Peace Education Quotes & Memes

Welcome to our Directory of Quotes & Memes!

This directory is an edited collection of annotated quotes of perspectives on theory, practice, policy and pedagogy in peace education. The directory is designed as a general bibliographic resource as well as a tool for use in teacher training in peace education. Each quote is complemented by an artistic meme that we encourage you to download and spread via social media.

Do you have an inspiring and meaningful quote you'd like to see included? We invite and encourage you to submit quotes to help us expand our directory.

Submit your quotes using our online form here.

What's a meme?

What is a meme? In today’s world the meme has emerged as a powerful tool of expression to spread ideas (in the form of photos or videos) virally over social media. However, the meme is not a new concept. It was first introduced by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene” (1976). While the gene is understood as the basic unit of biological evolution, the meme is the primary unit of sociocultural evolution. In sociocultural evolutionary terms we examine the contribution of social and cultural artifacts to change. Thus, social learning can be understood as the cultural analogue of genetic transmission.

So why all this fuss about memes? We believe education needs to evolve for the possibilities of peace and planetary survival. Peace education provides a critical, theoretical and pedagogical roadmap for that revolution. Unfortunately, the key concepts of peace education are not circulated among the mainstream. We encourage you to help us in this evolutionary effort by spreading these memes far and wide.

This directory is a project in partnership with Peace Master students at the Universitat Jaime I.


To access the full, annotated entry (and to download the meme) click on the author name or image.

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Author(s): Derek Lough

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"Social justice education seeks to make aware those living on both sides of an oppressive model the exactness of their situation through deep listening to the lived experiences of 'others' and critical self-reflection, then encourages a change of actions henceforth from oppressive to anti-oppressive."

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"Reforzaremos la educación en los sentimientos….la filosofía para hacer las paces consistirá en educarnos en la pasión por saber que podemos vivir en paz.”

"We reinforce education in feelings... philosophy for making (plural) peaces will consist in educating ourselves in the passion of knowing that we can live in peace."

Author(s): Colman McCarthy

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“Unless we teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence.”

Author(s): Deborah Meier

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"Teaching is mostly listening, and learning is mostly telling."

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"The underlying emphasis in peace education is on understanding violence, and exploring alternatives to violence. It is vital to remember that violence is not restricted to physical harm but also includes psychological harm, emotional abuse, discrimination, exclusion, denial of opportunities, exploitation, criminalization of identities, etc. Violence is part of our everyday reality."

Author(s): Maria Montessori

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"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."

Author(s): Maria Montessori

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"All education is for peace."

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We can imagine peace education as a robust tree with many branches…disarmament education, human rights education, conflict resolution education, environmental education, gender-fair education, and more.

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"Peace education is both an important peacebuilding strategy and an effective way of preventing violent conflict."

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"Peace Education is called transformative education because it seeks changes – in people’s mindsets, attitudes, values, and behaviors that, in the first place, have either created or exacerbated violent conflicts."

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Educating for peace will give us in the long run the practical benefits that we seek. It will build a critical mass of people who will demand for and address the needed personal and structural changes that will transform the many problems that relate to peace into nonviolent, humane and ecological alternatives and solutions.

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Educating for peace is an ethical alternative, considering the negation of life and well-being caused by all forms of violence.

Author(s): Nel Noddings

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"I do not need to establish a deep, lasting, time-consuming personal relationship with every student. What I must do is to be totally and nonselectively present to the student - to each student - as he addresses me. The time interval may be brief but the encounter is total."

Author(s): James S. Page

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“Ultimately, what makes the commitment of the UN so important is symbolic: the documents themselves have no coercive power: However, the power they do have, that of moral persuasion, is perhaps the most influential of all, especially if used astutely by peace educators.”

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To reach peace, teach peace.

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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“Most... agree that there is no neutral education. Education is a social enterprise conducted for the realization of social values. The question is what values are to be realized through education, and how.”

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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"The general purpose of peace education, as I understand it, is to promote the development of an authentic planetary consciousness that will enable us to function as global citizens and to transform the present human condition by changing the social structures and the patterns of thought that have created it. This transformational imperative must, in my view, be at the center of peace education."

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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“Thinking about how the world might be and envisioning a society characterized by justice are the essence of conceptualizing the conditions that comprise positive peace. If we are to educate for peace, both teachers and students need to have some notion of the transformed world we are educating for.”

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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"We must change ourselves and our immediate realities and relationships if we are to change our social structures and our patterns of thought… We cannot achieve change unless can we think it.”

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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“The ultimate goal of peace education is the formation of responsible, committed, and caring citizens who have integrated the values into everyday life and acquired the skills to advocate for them."

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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"If we advocate the equal value and dignity of all persons, we need also accept their shortcomings as well as their gifts and talents, and understand that all (even ourselves) are capable of changing. The question is whether we will be motivated to do so. My own belief is that this motivation is primarily a task for education, particularly peace education."

Author(s): Betty Reardon

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"What more comprehensive definition of peace education could we offer than learning to learn about, and functioning in and with complexity, so as to enhance the richness and diversity of life?"

Author(s): Joseph Rotblat

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“For the concept of a war-free world to become universally accepted, and consciously adopted by making war illegal, a process of education will be required at all levels: education for peace; education for world citizenship."

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“Peace education is premised upon the cosmopolitan belief that the moral community includes all human beings, that all human beings have moral standing, and thus war and peace, justice and injustice, are global moral considerations.”

Author(s): Felisa Tibbitts

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“Human rights themes and content in school curricula can take the form of cross-cultural themes mandated by educational policy or it can be integrated within existing subjects, such as history, civics/citizenship education, social studies, and humanities. Human rights education can also be found in arts programs and nonformal clubs and special events that take place in school settings.”

Author(s): Felisa Tibbitts

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"Human Rights Education is a deliberative, participatory process aimed at empowering individuals, groups, and communities."

Author(s): Felisa Tibbitts

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“Human Rights Education is education about human rights, through human rights, and for human rights.”

Author(s): Felisa Tibbitts

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"The following kinds of pedagogy are representative of those promoted by Human Rights Education advocates. These methods are applicable to all types of HRE but are most comprehensively implemented in adult, popular education learning models. Experiential and activity-centered: involving the solicitation of learners’ prior knowledge and offering activities that draw out learners’ experiences and knowledge; Problem-posing: challenging the learners’ prior knowledge; Participative: encouraging collective efforts in clarifying concepts, analyzing themes and doing the activities; Dialectical: requiring learners to compare their knowledge with those from other sources; Analytical: asking learners to think about why things are and how they came to be; Healing: promoting human rights in intrapersonal and interpersonal relations; Strategic thinking-oriented: directing learners to set their own goals and to think of strategic ways of achieving them; and Goal and action-oriented: allowing learners to plan and organize actions in relation to their goals (ARRC, 2003)."

Author(s): Rita Verma

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Critical peace education should ideally disrupt normalized everyday thinking where violent forms in ‘common sense’ are interrogated. When each individual recognizes that we collectively participate in violence and bear the responsibility to transform it, perhaps change is possible.

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