#political engagement

Resurrecting the Common Good: A New (and Very Old) Conception of Leadership

Dale Snauwaert argues that at the core of political efficacy is a sense of justice, and therefore, a core aim of peace education should be the development of a sense of justice in both future leaders and citizens.   Robert Reich’s reflections on the “common good” as a shared political ethic and conception of justice gives significant credence to this core purpose of peace education.  

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Securing Democracy in a Conflicted Election: Resources for Educators

During a volatile election, what can be done to preserve democracy and protect election outcomes? How might we respond to fear-mongering, a potential coup, intimidation efforts, and violence with nonviolence? The Global Campaign for Peace Education is compiling a list of resources to support educators in their efforts to teach about the current political moment, prepare students to constructively and nonviolently respond to threats, and to foster a more robust and sustainable democracy for the future.

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A Model for Engaging Students in Nonviolent Action: Diversity, Oppression, Nonviolence, and Engagement

The City of Rockville (MD) Human Rights Commission’s annual Diversity Leadership Workshop was held on Saturday, April 29. In the past, the program had focused on diversity leadership. However, this year at the request of students, the focus was on looking at the role of engagement and activism and retitled “Leadership for Action.”

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Intensified education on Martial Law pushed in public, private schools (Philippines)

Philippines – An intensified education on Martial Law and its threats to democracy is being pushed on public and private schools. Ifugao lawmaker Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said this amid “growing attempts to revise history and clear the (former strongman) Ferdinand Marcos Sr. of culpability for the widespread violation of human rights during his reign of terror.” Baguilat noted that education is important in understanding important issues. “It is also through education that the people can protect themselves from history repeating itself and the painful cost of allowing absolute rule by a dictator being exacted yet again,” he said.

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A peace-building response to the rise of ‘Trumpism’

In this OpEd, Cheryl Duckworth suggests we must mainstream peace education in every American student’s classroom to teach them to resolve conflict without violence, to respect multiple historical narratives of conflicts past, to be able to identify scapegoating and to value human rights. Global citizenship education, a sister of peace education, strengthens a nation by ensuring its youth have intercultural skills and global awareness.

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Educating for peace through (nonviolent) action: “122 easy [and difficult] actions for peace”

The book “122 easy (and difficult) actions for peace” is a useful tool for peace educators that aim for social change. Author Cécile Barbeito Thonon notes that Peace Education should not be an aim in itself but a mean to get more peaceful societies, it should change minds, attitudes and behaviors. More than that, these new attitudes and behaviors should be meaningful and strategic enough to transform the local or global context.

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The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools

Between March 23 and April 2, 2016, Teaching Tolerance surveyed approximately 2,000 teachers, asking them how the presidential campaign was affecting their students and their teaching. A synthesis of our survey results make up the content of this report: “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools.” The results indicated that the campaign is having a profoundly negative impact on schoolchildren across the country, producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported. Many educators fear teaching about the election at all. Teachers also reported an increase in the bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.

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Peacebuilding as a Means to Civic Engagement (USA)

(David J Smith) The College of the Canyons (COC) recently launched a civic engagement initiative. Increasingly it is recognized the important role that colleges can play in providing opportunities for students to participate in democratic processes and community activities. COC has taken a meaningful step forward in establishing a center to take on this effort. I was recently invited to visit to speak with students, faculty, and staff about the peacebuilding/civic engagement connection, and approaches that might be taken by COC to advance looking at conflict and peace issues. My objective was to provide the college with an understanding of how peacebuilding related education and activities could be a strategy for advancing civic engagement.

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