Peace Education Course for Adjudicated Youth

Graduate Studies Final Project: A Peace Education Course Curriculum for Adjudicated Youth (4/22/2012)

To download the peace education course curriculum, click here.

Peace CourseAcknowledgements

First and foremost, I would like to thank the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) Director of Curriculum, Sue Aguilera, for the opportunity to collaborate with the ADJC on this project. Without Sue’s involvement, this project would not have occurred. Thank you to my wonderful advisors, Dr. Amit Ron and Dr. Patricia Friedrich. Dr. Ron, thank you for always providing a critical perspective to the project, ensuring I had thoroughly reflected on my approach. Dr. Friedrich, thank you for your consistent words of encouragement and problem-solving skills. I couldn’t have completed this project without the assistance of Teachers Without Borders Peace Education Program Coordinator, Stephanie-Knox Cubbon. Stephanie, thank you for being an excellent resource for all things peace education. Thank you to my parents, Richard and Monica Jeffers, and partner, Mallory Quigg, whose love and support throughout my work on this project were invaluable.

Section I: Introduction

“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I am a firm believer that education is the foundation for alleviating virtually any of the world’s myriad of issues.
Putting an end to hunger, poverty, human rights abuse, injustice, prejudice, discrimination, violence, etc. and transforming to a world of unity, equality, justice, and peace begins with education. One of the amazing characteristics of the human species is its ability to constantly regenerate, as old generations pass away, and new generations come into existence. No matter how gloomy the state of the world may become, there’s always a glimmer of hope that the next generation can make a change. It is precisely because of this human attribute that makes Gandhi’s words so profound. Today’s children are tomorrow’s future leaders, and how they are educated has a direct affect on the future state of the world. If we are to ever see real peace on a global scale, the education of children in how to build peace should be the starting point.

My final applied project for the M.A. in Social Justice and Human Rights graduate program at Arizona State University is a small contribution to this very endeavor, educating youth about building peace. More specifically, my applied project was creating a comprehensive peace education curriculum for adjudicated youth. The curriculum was done in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, and is planned to be fully implemented as an elective course in the juvenile correctional facility as of July 2012.

The following paper will 1) explain my interest in embarking on this project, 2) provide a background on the field of peace education – the theory, framework, goals, pedagogy, and research, as well as how it is connected to social justice and human rights, 3) give a brief overview of juvenile corrections, and discuss how it relates to peace education, and 4) explain the purpose of the peace education course for adjudicated youth – its goals and rationale, the content and teaching approach, how it can be evaluated, and its limitations.

Section II: My Path to Peace Education

To better understand my motivation for working with the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections to create this peace education course for adjudicated youth, I feel that it is important to understand how I arrived to this point. My passion for “peace” is something I reflect upon quite often. As a child, I was raised in a family that practiced the Baha’i Faith, which is based off of the teachings of its founder, Baha’u’llah (meaning Glory of God, in Arabic). The Baha’i Faith has instilled many important teachings and principles within me that I still value strongly, such as the unity of God, religion, and humankind, the equality of men and women, the elimination of prejudice, the harmony of science and religion, and the independent investigation of truth. As a Baha’i, I was taught that human civilization has recently entered a new dispensation of history, and that the purpose of humanity in this age is to achieve global peace and unity. I was taught that, not only was “world peace” achievable, it was inevitable. As a result, the aspiration for world peace has always been a part of my psyche.

While I believed that humanity was progressing towards world peace (and the other various Baha’i ideals), I realized that these principles were certainly not yet the reality. What I saw and experienced in the community, at school, on TV, and even in my own family, social circle, and inner-self, was often quite different. The presence and “normalcy” of prejudice, selfishness, injustice, and violence has always made me ask the question “why?” It is this questioning that has led me on my personal path of attempting to understand and establish inner and outer peace.

I’ve had several critical “life moments” that have greatly influenced this path; I’ll touch on just a few. One key experience was my discovery of the “assertive communication” model. This experience took place in the context of a prior romantic relationship, in which I was perplexed by the fact that two people (myself and a former partner) could claim to love one another, yet end up constantly fighting with each other, often engaging in a “war of words.” Puzzled at this, I sought out some advice from a mentor, who enlightened me to a simple model of communication with regards to conflict. She explained to me that there were essentially three ways to approach a conflict with someone else, 1) aggressively (my needs matter, their needs don’t matter), 2) passively (their needs matter, my needs don’t matter), or 3) assertively (my needs matter and their needs matter). My mentor also explained the importance of understanding your emotions and needs in order to communicate how you’re feeling more assertively. This new knowledge (along with a few other helpful insights) allowed me to completely transform the way I viewed interpersonal conflict, and left me feeling empowered to resolve conflict much more effectively. At this point, I was left wondering, why wasn’t I ever taught assertive communication? How many other people end up in unnecessary conflict because they lack this important skill? What other peacebuilding skills am I unaware of?

Another significant period on my path of understanding peace was my year of service with AmeriCorps in adult education. Seeking deeper meaning in life, I decided to leave the corporate world, and dedicate of year of my life to serving my community. My service took the form of tutoring adults in basic literacy skills, including math, reading, writing, and English. Being my first exposure to working in education, I had another important realization. Virtually none of the education standards in Arizona (and I assume in most other states in the U.S.) have much emphasis on anything related to peace. From what I observed, there was little to no emphasis on how to effectively resolve conflict, reduce violence, achieve social justice, build unity, eliminate prejudice and discrimination, drive positive social change, etc. To this day, I find it quite ironic that our education system seems to spend more time educating students about isosceles triangles, prisms, and the quadratic formula than on how to solve pressing global issues. Even within most reading and writing materials for students, the focus tends to be solely on comprehension and grammatical skills, with little emphasis placed on content that is relevant and meaningful to building a better world. This left me wondering, why isn’t there more emphasis in formal education on how to build peace? If there was, what would this look like?

