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Organization: Center for Research on Peace Education (CERPE)
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

Haifa University,
Haifa 31905

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

Tel. +972-4-824-9373
Fax: +972-4-824-9372

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?

Another mission of CERPE is to establish strong and dynamic relations between peace education researchers and practitioners. Toward this end an interactive website (PEACH) has been established that includes the most important information about the organizations that carry out peace and partnership education projects in Israel, and the research carried out in the field.


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.

Publication of researches and books such as the

Handbook on Peace Education
Gavriel Salomon & Ed Cairns (Eds.)
Psychology Press

This handbook encompasses a range of disciplines that underlie the field of peace education and provides the rationales for the ways it is actually carried out . The discipline is a composite of contributions from a variety of disciplines ranging from social psychology to philosophy and from communication to political science. That is, peace education is an applied subject which is practiced in differing ways, but must always be firmly based on a range of established empirical disciplines.
The volume is structured around contributions from expert scholars in various fields that underpin peace education, plus contributions from experts in applying peace education in a range of settings, all complemented by chapters which deal with issues related to research and evaluation of peace education.
Table of Content
Peace Education: Setting the Scene G. Salomon and E. Cairns
Part 1: The Context History and Peace Education I. Harris. Peace Education in Societies Involved in Intractable Conflicts: Goals, Conditions and Directions D. Bar-Tal, Y. Rosen and R. Nets-Zehngut. Educational Sciences and Peace Education W. Wintersteiner
Part 2: The Contribution of Underlying Disciplines What does Peace Psychology have to Offer Peace Education? Five Psychologically Informed Propositions D.J. Christie and R.V. Wagner. The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations N. Tausch, K. Schmid and M. Hewstone. Intergroup Contact: Implications for Peace Education E.W. Mania, S.L. Gaertner, B.M. Riek, J. F. Dovidio, M.J. Lamoreaux and S.A. Direso. Contribution of Developmental Psychology to Peace Education L. Oppenheimer. Peace Education and Political Science M.H. Ross. The Contribution of Communication and Media Studies to Peace Education. D. Ellis and Y. Warshel. Peace and Morality: Two Children of the Same Parents F. Oser, C. Riegel and S. Steinmann. Philosophy of Peace Education in a Post-metaphysical Era: What is Wrong with Peace Education? I. Gur-Ze'ev
Part 3: Approaches to Peace Education Teaching about Culture of Peace as an Approach to Peace Education J. de Rivera. Storytelling and Multiple Narratives in Conflict Situations: From the TRT Group in the German-Jewish Context to the Dual-Narrative Approach of PRIME D. Bar-On. The Contribution of History Teaching to Peace-Building A. McCully. Peace Education in the Classroom: Creating Effective Peace Education Programs D.W. Johnson and R.T. Johnson. Building a Shared Future from a Divided Past: Promoting Peace Through Education in Northern Ireland T. Gallagher. Unity-Based Peace Education: Education for Peace Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Chronological Case Study H.B. Danesh. Healing in Rwanda E. Staub. Peace Education in Regions of Tranquility I. Hakvoort. Educating for Peace through Planned Encounters between Jews and Arabs in Israel: A Reappraisal of Effectiveness I. Maoz. Peace Education: Open-ended Questions.G. Salomon and E. Cairns

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?

This is an informal and brief description of recent studies carried out by members of the Center for Research on Peace Education at the University of Haifa, Israel. These are not the only findings we have. There are more elaborate and complex ones, but not everything can be included in a brief summary. We want to share the findings and the conclusions that follow such that colleagues who are active in the field of peace education or study it can, as we hope, benefit from the reported studies. A more formal presentation of some of the studies can already be found or will soon be found in the professional literature. The descriptions are in English so that Israelis, Palestinians and interested parties abroad can read the material.

Comments and questions are most welcome.

1. Peace education can prevent the deterioration of feelings and attitudes
A study by Yifat Biton (Biton & Salomon, 2006) examined the effects of a school-based year-long peace education program  "Pathways to Reconciliation") carried out in Israeli and in Palestinian schools with 818 Jewish and Palestinian high school students, divided into program participants and non-participant controls. The program was administered during the 2002 Palestinian uprising (The "El Aksa Intifada"). Despite the overall belligerent atmosphere, the program had positive effects mainly on the participants' conception of "peace" – moving  from a conception of "negative-" to "positive peace". Interestingly, while the program did not significantly affect  attitudes it led to an increase in Israelis' willingness to engage in negotiations, and to a decrease in Palestinians' willingness to engage in war.
Most importantly, the participation in the program served as a lid on the boiling pot of belligerence: While willingness to engage in war increased among Palestinian non-participants it decreased among participants. These findings suggest that participation in peace education can prevent further deterioration of negative feelings towards the other side.

