Gandhi and Freire on Campus: Theory and Practice in Tertiary Peace Studies Programs

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Peace Education Miniprints No. 76

Author(s): Robin Burns & Thomas Weber
Reproduced & distributed by: Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)
Date: March 1995

Over the past 20 years, the formal study of peace at universities and colleges has become an option available to many students. The development of such peace studies programs is diverse. There are a variety of theoretical and ideological/philosophical approaches to peace. However, how to develop a course that is theory-based, and to compare different theoretical orientations, has not been explored a great deal. Taking up that challenge, this paper looks at two instructors who have been responsible for a peace studies program, one through taking on and transforming an existing interdisciplinary undergraduate course and the other through developing a peace education course within a graduate education program. The ideas that inspired each educator are presented. Paulo Freire and Mahatma Gandhi, whose work for justice and social change, are featured. This paper finds that a dialogue that develops the ideas, key concepts, analyses, and actions of Gandhi and Freire (within contemporary settings, and with appropriate learning processes) provides a basis for a peace studies or peace education program.

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