Coinciding with my year of service with AmeriCorps, I also decided to go back to school and pursue my master’s degree. Also in the spirit of searching for higher meaning, I discovered the M.A. in Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) program at Arizona State University. I was drawn by the opportunity to study important global issues and learn how I could truly “make a difference” in the world. My expectation was to connect with a community of change agents that shared my passion for justice, equality, unity, and peace. Shortly into my studies, I had yet another revelation. Whilst attending a rally on immigrant rights, I was taken aback by the adversarial attitude of many of the people in attendance. The “us vs. them,” “we’re right, they’re wrong,” “we need to defeat them” mentality didn’t sit well with me. The spirit didn’t feel “assertive.” Over the coming months, I observed this approach to social justice quite frequently – it seemed to insinuate that the oppressed people’s needs mattered, and the oppressor’s needs didn’t matter. Justice was the priority, often at the expense of peace and unity between groups. As someone who strives for justice and peace, I found this strategy to be problematic. This observation left me wondering, why do so many people involved in social justice take an adversarial approach? Is there a more peaceful alternative to achieving social justice?

This culmination of experiences led me on a search for literature related to building peace. Throughout my search, I came across a variety of interesting topics, ranging from nonviolence, to conflict resolution, to non-defensive communication, etc. I later learned that all of these concepts, which aim to build a more peaceful world, fit under the umbrella of a relatively new field called “peace education.” Fascinated by this topic, I sought to learn all I could about peace education – what is its history? What does it consist of? What is the theory behind it? What research exists? Who are the prominent thinkers/scholars? What organizations promote it? What does it look like in practice?

Through my research, I learned of the organization Teachers Without Borders (TWB), who has created a peace education program designed to teach the pedagogy of peace education to teachers all over the world. Their program helps teachers understand the history and scope of peace education, and also provides guidance on how teachers can incorporate peace education into their curriculum and classroom. During my studies, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve as an intern for TWB, and take part in their online peace education training course. One of my internship responsibilities was to seek out grant money and other funding opportunities for their peace education program. This was a challenge, as I learned that only a small portion of funding dollars for peacebuilding went towards peace education (much more went towards controlling/eliminating weaponry, mediating existing conflicts, and promoting international relations and institutions) (Peace and Security Grantmaking, 2011). Large foundations didn’t seem to support the role of peace education in the peace building process as much as other components. One of my other internship roles was to promote the TWB peace education program in Phoenix, Arizona (where it currently does not have much of a presence). I attempted to garner interest in peace education amongst local teachers and school administrators in Phoenix, and again seemed to hit a road block. Most schools and teachers didn’t seem interested, didn’t see the value, or didn’t quite understand the concept of peace education. For schools that did express some level of interest, they often didn’t have the funding available to invest in additional training for their teachers. This left me wondering, how will the world ever achieve peace if people aren’t interested in learning about how to achieve it? How could I take a more active role in putting peace education into practice?

This leads me to why I’m working with the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) to develop a peace education course for adjudicated youth as my master’s applied project. One important connection that I made during my internship was with the Director of Curriculum for the ADJC, Sue Aguilera. She was one of the few school administrators who expressed a strong interest in implementing peace education into their curriculum. From a combination of her personal interest, as well her perceived connection between the goals of peace education and the needs of students in juvenile corrections, Sue thought that designing a peace education course for adjudicated youth would be a worthwhile initiative, creating a positive impact on the individual students taking the course, the climate of the correctional facility, and for the community as a whole. Seeing this as an excellent opportunity to achieve my goal of “taking an active role of putting peace education into practice,” I decided to dedicate my semester to working with the Sue and the ADJC to work on this project.

My experience as a student in the SJHR program certainly influenced my motivation to work on this project and also helped shape my approach in designing the curriculum in a few important of ways. First, one of my biggest frustrations of most fields of study, including social justice and human rights, as well as in peace education, is the gap between research and practice. There often seems to be a disconnect between important academic research findings and projects/programs that are implemented in the field. As a result of my perception, I was determined to work on a master’s applied project that I felt would truly make an impact in the “real world,” and not merely advance the academic world. My decision to help implement a peace education course within a juvenile correctional facility was not based on my belief that youth in juvenile corrections are to blame for a lack of peace in society, or that they are the segment of the population most in need of peace education. Rather, I personally feel that, if humanity is to see a real global transformation towards peace, unity, and justice, then all of society needs increased exposure to peace education. As a result, I would have been open to any opportunity to institutionalize peace education in an educational setting, and this was the best opportunity that I was presented with. Secondly, my SJHR studies have taught me to think critically about my approach with regards to research and practice, and to deeply analyze the possible consequences of my actions. I’ve learned that, even when someone’s intentions are benevolent, it is possible to create more harm than good if a careful approach isn’t taken. For example, would implementing a peace education course in juvenile corrections really benefit the students? Could the course do any potential harm? Is this approach targeting or blaming the victims of society’s ills, whereas the real need for peace education is for those in economic and political power? Could implementing a peace education program in juvenile corrections somehow help those in power enhance their “social control,” rather than empower the students? Furthermore, is there even a desire from youth in corrections to learn about peace building? Or would there be more effective avenues of building peace in the community that don’t involve directly teaching about peace? On a deeper level, is peace education really effective in building peace, and is “peace” even something people truly want? These are all important questions to consider. On the flip side, I’ve also learned that being overly critical can lead to paralysis, killing any chance of making positive progress. As a result, I did my best to broadly research the subject of peace education, find the most effective materials to include in the curriculum, and extensively consult with the ADJC staff on how the peace education curriculum would be implemented, all in the spirit of making it a course that will truly empower students receiving the curriculum to become positive agents of change for peace and social justice in society.

Section III: Peace Education

What is Peace?

In order to determine the purpose of peace education, one must first have an understanding of the word “peace.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (2012) has multiple definitions for peace, two of which are “a state of tranquility or quiet” and “harmony in personal relations.” Martin Luther King Jr. stated that “True peace is not merely the absence of tension but is the presence of justice and brotherhood.” Elaborating on this dichotomy, Fountain (1999) of UNICEF describes that peace means both the absence of overt violence (sometimes referred to as “negative peace”) as well as the elimination of structural violence, such as poverty, discrimination, and inequality, which tend to be the root of many conflicts.

