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Organization: Peace Education Special Interest Group of American Education Research Association
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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Postal address of organization/institution

No central address for SIG.  Address of AERA: American Educational Research Association,
1430 K Street, NW  Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005

E-mail address of organization/institution

SIG Chair: endura@gmu.edu<mailto:endura@gmu.edu>; SIG Program Chair: ccarter@unf.edu<mailto:ccarter@unf.edu>; SIG Secretary/Treasurer:

Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

AERA Phone:  (202) 238-3200; SIG Officer’s Phone Contacts:
SIG Chair: (703) 993-9424 ; SIG Program Chair:  904-620-1881;
SIG Secretary/Treasurer: 916-278-7690; Summer Contact Number: 505-280-1245

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

The Peace Education SIG of AERA is a relatively small group of scholars.  Therefore, we take advantage of organizations pursuing related agendas such as Education for Peace - International, the International Peace Research Association and its Peace Education Commission, the Peace Education Center of Teachers College, Columbia University, the Peace Alliance, National Association for Peace Education, Global Campaign for Peace Education

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

The Peace Education SIG of AERA has participated in the annual conference of the American Education Research Association since 1989. As part of this participation, the Peace Education SIG has showcased the research of peace education researchers and practitioners through scholarly panels and roundtables and interactive seminars.  In addition, individual members of the Peace Education SIG have collaborated with each other in the publication of significant research on peace education, including:

147 Tips for Teaching Peace and Reconciliation By Bill Timpson, Ed Brantmeier, Nathalie Kees, Tom Cavanagh, Claire McGlynn and Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo.  Madison, WI: Atwood, August 2009  http://www.atwoodpublishing.com books/195.htm Peace Education in Conflict and Post-conflict Societies: Comparative Perspectives Edited by Claire McGlynn, Michalinos Zembylas, Zvi Bekerman and Tony Gallagher. Palgrave Macmillan  USA, March 2009  
http://us.macmillan.com/peaceed....cieties Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action Edited by Elavie Ndura-Ouédraogo and Randall Amster.  Newcastle, UK: Scholars Publishing, 2009.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

There is progress in a growing recognition among peacebuilders that public education is a necessary environment for addressing intergroup conflict and for building the skills and attitudes which support peaceful resolution of conflict.  There is also a growing recognition of the necessary intersection between work for peace and work for social justice and a recognition of the essential role which respect for human rights plays in building a sustainable culture of peace.  These recognitions have led to increasing interdisciplinary research and integration of human rights and social justice agendas into the work of peacebuilders,  the teaching of restorative justice practices and the incorporation of conflict resolution training and strategies into public school practices.  Peace Education researchers have also been able to observe and study the practices of educators in conflict and post conflict societies who seek to bridge the distrust and anger separating children from conflicted communities.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

It would be extremely naïve to think that peace educators have “answers” to the violence which arises from the persistence of unjust relationships between individuals and groups, disparity of power and resources and the violations of fundamental human rights which feed conflict both within American school communities and worldwide.  The persistence of disparities of power and resources and the easy recourse to warfare by powerful nations when their goals conflict with those of less powerful nations create a structural violence both within the international community and within nations.  In addition, there is a genuine problem in the United States that the very word “peace” is apt to be interpreted as representing either a left-leaning or libertarian isolationist political position.  Thus, peace education in the United States must often be euphemized as studies in conflict resolution, school programs promoting alternatives to violence among students, etc.

Likewise, education researchers and advocates for social justice and human rights often view “Peace Education” as seeking to whitewash underlying social conflicts arising from injustice and denial of fundamental rights.  The past president of the Peace Education SIG visited with another AERA SIG that focused on social justice issues and was told that members of that group thought that the Peace Education SIG was “a bunch of White ladies talking about peace.”  This bias against the term “Peace” seems to be less of a problem in settings outside the United States.  However, the Peace Education SIG recognizes the importance of integrating peace and social justice education and research and building both upon a fundamental commitment to human rights.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

The Peace Education SIG at its 2010 business meeting decided to try in the coming year and at our next annual gathering to address straightforwardly the marginalization of peace education in the larger society and its schools.  This direct engagement involves first of all a recognition of the many faces of violence – structural violence, economic violence, abuses of power and marginalization of disempowered minorities and peoples, as well as military, political and interpersonal violence.  Only by beginning with an honest awareness of the violence embedded in all abuses of power can peace educators prepare the next generation to work toward sustainable solutions to violence and aggression.  In addition, the SIG will seek to address the marginalization of the very concept of peace in American discourse and education. This effort will involve outreach within AERA to other special interest groups addressing issues of social justice, human rights and looking at core curricular areas such as social studies education.  In addition, the Peace Education SIG hopes to continue its international membership and focus, learning from the peace educators in conflict and post-conflict societies.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

There is a need to confront directly the economics of violence and economics of militarism worldwide and in the United States.  Economic reliance on warfare to shore up faltering economies is a direct threat to peace, yet is camouflaged by the language which accompanies military buildups, weapons development and the growth of standing armies as an employment cushion.  The world as a whole needs the United States’ education culture to become more open to studies of peace and education for peace.  A cross-cultural exchange of educators and of educational paradigms is needed to broaden American understanding of the place of peace studies in the education of its next generation.  While this is an education need for one country, its implication for creating a culture of peace worldwide is significant.
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Organization: Peace Education Special Interest Group of American Education Research Association

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