2. Friendships can generalize
What effects do friendships that develop during a 3-day intergroup dialogue between Jewish and Palestinian participants have on the way they relate to each other's nation (the people) and to its collective narrative? Bar-Natan (2005) examined this question with 216 Jewish and Palestinian peace education participants and nonparticipants.
Measures taken right after the completion of the encounter showed that friendships developed during the encounter did indeed generalize in both groups to the way the other side's members were perceived and to willingness for contact with them. The Jewish group manifested also increased legitimization of the Palestinian collective narrative. Not so the Palestinian group. For them, the collective narrative of the Jews is, as they see it, the narrative of the majority that deprives and discriminates them and thus cannot be given any legitimacy (see also No. 6 below).

5. Eroded changes can be restored
We called the the decline of measured changes "erosion" assuming that they did not totally disappear but left at least some cognitive or emotional residue. We tried out three methods to restore the eroded changes. all of which yielded the same positive results.
Rosen (2006) worked with 120 Jewish and Palestinian high school students two months after their paticipation in a year long peace education program in which changed attitudes, stereotypes, social distance, and feelings toward the other side were measured. However, measures taken two months later showed a significant decline of the changes observed earlier. At that point the intervention was administered. It was based on the activation of cognitive dissonance brought about by the procedure of forced compliance: A person role-plays the adversary's perspective in front of others. Half of the program graduates were asked to present in front of their classmates the Jewish (Palestinian) point of view and defend it. The other half served as a non-intervention control group.
Measures of the study's dependent varialbes taken three months after the intervention (that is, five months after the program) showed that the eroded measures were greatly restored (see Figure 3).
This finding was replicated in two additional studies: Peer teaching whereby program graduates share with their younger peers what they have learned in the program (Jausi, 2009), and reflection on what was good or bad in the program (Arnon, in preparation). In these studies, very much like in the Rosen study, the interventions led to the restoration of the changes, as
measured three months later.
Thus, attitudinal and perceptual changes that become eroded by external socio-political forces can be restored.
Yet, the restored changes applied in all three studies to only the Jewish participants. Forced compliance, peer teaching and reflection did not restore any of the previously changed attitudes and perceptions, of the Palestinians. The reason may be the different needs that each side arrives with. As found by Nadler and Shnabel (2008), the Palestinians, for reasons of being and feeling a discriminated minority in Israel, need to assert themselves and be empowered. Not so the Jews who are the majority that is perceived as the perpetrator and needs others' moral justification. The Palestinians, it appears, do not actually take the other side's position but rather use either one of the three intervention methods to reassert their own position (see also No. 2).

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

3. Not all attitudes to be changed are born equal
A study by Yigal Rosen examined the possibility that some conflict-related attitudes and beliefs are more amenable to the impact of peace education than others. Some attitudes and beliefs occupy a more central place in one's cognition ("convictions") while others are more peripheral, and are held with less certitude and strength ("attitudes"). A pilot study with items derived from the Jewish and the Palestinian collective narratives, repectively, were given to Jewish and Palestinian university students to rank for importance an cenrality.
The top of the list for each group was defined as conviction items. In a subsequent study it was found that for both Jewish and Palestinian peace education program participants the convictions were not affected while the attitudes were significantly changed. The study suggests that we should aim at what is possible, some sort of 'good enough peace education', without aspiring to change convictions which serve as the backbone of a group's collective belief system (Rosen, in press).

4. The short life of the effects of short peace education programs
Peace education programs are all too often relatively short – a few days, a weekend, a week-long seminar.
While such programs have a positive impact on many of the participants, it is still an open question whether the perceptual and attitudinal changes last over time given the socio-political forces that negate them. For after all, peace education programs are often carried out in a social environment where an "ethos of conflict" and a belligerent atmosphere appear to dominate. However, all too often evaluators are satisfied with measures taken "the morning after" the completion of a program.
Irit Bar-Natan in the study mentioned above (No.2) in which the question of friendships' generalizations was addressed, found that measures taken a few months after the completion of the program showed that the changes all but disappeared. The same finding emerged in the study by Rosen (No. 3 above) and in a study by Husseisi (2009). It needs to be said that the programs were indeed carried out in an overall social context of
fear, belligerence and distrust of the other side. The peace education programs moved in this respect against the grain of the general ethos and collective narrative.
In sum, those changes that can be brought about by a relatively short-term intervention can as easily be changed back by the prevailing sociopolitical forces.

6. One size does not fit all:
It appears as if one kind of program ought to fit all sides in a conflict, particularly when dialogues are based on one or another version of the contact hypothesis. But different groups have different conceptions about peace, co-existence and such (see No. 1 above), understand and process peace education activities very differently, and thus come out with very different lessons and effects. For example, The Palestinian minority tends to bolster its adherence to its own collective narrative while the members of the Jewish majority are more willing to change their attitudes toward the minority (Husseisi, 2009). Maoz (2000), at the Hebrew University in Jerualsem, found that while the Jewish participants rely on formal power which emanates from institutionally provided power, the Palestinians rely on informal ones – their knowledge of the local history of the conflict and their sense of deprivation and injustice. As reported above, Rosen (2006), Jausi (2009) and Arnon (in preparation) all found that while their
interventions affected Jews, they did not affect the Palestinians.
There are other findings that support the same point. In the study by Biton & Salomon (2006), involving about 800 Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian youngsters, we found that while the former entered the program with a conception of peace as absence of violence ("negative peace"), the latter assumed that peace means independence and freedom ("structural peace").
The effects of that year-long school-based program, were far stronger on the Jews than on the Palestinians since it dealt mainly with the psychological aspects of reconciliation, not with any political solution. And as other research shows, the Jews, being the majority, shun the political and prefer the interpersonal (Suleiman, 2004). It becomes clear that one size definitely, does not fit all.
The implication is that different sides in a conflict need to participate in programs that are specifically tailored to their needs, culture, political status and social background. The challenge is to find ways to implement such a differential approach, given the desire to also have the participants meet each other and engage in common activities.

