Dialogue with Dr. Betty Reardon on Peace Education hosted by UNESCO APCEIU

(Reposted from: APCEIU News.  March 11, 2021)

The Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), in partnership with the Korean Society of Education for International Understanding (KOSEIU), hosted a Dialogue with Dr. Betty Reardon on Peace Education in a virtual format on February 26, 2021.

Since the global pandemic, the demand for peace education has been increasing due to intensified discrimination, hatred, and extremism, however, the complex and multi-layered nature of peace presents practical difficulties in realizing peace education in the classroom.

In this context, the forum was held on the occasion of the publication of the Korean version of Dr. Betty Reardon’s book, Comprehensive Peace Education, translated by Prof. Soon-Won Kang from Hanshin University (Chairperson of the Governing Board of APCEIU). Almost 100 participants, including peace educators, teachers, researchers, and students, attended this virtual forum.

Video of the Event

Prof. Soon-Young Pak from Yonsei University, President of KOSEIU, delivered his opening remarks by stressing the difficulty of practicing peace education due to diverse aspects of peace, and he hoped to resolve these difficulties through Dr. Reardon’s valuable insights on peace education.

In his congratulatory remarks, Mr. Hyun Mook Lim, Director of APCEIU, appreciated Dr. Reardon’s life-long contribution to the theoretical development and practice of peace education, and underscored the need to better deliver peace education as well as global citizenship education in the post COVID-19 era by practicing the comprehensive peace education emphasized by Dr. Reardon.

Dr. Samuel Lee, the first director of APCEIU (President of Korea Dialogue Academy), attended the forum as a designated panel and asked Dr. Reardon’s opinion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change on peace education. Dr. Reardon replied that the COVID-19 pandemic reaffirms the importance of embracing the ecological perspective of peace education, and emphasized that, in order to resolve the global crisis including the COVID, we must acknowledge how fear is manufactured by political purposes and spread by media. She concluded her answer by stressing the importance of teaching critical media skills as a part of global citizenship education.

Prof. Soon-Won Kang, another designated panel, asked Dr. Reardon’s opinion on the subtitle for the Korean version of Comprehensive Peace EducationPeace Education Is Global Citizenship Education. She began answering by congratulating the publication of the Korean version, and responded that the Korean subtitle is more appropriate for this particular time than the original subtitle, Educating for Global Responsibility, since it provides an opportunity for readers to think about the interconnectedness across borders and the importance of global responsibility.

During the following Q&A session, Mr. Sung-geun Kim, Deputy Superintendent of Chungcheongbuk-do Office of Education, asked about the ways to deliver peace education to students of different ages. Dr. Reardon answered that peace education for the youngest learners should start by teaching the value of self and respect for others, emphasizing that all education, especially peace education, should teach all learners the possibility to do something to make a better society.

Mr. Jae Young Lee, Director of Korea Peacebuilding Institute, asked about the new opportunities for peace education in the post COVID-19 era. Dr. Reardon pointed out that the current pandemic has revealed the disparities and injustices existing in our society. She concluded her response by suggesting that peace educators pay more attention to more clearly disclosing the existing structural injustices and inhumane social structure and more fully integrating it into educational practices.

APCEIU will continue to make efforts to stimulate discussions for comprehensive peace education and global citizenship education. 

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