The elimination of structural violence translates to social, economic, and political justice (referred to as “positive peace”) (Fountain, 1999, pg. 3). Also on this note, Harris and Morrison (2003) argue that:

 “‘Peace,’ a concept that motivates the imagination, connotes more than ‘no violence.’ It implies human beings working together to resolve conflicts, respect standards of justice, satisfy basic needs, and honor human rights. Peace involves a respect for life and for the dignity of each human being without discrimination or prejudice.” (pg. 12)

In addition to this dual definition, Navarro-Castro and Nario-Galace (2008) add that “peace should also include the various levels of relationships, beginning with personal peace and expanding to wider circles (pg. 20).” Some of these wider circles include interpersonal peace, intergroup peace, global peace, and peace between humans and the earth and beyond (pg. 21).  Similar to this, Harris (2002) discusses the difference between inner and outer peace, stating, “Inner peace concerns a state of being and thinking about others, for example, holding them in reverence; while outer peace processes apply to the natural environment, the culture, international relations, civic communities, families, and individuals (pg. 8).”  The United Nations Declaration on a Culture of Peace (1999) translates peace to a variety of conditions, including respect for life, sovereignty, and human rights, the elimination of violence and commitment to peaceful settlements of conflict, and adherence to the principles of equality, freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, cultural diversity, dialogue, and understanding at all levels of society. While “peace” is a clearly a complex word with a variety of interpretations, based on the above definitions, peace seems to apply to several levels of society, and encapsulate an elimination of aggressive, violent approaches to conflict, as well as the realization of a variety of societal ideals, such as equality, social justice, and unity.

What is Peace Education?

Just as there are varying definitions for the term “peace,” there are also several different approaches as to how peace is best achieved.  Harris and Morrison (2003) discuss a few of these strategies, such as peace through strength (having a strong military/police force to keep a state protected), peace through justice (eliminating social oppression and economic exploitation), peace through pacifism (total absence of violence), peace through politics (international institutions that help resolve conflicts), and peace through sustainability (preventing environmental destruction). “Peace education” is another such approach, which Harris and Morrison (2003) describe as “teaching about peace–what it is, why it doesn’t exist, and how to achieve it (pg. 25).” To provide a more comprehensive definition, Harris and Morrison (2003) elaborate:

Peace education is currently considered to be both a philosophy and a process involving skills, including listening, reflection, problem-solving, cooperation, and conflict resolution. The process involves empowering people with the skills, attitudes and knowledge to create a safe world and build a sustainable environment. The philosophy teaches nonviolence, love, compassion and reverence for all life. (p. 9)

Based on this philosophy and process, Harris and Morrison (2003) outline ten main goals of peace education initiatives:

(1) to appreciate the richness of the concept of peace, (2) to address fears, (3) to provide information about security, (4) to understand war behavior, (5) to develop intercultural understanding, (6) to provide a “futures” orientation, (7) to teach peace as a process, (8) to promote a concept of peace accompanied by social justice, (9) to stimulate a respect for life, and (10) to manage conflicts nonviolently. (pg. 32)

Fountain (1999) of UNICEF defines peace education as:

 The process of promoting knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values needed to bring about behavior 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. (pg. 1)

Examples of the areas of knowledge that are targeted in peace education include: self-awareness, recognition of prejudice, nature and causes of conflict, human rights and responsibilities, and an understanding of peace and nonviolence. Some of the important skills include: communication, cooperation, reflection, empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Attitudes that are influenced consist of: respect for self and others, tolerance, intercultural understanding, solidarity, gender sensitivity, social responsibility, and positive vision (Fountain, 1999, 14-16). With regards to the goals of peace education, Bar-Tal (2002) cites that the common general objective of peace education programs is:

To foster changes that will make the world a better more humane place. The goal is to diminish or even to eradicate, a variety of human ills ranging from injustice, inequality, prejudice, and intolerance, abuse of human rights, environmental destructions, violent conflict, war, and other evils in order to create a world of justice, equality, tolerance, human rights, environmental quality, peace, and other positive features. (pg. 28)

Bar-Tal (2002) also emphasizes the importance of “imparting specific values, attitudes, beliefs, skills, and behavioral tendencies that correspond with [these] objectives (pg. 28).”  Reardon (1988), another leading scholar in the field of peace education, argues that:

The general purpose of peace education…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…be at the center of peace education. (pg. x)

Based on these definitions of peace education, and the corresponding goals and objectives outlined above, it is evident that the field of peace education has some very ambitious aspirations. Peace education aims to equip people with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to build peace, remove any and all impediments to peace, be they physical, structural, or psychological, and to develop a planetary transformation of civilization to a better world for all of humanity.

Scope of Peace Education

While the above mentioned goals of peace education are quite admirable, having such lofty objectives can make it difficult to envision what type of curriculum or content peace education would include. Navarro-Castro and Nario-Galace (2008) describe that peace education is multidimensional and has a comprehensive scope, including content on:

  • Disarmament Education – Removal of weaponry, including nuclear, biological, chemical
  • Human Rights Education – Educating people to respect human rights
  • Global Education – Motivating individuals to care more about the world beyond their community
  • Conflict Resolution Education – Training in anger management, listening, communication, dialogue, and win-win problem solving
  • Multicultural Education – Appreciation and understanding of other cultures
  • Interfaith Education – Developing empathetic understanding of other religions
  • Development Education – Promoting active democratic citizenry interested in the equitable sharing of the world’s resources
  • Gender-Fair Education – Fostering respect for the abilities and rights of both sexes and developing awareness of gender bias and stereotyping
  • Environmental Education – Teaching people to be good stewards of the natural environment so that the needs of both the present and future generations can be met

Teachers Without Borders ‘(n.d.) description of the scope of peace education includes several of these same disciplines, but also adds:

  • Critical Peace Education – Empowering students in public thinking, judgment, and social action to engage in their local societies and transform it into a more peaceful one
  • Global Citizenship Education – Developing the attitude to promote action that results in the greatest good for everyone, not simply for those of a particular nation.
  • Futures Education – Encouraging learners to imagine possible peaceful futures and ways to get there

While peace education undoubtedly has a broad scope, Harris and Morrison (2003) explain, “‘Peace education’ is preferred as a generic term because it includes concepts implied in many different educational approaches. All of these different approaches complement each other and contribute to the rich diversity of the emerging academic discipline [of peace] (pg 66).”They explain that what ties each of these areas together is that, “Within all of these programs exists the commonality of teaching about the root causes of conflict as well as alternatives to violence (pg. 65).” Keeping in mind the complexity of the term peace, and all that it entails, it makes sense that teaching about peace would include such a variety of educational disciplines. It seems that any type of education that aims to teach people about what causes conflict or violence and/or attempts to empower students to build a better world would fit under the umbrella of peace education.

