What is peace and global education?
What is peace education? The Peace Education Working Group at UNICEF defines peace education as “the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level.”
Many teachers are already practicing peace education without calling it by name. In various parts of the world, peace education has been referred to as education for conflict resolution, international understanding, and human rights; global education; social justice education; environmental education; life skills education; and more. These terms illuminate the depth and diversity of the field. Using the term “peace education” helps co-ordinate such global initiatives and unite educators in the common practice of educating for a culture of peace.
Global education has many definitions. Most include the development in young people of a sense of responsibility that reaches beyond their own community and nation. It generally calls for action, not just passive learning, that engages students and builds commitment to peace, human rights and social justice both at home and globally.
Global education at the BCTF
The BC Teachers’ Federation has sponsored global education projects for over 15 years. Funding to support those projects has come from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), matched with funding from the BCTF International Solidarity Program.