Educating for peace through (nonviolent) action: “122 easy [and difficult] actions for peace”
122 acciones fáciles (y difíciles) para la paz
Author: Cécile Barbeito Thonon
Published: February, 2016
The book “122 easy (and difficult) actions for peace”, is a useful tool for peace educators that aim for social change. Here are the reasons why.
Because Peace Education should not be an aim in itself but a mean to get more peaceful societies, it should change minds, attitudes and behaviors. More than that, these new attitudes and behaviors should be meaningful and strategic enough to transform the local or global context. As identified by GÉRARD (2003), the expected outcomes of this types of values education should be: Learning (new peace knowledge, skills and attitudes learnt in the educational context), Transfer (ability to apply the strengthened competences in different contexts) and Transformation (the fact that the application of the new competences does effectively change the context). According to this transformative objective, peace education programs and activities should provide concrete and feasible ideas for social change.
At the same time, to promote an effective learning it is important to address four dimensions of learning – as identified by Kolb (1984) in its learning styles typology: Experiencing, Reflecting, Conceptualizing and Testing. Every learner has its own learning preference in which he/she feels more comfortable. Due to this diversity of learners, but also because it contributes to train more complementary and comprehensive competencies, it is important to invite learners to use the four dimensions. This testing dimension requires, once more, complementing the cognitive and the sensitive dimensions with action, or active implementation.
In practice, the action dimension for a transformation in the community has been traditionally addressed in the debriefing of peace education activities (in the discussion-verbal level), and more recently through methodologies that intervene in the community itself such as Service-learning. But suggesting and implementing action ideas that everyday people can undertake to tackle such a global and complex issue as peace is not so simple.
To address this need, the book “122 easy (and difficult) actions for peace” (currently only available in Spanish), is a simple introduction to peace through 50 issues of positive and negative peace. For each of these 50 issues, action ideas are suggested. The book is targeted to beginners in the field, but also to peace educators who would like to get ideas to address this action dimension in their trainings. Of course the Global Campaign of Peace Education, along with dozens of organizations are referenced in the book.
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