Peace Education Pedagogy

In addition to what type of content is included, many peace education scholars and practitioners emphasize that how peace education is taught is equally, if not more, important. Paulo Freire’s approach to education has heavily influenced peace education pedagogy. Bartlett (2008) explains that Freire contrasted the traditional style of banking education which “is a relationship of domination in which the teacher has knowledge that she deposits in the heads of the passive objects of assistance – her students,” to the more peace-oriented approach of problem-posing education, which “encourages students to become active in thinking about and acting upon their world (pg. 2).” Freire’s problem-posing approach also emphasized dialogue, critical thinking, democratic teacher-student relationships and knowledge creation, and a curriculum based on students’ interests and experiences (pg. 2). Maria Montessori’s educational approach also informs much of peace education pedagogy. Duckworth (2008) explains that “Montessori’s methods explicitly fostered imagination by allowing the student to explore his interests and passions (pg. 2).” Further, Montessori’s methods reflect that “for peace education to be effective, the methods teachers and administrators use must be consistent with the values purportedly being taught to students (pg. 3).” Bar-Tal (2002) seems to draw from both Freire’s and Montessori’s methods in his explanation of effective peace education pedagogy, emphasizing that peace education needs to be: open-minded and avoid simple indoctrination, relevant to current concerns and social issues, be based on experiential learning and reflection, and be taught by teachers who embody the knowledge, skills, and attitudes emphasized by the content of peace education. Harris and Morrison (2003) add to the discussion, outlining five principles of peace pedagogy, stating that peace education “1) builds a democratic community, 2) teaches cooperation, 3) develops moral sensitivity, 4) promotes critical thinking, and 5) enhances self-esteem (pg. 213).”Reardon (1988) argues that a pedagogy of peace should move through several cycles and phases, stating:

Each cycle begins and ends with confronting reality, and moves through phases, which merge one into the other, of capturing visions, formulating images, articulating preferences, constructing models, assessing possibilities, planning policies, taking action, reflecting on and evaluating change, and again, confronting reality. (pg. 71)

Navarro-Castro and Nario-Galace (2008) point out that peace education teaching approaches should be holistic (promote cognitive, affective, and behavioral goals of learning), participatory (allow student to inquire, share, and collaborate), cooperative (give opportunities for students to work together, rather than compete with each other), experiential (learning through the processing of one’s experiences from activities initiated in the classroom), and humanist (emphasize the social, personal, and affective growth of the students). UNICEF’s approach to peace education in practice emphasizes many of these same principles, also adding that the classroom should serve as a “zone of peace” where students are safe from conflict, all conflicts that arise in the classroom should be handled in a non-violent manner, and students are given opportunities to put peace-making into practice in their educational setting and wider community (Fountain, 1991, pg. 5-6). To synthesize, how peace education is taught is of the utmost importance. To be most effective, peace education must create a community of learning between teacher and students, allowing students to work together in envisioning a better world. Students must be given opportunities to make that vision a reality, both inside and outside the classroom. Finally, any teacher involved in peace education must be invested in building peace and model the skills and values inherent in the curriculum and pedagogy of peace education.

Evaluating Peace Education

Like any field of study, it is important for those involved in peace education to measure and evaluate their efforts in order to identify the impact peace education is making, determine best practices, gain additional support, and advance the field forward. Harris (2002) highlights the importance of evaluating peace education initiatives stating, “Pressure to prove that peace education activities reduce violence comes from many sources – from the educational research community, from policy makers, from taxpayers, and from the larger peace community (pg. 5).” Unfortunately very little empirical data exists in the field of peace education evaluating its effects. Of the existing research, Harris (2002) explains:

There have been very few rigorous quantitative or qualitative evaluations of peace education efforts. Most of those that have occurred have been school based, demonstrating that as a result of lessons on peace, students have different attitudes and understandings. These studies are not longitudinal and fail to demonstrate whether or not individuals exposed to new ways of thinking about peace strive to address the many complex sources of violence in their lives. (pg. 10)

Harris and Morrison (2003) also discuss the need for more empirical research that analyzes the impacts of peace education on students, stating:

 A teacher who teaches the topics of peace education has no guarantee that his or her students will either embrace peace or work to reduce violence. Research is needed into how and why peace education programs work. Anecdotal evidence is often the only source for this. Institutions of higher education are introducing research studies showing the effectiveness of teaching processes and skills. More is needed. (pg. 28)

Bar-Tal (2002) discusses the difficulties in accurately evaluating peace education, due to its “elusive nature,” explaining, “Peace education is…elusive because it is more about attempting to develop a particular frame of mind rather than transmitting a body of knowledge, as is the case of the traditional subjects of education in schools (pg. 34).” With this in mind, Bar-Tal argues that tests and exams are unsuitable for evaluating peace education (pg. 34), and further states:

 The evaluation of peace education requires special techniques adapted to measuring a different kind of outcome. This implies a special call to educators to come up with a creative and original solution because evaluation is an essential aspect of peace education implementation. (pg. 34)

Clearly, the complexities of the term “peace” as well as the broad scope of peace education make it a challenging field to measure. Many of the end goals of peace education, such as reducing violence, establishing social justice, etc. revolve around sustainable, long-term change for society at large. Even the desired outcome of individual students has a long-term focus, making it difficult to measure. Harris (2002) articulates:

 ‘To bear a fruit’ for a peace educator would be to have a student become peaceful and so concerned about the fate of the earth that the student does something to make the world more peaceful; however, teachers cannot follow their students around to see whether they initiate efforts to bring peace to the world. (pg. 13)

Keeping this limitation in mind, Harris (2002) argues that peace educators should focus evaluation efforts on more immediate criteria, answering questions such as “What effect has [peace education] had upon…students’ minds? Do…students understand various peace issues or can they demonstrate that they have acquired peaceful skills (pg. 14)?” In other words, Harris claims, “The effectiveness of peace education…cannot be judged by whether it brings peace to the world, but rather by the effect it has upon students’ thought patterns, attitudes, behaviors, values, and knowledge stock (pg. 19).” While peace education may not have the ability to bring immediate change to the various societal structures that support violence, it aims to create a shift in students’ consciousness, a likely prerequisite to establishing a true culture of peace in the future. While it may be a more realistic outcome to measure, accurately analyzing the affect of peace education on a student’s psyche can still prove to be quite challenging.

