Learning to Abolish War: Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace

“Learning to Abolish War: Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace,” is a peace education resource packet developed by Dr. Betty A. Reardon and Alicia Cabezudo.  It was the first publication of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education (published in 2002) and its lessons and framework still hold up well today.

“Learning to Abolish War” is a comprehensive 3-book packet including a theoretical overview, sample lessons, a teacher-training outline, and networking resources for peace education. Concepts and teaching methods relating to human rights and humanitarian law, conflict prevention and resolution, disarmament, human security, and a culture of peace are stressed throughout.

“Learning to Abolish War: Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace” is for teachers, researchers, activists, and policy architects at all levels of the educational system, including grades K-12. It can also be adapted and utilized in non-formal and community-based peace education.


Dr. Maxine Greene, Professor of Philosophy and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

“As an educational philosopher long concerned with the relationships between the arts and humanities and the pursuit of peace and social justice, I feel privileged to say a few words about the remarkable work on theory and action created by the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education.

At a moment of fearful instances of violent attack, terror and retribution, when too many of the world’s leaders are setting aside the principles of justice, equality, and freedom, it becomes particularly vital to find ways of informing and inspiring those posing agonizing questions about the condition and the future of human beings. The so called “kit” of proposals for teaching and coming together in ways never to be severed: for concern for children, for the environment, for conflict resolution.

The texts show a remarkable capacity to tune in to many kinds of teaching and learning situations, to many disciplines even to a multiplicity of values. I recommend this work and what may follow it as, I dare to say, perhaps our only hope for peace.”

Dr. Robert A. Scott, President, Adelphi University, New York

“Learning to Abolish War” seeks to do for war what earlier advocates did for slavery, apartheid, and colonialism — radically reduce their presence if not eradicate them entirely.  The premise is the same: we never argued to make these scourges safe for children, and that should not be our goal for war either.

This three-volume work based on the historic Hague Appeal for Peace Agenda is to be a “living” document that will not only assist teachers but be strengthened by the imaginations of those who use it and add to it.   While designed for elementary and secondary school teachers, I believe its content, pedagogy, sample exercises, and inventory of resources give it potential for both general education and peace education at the collegiate level and for adult education programs in schools, religious institutions, community groups, and senior citizen centers.

The core values of ‘Learning to Abolish War’ are non-violence, social justice, equity, and respect for basic human rights.  By conceiving of peace education as the basis for ethical decision-making, the Hague Appeal seeks to create a culture of peace.  States in the U.S. should mandate this curriculum just as many have adopted standards for teaching about the Holocaust and our multi-cultural society.”


Book 1: Rationale for and approaches to peace education
Book 2: Sample learning units
Book 3: Sustaining the global campaign for peace education: tools for participation

English: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3
Russian: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3
Arabic: Complete
Albanian: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4
French: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3

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7 thoughts on “Learning to Abolish War: Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace”

  1. Michel Duncan Merle

    I, just today, stumbled upon the three volumes at Goodwill. I hope to meet with local teachers who might be interested in including it in their curriculum. (Westhampton MA)

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