Peace Education Assessments, Case Studies, & Programs from China

(*Reports prepared by graduate students of the American University’s International Peace and Conflict Studies Program.  Please see November 2010 issue of the Global Campaign for Peace Education newsletter for more information:

Peace Education Assessments, Case Studies, & Programs from China by Dan Malloy

Exploring Possibilities for UPEACE in China

While not an account of an actual peace education program in China, this report assesses the viability of a UPEACE (the U.N.-mandated ‘University for Peace’) for establishing connections and beginning work in China.  The piece provides some interesting insights into the work of UPEACE and, more to the point, provides a succinct accounting of much of the historic, socio-political, and religious features of China relevant to the promotion of peace education.

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Peace Education: A Tibetan Perspective

This article offers insights into Tibetan philosophies and how ideas such as interconnectedness of all peoples and holistic learning might counter the ubiquity of competition-based strategies.  It presents a reconceptualization of peace education that depends on a positive understanding of peace from a unique Tibetan culture and Buddhist perspective. Peace Education based on a Tibetan ethos synthesizes natural ecology theory and Buddhist teachings on the importance of an awareness of the deep interconnectedness of all life and the need to overcome delusions such as greed and hatred in order establish true peace in the world.

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A Peace Education Sabbatical: Letters from Japan and China

This article (a series of letters and journal entries, essentially) is an on-the-ground account of a practitioner traveling and teaching Peace Education courses/workshops.  It is the work of Susan Gelber Cannon from Teach for Peace and offers a fascinating little vignette on the musings and everyday movements of a peace educator.  While personal and anecdotal, the piece offers the reader a lot of insight into a host of issues: Chinese history, income inequality, art, nature, working in a challenging political climate, etc.  (The material from China begins on page 30).

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Additional Info:

This first link directs to a newsletter from the Phelex Foundation and offers a little more about Susan Gelber Cannon and her work in China. This link directs to photos, poetry, and all kinds of materials from practitioners in China.  At the bottom of the page you will also find a link that includes a great deal of general materials for peace educators (in addition to more China-specific resources). This link directs to the main website for Teach for Peace.  Teaching for peace aims to change an existing paradigm—acceptance of war as a method of solving international problems—to a new paradigm—one in which human rights, social justice, sustainable development, and creative diplomacy are promoted as effective paths to national and international security. It is a long-term process, yielding a harvest that is often unseen (Teach for Peace website).

Peace Education with Chinese Characteristics

This article is one of the more substantive pieces I have found as far as offering “nuts and bolts” information on initiating a peace education course in China.  It offers more specifics on designing curriculum and setting-out learning objectives, etc.  It is a nice little case-study and a valuable real-life accounting of course development.

Abstract: This paper describes and analyses a recent series of initiatives undertaken at Nanjing University, one of China’s leading Higher Education institutions. The university undertook a partnership with Coventry University’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies to establish peace studies as a discipline in Chinese academia, though a series of conferences, publications and translations. The authors argue that research and other educational activities orienting Chinese politicians, opinion-makers, public, and children towards peaceful solutions, skillful conflict resolution, and a commitment wherever possible to nonviolence will be very much in the interests of China domestically, and the international community more generally. This paper discussed in detail a short series of peace education books for use in Chinese schools.

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Peace Boat

This is actually a Japanese organization.  But, their work so compelling that I had to include it.  Also, I get the sense that it is a little more “home-grown”.  It doesn’t recount the work of Western-based organizations establishing programs in Asia, but rather more locally-seeded efforts.  I would really recommend checking this one out.  There are TONS of ideas and resources on this website and I think it is a good one to get the juices flowing towards developing creative strategies.

Peace Boat is a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment. through global educational programmes, responsible travel, cooperative projects and advocacy activities. Peace Boat carries out its main activities through a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages.

Since its foundation in 1983, Peace Boat has been active in the field of education for peace and sustainability through the organization of educational voyages, based on lectures, workshops and study-exchange programmes both on board the ship and in ports of call.

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