1) what is peace education, 2) education for peace: values and inquiry-based teaching and learning, 3) peace education frameworks: the content of peace education, 4) pedagogy for peace: involving youth in community, and 5) models of peace education: learning in community. The paper focuses on the social purposes (why), content (what), pedagogy (how), and structure (where) of teaching peaceful values, behaviors, and skills, as well as generating a commitment among youth toward social agency and democratic participation.