Education for Peace in the Classroom – Curriculum Development Strategies and Materials: A Case Study from Ireland

Peace Education Miniprints No. 24

Author(s):  Paul Rogers
Reproduced & distributed by: Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)
Date: November 1991

This paper describes the curriculum development process involved in the production of a set of peace education materials developed by the churches in Ireland during the past 13 years. Peace education is concerned primarily with a positive approach to peacemaking and the development of people who internalize a positive vision of peace, have a real sense of justice, personal and social, and who are sensitized and helped to cope with the various social manifestations of violence and conflict in their own lives and the wider world. The document examines the educational rationale of this project in the context of the two educational systems operating in Ireland. The process by which the materials are produced fall under six headings: (1) teacher workshops; (2) writing phase; (3) piloting phase; (4) editing and rewriting; (5) dissemination; and (6) evaluation. The document outlines some of the issues facing the development of peace education in Ireland in the next decade. Some of these are learning from past experiences, avoiding raising expectations that are not fulfilled, appreciating the difficulties of implementation of curriculum innovation in a climate of financial cutbacks, understanding past inconsistencies in policy in this area, giving adequate resources to agencies that are supportive to schools, and appreciating the greater emphasis in society on competitiveness and a strong utilitarian thrust. One important issue for future development is an understanding that much of the theory of peace, for example in areas of conflict resolution and human rights education and nonviolence, has yet to be translated into concrete programs for school use.

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