One comprehensive review of the affects of peace education programs was done by Nevo and Brem (2002), in which 79 studies that attempted to measure peace education programs effectiveness were analyzed. From this review, it was found that the majority of studies demonstrated that the programs were effective, however, many of the studies exhibited the following limitations: 1) not enough attention was given to behavior, 2) the majority of peace education programs appeal to rationality, 3) delayed posttest (an important element of research) is very rare in peace education research, and 4) generalizability of the programs onto related individuals was hardly studied (as cited in Harris, 2002, pg. 7). It is evident that researchers evaluating peace education need to be much more rigorous in their analyses in order to demonstrate the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of peace education programs’ ability to affect students’ orientation towards peace.

Further on this subject, one discipline within the field of peace education that has been implemented extensively within schools, as well as comparatively well researched is conflict resolution education. Jones (2004) explains that, “Conflict resolution education programs provide students with a basic understanding of the nature of conflict, the dynamics of power and influence that operate in conflict, and the role of culture in how we see and respond to conflict (pg. 234),” and that conflict resolution education programs are in place in fifteen thousand to twenty thousand of the nation’s eighty-five thousand public schools (pg. 234). Jones identifies the four broad goals of conflict resolution education as 1) creating a safe learning environment, 2) creating a constructive learning environment, 3) enhancing students’ social and emotional development, and 4) creating a constructive conflict community.  In an extensive review of conflict resolution education programs and literature, Jones concludes that, “Although there is work to be done, the research clearly demonstrates that [conflict resolution education] approaches yield impressive results (pg. 257).” Regarding the types of impacts, Jones and Kmitta (2000) state that:

[Conflict resolution education] programs increase students’ academic achievement, positive attitudes toward school, assertiveness, cooperation, communication skills, healthy interpersonal and intergroup relations, constructive conflict resolution at home and school, and self-control. It decreases students’ aggressiveness, discipline referrals, dropout rates, and suspension rates. (as cited in Jones, 2004, pg. 239-240)

While conflict resolution education seems to be doing a fairly effective job at evaluating the outcomes of its various programs, many other fields within peace education, as well as peace education as a whole, need to do more to assess the outcomes of its efforts.

In order to advance the field of peace education and provide more empirical research, Fountain (1999) also suggests that peace education programs focus on more immediate, measurable outcomes, specifically how peace education affects students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to peace. Fountain offers several types of evaluation methods common to social science that can be used to measure these affects, such as: survey/questionnaires/ rating scales, interviews, focus groups, observation, review of school records, and experimental procedures (pg. 34).  Fountain also argues that peace education evaluations should have a three step focus, emphasizing 1) aims (the over-arching goals of a program), 2) outcomes (several observable behaviors related to each aim), and 3) indicators (specific, measurable behaviors that indicate an outcome has been achieved) (pg. 35). Finally, Fountain offers a 10 step process to effectively evaluating a peace education program:

  1. Develop clear “aims”
  2. For each aim, decide on the desired outcomes (behaviors)
  3. For each outcome, develop several indicators (also behaviors)
  4. Prior to implementation, collect baseline data on the group for each indicator
  5. Concurrently collect baseline data on a control group
  6. Carry out the peace education program
  7. After (or during) implementation, collect data relative to each indicator, and compare this with the baseline data.
  8. At the same time, collect information that could be used to write case studies (stories) on the project.
  9. Collect data relative to the indicators a year later, to see whether the outcomes have been sustained over time.
  10. Once the program is completed with the first group, repeat this process with the control group. (pg. 37)

While the lack of empirical data to help guide future implementation of peace education programs is a major limitation of the field, there seem to be some sound research strategies in place to measure the effectiveness of future programs, as outlined by Harris (2002) and Fountain (1999). In addition, the field of conflict resolution education seems to indicate that specific interpersonal skills important to building peace, such as effective communication, assertiveness, cooperation, etc. can be influenced positively when programs are effectively implemented.

Section IV: Juvenile Corrections

What is Juvenile Corrections?

The area of juvenile corrections exists as part of the juvenile justice process, and is typically used as a means of treating and limiting juvenile delinquency. Lawrence and Hesse (2010) explain that most states define a juvenile as “a person between the ages of 10-18 years of age” and define a delinquent as “a child who has violated any state or local law; a federal law or law of another state; or who has escaped from confinement in a local or state correctional facility (pg. 2).” Regarding the types of offenses that are typical of juvenile delinquents, Lawrence and Hesse (2010) explain:

The majority of crimes committed by juveniles are offenses such as theft and shoplifting, vandalism, drug and alcohol use, disorderly conduct, and simple assaults that include hitting, kicking, and fights that do not result in serious injury. Many youth engage in behavior such as curfew violations, running away, disobeying parents, school truancy, and alcohol violations, referred to as status offenses because they apply only to juvenile age youth and children, and are not punishable under a state penal code. (pg. 1)

Juvenile correctional programs and facilities can range from probation supervision to secure institutional programs, depending on the perceived needs, and risk to the community, of a particular juvenile offender (Lawrence, 2010, pg. 201). Based on the Juvenile Residential Facility Census, as of 2002, a total of 102,388 juveniles were held in 2,964 facilities nationwide (as cited in Lawrence, 2010, pg. 203).

Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections

The juvenile justice process tends to vary by state. In Arizona, a youth typically enters juvenile corrections through the following process: 1) a delinquent act is committed by the juvenile and action is taken by police, a parent, school, etc., 2) if deemed necessary, the case is brought to the county attorney for review, 3) the youth is referred by the county attorney to juvenile court (serious violations can also be sent to adult court), 4) the youth has an advisory and adjudication hearing (some hearings may be dismissed at this point for various reasons), 5) the disposition by the judge is for the juvenile to be entered into juvenile corrections (rather than other sanctions, such as probation) (Juvenile Justice Flow Chart, 2012).

Regarding their purpose and role in the community, the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (AJDC) states the following of their agency:

  • Vision: Safer communities through successful youth.
  • Mission: The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections enhances protection by changing the delinquent thinking and behaviors of juvenile offenders committed to the Department.
  • Agency Role: The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections is responsible for juveniles adjudicated delinquent and committed to its jurisdiction by the county juvenile courts. It is accountable to the citizens of Arizona for the promotion of public safety through the management of the state’s secure juvenile facilities and the development and provision of a continuum of services to juvenile offenders, including rehabilitation, treatment, and education (Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, 2011, pg. 5).

With regards to education, within each of Arizona’s juvenile correctional facilities is a fully credited high school, along with various vocational training programs and co-curricular programs. The stated mission of the ADJC education system is to “provide all students educational opportunities to acquire academic/vocational skills as a pathway to responsible citizenship (Education System, 2012).”

According to their ADJC 2010 Annual Report, as of 2010 the ADJC held 535 juvenile offenders. Offenses committed by offenders in the juvenile corrections facilities included property offenses (41%), crimes against persons (21%), drug offenses (19%), public order offenses (13%), weapons offenses (3%), and other various offenses (2%) (pg. 55). In terms of demographics, the majority of offenders in the facility are 15-17 years of age (89%) (pg. 52). Pertaining to gender, 87% of the population is male (pg. 50). Regarding race/ethnicity, 51% are Hispanic, 27% are White/Caucasian, 14% are African American, 5% are Native American, 2% are Mexican Nationals, and 1% are Asian (pg. 51).

Peace Education and Juvenile Corrections

I stated earlier that my original intention of designing a peace education course for adjudicated youth was not because I felt they were most in need of this type of education, but simply because I feel that peace education programs need to be implemented more widely across all educational institutions. With that said, I will still attempt to draw a connection between the research of juvenile delinquency and the goals and theory of peace education.

There are several schools of thought when it comes to what causes juvenile delinquency and how to prevent this type of behavior. Regarding the multitude of theories, Lawrence and Hesse (2010) write:

The original, classical theory of crime held that is was simply a voluntary and rational choice. Other explanations have focused on the individual and include biological, genetic, and psychological causes. Social explanations place the causes of delinquency in the structure of society, cultural differences, and social processes. Still other theories explain delinquency as a function of societal reactions to deviance, or conflict between the dominant and less powerful groups in society…The number and variety of delinquency theories attests to the complexity of the problem, its variation among subcultures and social classes, and across gender, ethnic, and racial lines. No single theory can adequately explain all the reasons behind deviant behavior and delinquency of youth; but the predominant theories, when considered together, are able to explain most delinquent behavior (pg. 27-28).

One area of research that has shed some helpful findings on how to prevent future delinquency is that of behavioral and cognitive skill-building among juvenile delinquents. Research has shown that behavioral and cognitive skill deficits, such as in interpersonal problem solving, consequential thinking, processes of self-control, communication, etc. are prevalent among delinquent populations (Freedman, Rosenthal, Donahoe, Schlundt, & McFall, 1978; Little & Kendall, 1979). Several studies have indicated that skills training intervention with juvenile delinquents can produce favorable outcomes for certain skills, as well as reduce future delinquency. For example, in one research study involving a cognitive-behavioral skills training program with 141 incarcerated juvenile delinquents, experimental subjects showed improvement in drug and alcohol avoidance, self-control, social interaction, and interpersonal problem solving (Jenson, J. M., Catalano, R. F., Wells, E. A., & Hawkins, J. D., 1991). As a result of this study, Jenson et al. (1991) also suggest that “providing delinquents with a repertoire of skills that can be used in their everyday lives may decrease recidivism and lower the likelihood of drug or alcohol relapse among treated youths (pg. 119).” Furthermore, in a comprehensive review of studies relating to skills deficits, training, and delinquency, Jenson & Howard (1990) concluded that “with few exceptions, studies investigating the relationship between training and skill acquisition report increases in the post treatment skills of juvenile offenders (pg. 222).” These studies targeted a multitude of skills, such as social skills, problem solving skills, aggression control, perspective-taking skills, and impulse and anger control skills. Relating to future delinquency, Jenson and Howard (1990) close their review by stating, “This review suggests that skills training approaches may provide an effective way of teaching delinquents specific social and cognitive skills. These skills may help adolescents cope with adverse social conditions and prevent or reduce their involvement in criminal or drug related activities (pg. 225).”  While these studies do not examine the greater societal structures that may be contributing to the delinquent behavior, they each seem to indicate that teaching youth specific interpersonal skills does have an impact.

To further support this theory, Coffey and Gemignani (1994) conducted an extensive literature review on effective practices in juvenile correctional education that also supports the approach of training juveniles in behavioral and cognitive skills. One of their major conclusions was that, “It is essential that every juvenile correctional education program includes a substantial social, meta-cognitive component, i.e., programming aimed at teaching (as opposed to counseling or treating) social, moral, and cognitive skills (Coffey, O. D. & Gemignani, M. G., 1994, pg. 89).” Coffey and Gemignani (1994) further argue that “attending to these children’s academic skills without paying attention to their equally great, or greater, need for developing their social and moral reasoning skills is likely to be an effort in futility (pg. 3).” Based on their research, Coffey and Gemignani (1994) provide several practices that have proven to be effective, such as:

  • Implementing an entire program/class that focuses on areas such as “social interactions and communications; moral and spiritual values and understanding; cognition and problem solving; self, emotional, impulse and anger control; negotiation and conflict resolution; critical thinking and decision making; social perspective taking; self recognition and self-esteem (pg. 89).”
  • Providing opportunities for “practicing and applying social skills in the community (e.g., through field trips, community service, and work experience) (pg. 89).”
  • Training teachers in social skills curriculum and methodologies (pg. 89).
  • Having instructors use techniques that foster cognitive reasoning and social skills, such as “modeling, small group discussions, cooperative learning, positive peer culture, positive behavior modification, values clarification, self-analysis and rating, means-end reasoning, social problem solving, role-playing, and opportunities to apply and practice skills (pg. 90).”

While not necessarily using the label of “peace education,” these research studies and reviews highlight many of the aspects that are emphasized in the theory and practice of peace education and conflict resolution education. There is a clear connection between the aims of peace education and the popular theories on how to address juvenile delinquency. According to these studies, it seems that implementing peace education curriculum, specifically within the educational setting, would fill a pressing need within juvenile correctional facilities. From a social justice perspective, solely educating juvenile delinquents in peace education fails to directly address a myriad of other factors that may be contributing to delinquent behavior, and possibly even more large scale injustices (such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, etc), however, it does still play an important part. Additionally, the pedagogy of peace education, which does not indoctrinate students, but rather fosters a democratic environment, encourages students to become critical thinkers and take an active role in their community, and allows students to envision a better world – as they see it, will better allow for true peace and social justice to occur for the students involved, and their surrounding community.

Section V: Peace Education Course for Adjudicated Youth

Context and Purpose

Upon my first meeting with Sue Aguilera, the ADJC Director of Curriculum, she seemed quite intrigued by the concept of designing a peace education course for students in juvenile corrections. As made evident in this paper, the terms peace and peace education are quite complex, so it took some dialogue between us in order for each of us to articulate our understandings of peace education, and how it could apply to students in juvenile corrections. As stated earlier, my motivations were grandiose – I feel that one of the primary duties of humanity is to establish peace on earth, and that educating for peace plays a key role in this duty. Based on this belief, I was searching for virtually any opportunity I could get to implement peace education into an educational setting. Her motivations were more practical. She shared that, based on her experience, one common aspiration that almost all of the youth in the correctional facility share is the desire to get a good job and be successful in life upon their release. She discussed that the ADJC had recently designed an innovative course that helped prepare youth for their transition into the workplace. In a very democratic fashion, participating students in the new course were given the opportunity to help tweak the class structure to focus on the components they felt were most useful and practical, and refine or eliminate any components that they felt were not valuable. Sue felt that a peace education curriculum would serve as a perfect prerequisite course to the transition-to-work class, allowing students to work on a variety of important skills, such as effective communication, problem-solving, cooperation, etc.  She felt that, while these skills would help students become better “peacemakers,” it would also make them better potential employees. Also, from her experience, she shared that many youth in juvenile corrections tend to have a narrow view of the world, and felt that a peace education course that emphasized broad social issues, different cultures, historical figures in peace building, etc. would help them see the world in a different light and become more active citizens in their community, and the world at large. Additionally, based on previous successes that were seen when youth were empowered to make a difference within the facility or greater community, Sue thought that a peace education course could lead to some fantastic opportunities for students to take a more active role as positive change agents, working to build peace in the correctional facility, outer community, and even across countries. As discussed in the previous section, the knowledge, skills, and attitudes emphasized within peace education curriculum may also have a positive effect on certain delinquent behaviors as well. With all this in mind, the stated purpose for the peace education course for adjudicated youth is as follows:

Rationale:

This course was developed to equip adjudicated youth with the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes in peacebuilding and conflict resolution that will support their development as successful future employees and productive citizens of their local and global community.

Students will strengthen their understanding of civic duty, and realize how their actions impact their success. It is our hope that each student will begin to see their world, and the world at large, in a more personal and positive way and instill in them a desire to be engaged in activities to make the world a better place for everyone.

Course Description:

Students will develop a broader and deeper understanding of peace on an individual, interpersonal, community, and global perspective. By gaining a greater understanding of peace in these areas, students will begin to acquire additional skill sets and attitudes that will enable them to become successful in today’s workforce, contribute to a more global community, become life-long learners, and productive citizens of the 21st century.

The knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will be emphasized throughout the course are:

  • Knowledge: holistic concept of peace, causes of conflict and violence, prejudice & discrimination, human rights, service learning, multiculturalism
  • Skills: effective communication, critical thinking, anger management, conflict resolution, empathy, cooperation, envisioning the future
  • Attitudes: respect (for self and others), confidence, global citizenship, social responsibility, tolerance, social justice

Course Framework and Content

Based on the peace education research and literature, it seemed that a peace education course should include more than simply teaching interpersonal conflict resolution skills. While interpersonal skills are clearly very important in building peace with others, in order to achieve sustainable peace, individuals need to look at several different levels. As a result, our peace education course is structured into several sections, with each “unit” focusing on a different “level” of peace. These levels include inner peace, interpersonal peace, peace at school, peace in the community, and global peace. In addition, we included a unit on “peace through arts and media,” as these forms of expression certainly have their place in building peace as well. While there does not seem to be any existing peace education curriculum that is structured off the different “levels” of peace, it seems that this framework would follow a logical sequence, and help the class flow effectively between each lesson.

In terms of how to order the units, we followed the wisdom of philosopher Lao Tzu, who stated:

 “If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.”

The course begins by exploring the terms “peace” and “conflict” and discussing how they relate to one another, and how they apply them to the various levels of society. Following this, aligned with Lao Tzu’s philosophy, students will work through each level of peace, starting with inner peace, and working towards global peace.  The logic behind this framework is that, one must find inner peace (or at least be working towards it) before they can effectively work for peace at outer levels. Also, learnings from each level of peace can be applied to the next. For example, reasons two individuals are in conflict can be applied to why two groups may be in conflict, or why two nations may be in conflict.  Further, impediments to finding inner peace may point towards structural violence that can be addressed at outer levels. For example, if someone finds that they lack inner peace because they don’t see hope for their future, they can use this information to explore what structural issues cause them to feel this way.

The following is a breakdown of the type of content included within each unit:

  • Unit 1 – Inner Peace: Students will define conflict and peace, and explore how they relate to each level of society. They will also explore their inner values and personal strengths, as well think critically about their purpose in life by creating a personal mission statement. They will also learn about emotional intelligence, as well as how to deal with anger. Meditation will also be discussed (and practiced) as a way to find inner peace .
  • Unit 2 – Interpersonal Peace: Students will learn about and practice a variety of interpersonal skills, such as effective communication, active listening, conflict resolution, assertiveness, and empathy.
  • Unit 3 – Peace at School: Students will have the opportunity to analyze the impediments to peace within their school, and conduct research to identify ways of building a more peaceful environment. They will also present their findings to ADJC staff to help shape future strategic decisions involving the school.
  • Unit 4 – Peace in the Community: Students will discuss stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and violence, and how they affect the community. They will also have the opportunity to learn about human rights, and analyze which rights are being abused in their communities. Based on their discussions, they will design a service learning project to implement within the correctional facility, or possibly with the outside community.
  • Unit 5 – Peace Through Art and Media: Students will use various art forms, such as visual arts and music, to express their feelings on how to build a more peaceful world. They will also use T.V. and film as a way of better understanding certain concepts discussed throughout the course.
  • Unit 6 – World Peace: Students will think on a broader scale, learning about other cultures and connecting with students from other parts of the world. They will also research pressing global issues, and identify action they can take to help address them. They’ll think critically about what steps must occur to achieve peace on a global scale. Finally, they will research historical figures who have sought to build peace in the world, and create a presentation on their favorite “peace hero.”

Obviously, to attempt to cover every topic that fits within the scope of peace education would have been virtually impossible, as many of the sub-areas of peace education could have an entire curriculum devoted to them individually. As a result, Sue and I discussed and reviewed each of these sub-areas, and decided to focus on the areas that Sue felt most applied to the students in the correctional facility. She also consulted with teachers in the school, and will seek advice from students in the near future on the course content before the curriculum is implemented (as well as after implementation) to continue to refine the course.

Also keeping in mind that how peace education is taught is as important as what is taught, the course will also use a variety of teaching strategies that are aligned with peace education pedagogy to make sure that the teaching methods build peace in the classroom. Traditional lecturing will be virtually nonexistent in the course. Alternatively, students will engage in small group discussions, “pair-shares” (partners take turns discussing, then share with the rest of the class), visualization/imagination exercises, collage making, role-playing, problem solving, perspective taking, reading and discussing quotations, sharing personal stories, watching and analyzing film/videos, writing and analyzing songs/poetry, journal writing/reflection, brainstorming, survey research, service learning and action, connecting with international students, and studying renowned peace makers in history. These types of activities are built right into each of the lesson plans to ensure that they used throughout the course.

In order to identify the content and corresponding teaching strategies for each of the lessons in the curriculum, a variety of sources were drawn from. Web resources, books, resource manuals, and peace education agencies, among other sources were used to help create the course. Copyright permissions were obtained for all content that is reproduced or adapted within the curriculum. In terms of deciding which sources to pull from, unfortunately, as stated earlier, very few peace education programs have verifiable data that their content is effective. With this limitation in mind, Sue and I both used our teaching experience (she taught in juvenile corrections for a number of years, and has also served as Director of Curriculum for several years, and I spent a year teaching GED and English classes, as well as administered several educational workshops for various audiences) to determine which lessons we felt would be most effective in achieving the goals we established for the course. We also kept in mind the teaching strategies of peace education pedagogy, and made sure to only include the types of lessons that were aligned with these principles.

Also related to teaching strategies is the actual teacher of the course. For a peace education course to be effective, the teacher must model the values inherent in the curriculum and have a passion for peace. They must also be dynamic, and also comfortable utilizing a variety of alternative teaching strategies that differ greatly from traditional lecturing. Also, as peace education pedagogy is a field of instruction that may be foreign to many, various materials will be made available to the instructor to help them become more well-versed in these principles. Additionally, it is planned to have the instructor go through a peace education training that covers many of the important aspects of peace education content, goals, and appropriate teaching strategies.

Evaluating Success

As discussed earlier, there are several methods that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of this peace education course. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups can all be great ways to obtain insightful information and feedback from the students. The ADJC plans to utilize these methods to not only determine the effectiveness of the course, but to also improve the curriculum going forward. The students involved in these feedback sessions will take an active part is refining the course content to make sure it is relevant to the students in the correctional facility. Observation of students exhibiting (or failing to exhibit) certain skills or behaviors related to the course would also be an effective way of measuring the impact. Additionally, reviewing quantitative data from school records could provide some insights, such as violent occurrences, or even levels of academic achievement in other courses. An additional method that is used by the ADJC for some of their other courses is that of “mind-mapping.” This is an assessment activity where students draw out a map of how they view themselves related to the course content, both before and after taking the course, in order to understand the attitudinal changes that resulted from taking the course. This method could be used to measure how the affect of the course on how “at peace” students feel with themselves, or to how students view their personal roles in building peace in the world. The evaluation method for measuring the effectiveness of the course will be decided upon by the ADJC based on resources that are available for this purpose.

Limitations

There were several limitations in designing this course, many of which I’ve already touched on. The lack of empirical data on the effectiveness of peace education programs made it difficult to feel fully confident about any of the content we included. While the theory and rationale behind peace education seem to be quite strong and appeal to reason, it is always more helpful when you have data to back it up. Secondly, the amount of content that fits under the peace education umbrella made it challenging to determine what areas to focus on. Additionally, while we did our best to cover a breadth of topics, it limited our ability to delve in-depth into any particular issue. Peace education is an area that most people are not familiar with, so finding a teacher that is able to effectively follow the principles of peace education pedagogy will likely be a challenge (even with training and resources).

Another major limitation was my personal background. My lack of experience in designing full-scale curriculums was certainly a limitation, as I had to rely more on “my gut” to determine how long a particular activity might last, how to best flow from one lesson to the next, etc., rather than on previous experience. Also, I don’t have much direct experience working with the target population of the course (youth in juvenile corrections). While I did a degree of academic research on juvenile delinquency, my lack of first-hand experience is clearly a drawback. Most of the lessons included in the curriculum are designed in a way to try and apply universally to any student; however, it is likely that the content of the lessons could have been designed more effectively, especially if they were designed in partnership with someone who has been in the same shoes as many of the youth in juvenile corrections. Finally, while there are some helpful suggestions on evaluation techniques in the field of peace education, again, the lack of rigorous studies make it difficult to determine the best method for evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

Section VI: Conclusion

In summary, I am very thankful and appreciative of the opportunity to implement peace education into a local educational institution. While there were clearly a number of limitations, I am proud of the product that was created, and I’m excited to see it go into implementation and learn of the results. Reflecting back, there are many things I would have altered about my approach, most importantly increasing the scope of collaboration to include those who have done similar work with youth in juvenile corrections (or at-risk youth) to gain their insights on the curriculum and approach. With that said, I still feel that the students in this course will find a lot of value in the activities and content. In the end, I truly hope that this effort makes a difference, and can provide a small step towards empowering the next generation to become active peace builders in developing a better world for all.

To download the full peace education course, clink the link below:

Peace Education Course for Adjudicated Youth (Curriculum)

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