7. Contacts between members of conflicted sides require a common and important goal:
Research tells us that intergroup activities ought to be rooted in a common goal towards which all participants contribute, regardless of national or ethnic identity.
However, when the two sides come with different agendas, needs and aspirations, having a common goal may not be enough. As mentioned above, the Palestinians, for example, tend to demand acknowledgement of what they see as the evils done to them, while the Jews, being the accused majority, would
rather turn to the cultivation of interpersonal relations.
Although nominally they may have a common goal, satisfying their differential needs may be far more important to them.
Baha Zuabi (2008) studied the interactions between (N=76) Jewish and Palestinian youths playing in bi-national soccer clubs as compared to those playing in uni-national ones (N=114), in terms of changed attitudes, perceptions, desires for contact, stereotypes and negative feelings. (Youngsters went to one or another club meerly on the basis of the club's accessibility). Very large changes took place in the bi-national clubs and none in the uni-national ones. There was of course much interdependence among the bi-national players, much parental support, and a common goal of winning. But the crucial element was the importance of that goal – to jointly win games. It was not just a common activity demanding cooperation; winning a game was the most important goal relative to which national identity was totally insignificant.
The challenge then is to design activities – jointly playing music, staging plays, scouting – that not only demand cooperation and interdependence but that set goals which in the eyes of the participants are of utmost importance. It may well be the case that joint activities that set such important common goals are an interesting and possibly effective alternative to dialogue groups for younger age groups (Zuabi, 2008).

8. Strong negative emotions may interfer with peace education
Ayelet Roth (2004) had a number of Israeli and Palestinian pairs of volunteers, all experienced teachers, communicate with each other via the Internet. The pairwise communication consisted of a version of induced compliance: Each pair of teachers wrote a chapter of the other side's collective narrative as the other side sees it, submit it via the Internet to the other pair for their scrutiny, and receive feedback and corrections. The beginnings of the exchanges worked well, but then began
the Israeli military operation against the Palestinian town of Jenin (the "Defensive Wall" operation). It was an emotionally wrenching operation and exterme feelings of anger, frustration, shame, despair, even hatred emerged full force. The teachers involved in the project started to stall, and grdually ceased to carry on with the project. No urging, tempting, or pursuasion restored the intercations; the two sides, each for its own strong feelings, refused to continue. The project came to its sad end.
It became evident that peace education and strong negative feelings of fear, anger, hatred and hopelessness do not go well together. Political events such as the Jenin bloody incursion may well arouse in each side its own painful historical memories which intensify the negative feelings and reduce (for the time being) the chances for any mutual understanding, mutual legitimization and reconciliation. The negative feelings need to be alliviated first.

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

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

Four major challenges facing peace education in regions of intractable conflict


While peace education all over the world faces numerous challenges, such as conflicting collective narrative, historical memories, contradictory beliefs, sever inequalities, and more, there are at least four major challenges that transcend challenges of content and method. Four such major challenges that pertain to the very core of peace education are discussed. They are: (a) The creation of a "ripple effect" whereby the impact of peace education programs spreads to wider social circles of society; (b) increasing the endurance of desired program effects in the face of their easy erosion; (c) the need for differential programs, given the differences in culture and in the role that each adversary plays in the conflict; and (d) the need to find ways to bridge between general dispositions, principles and values and their application in specific situations where competing motivations are dominant. It is argued that the four major challenges are common also to other kinds of programs: Human rights, anti-racism, tolerance and such as they many are carried out in socio-political contexts that negate the messages of the programs.

Peace education in regions of intractable conflict, very much like human rights programs, anti-racism and tolerance education programs, is carried out in socio-political contexts that essentially negate the messages of such programs: Partnership and peace with an adversary; tolerance for minorities where intolerance is widely practiced, anti-racism where racism spreads, human rights in their absence, and their likes (e.g., Dunn, Fritzche and Morgan, 2003; Iram, 2003; Short, 1996; Tibbitts, 2002).  
Overcoming societies' opposition is one of the major justifications for those programs.
All programs of the kind mentioned above face severe challenges. So does peace education that faces such challenges as contradictory collective narratives, charged negative emotions, sever inequalities, and more (Salomon, 2004; Salomon, 2006). Some of these are taken as challenges and are dealt with head on, as is the case of historical memories that fuel the conflict (e.g., McCully, 2005; Roe & Cairns, 2003) or opposing identity constructions that, likewise, underlie the conflict (Halabi & Sonnestein, 2004).
However, there are other challenges that are scarcely dealt with, let along studied.  Four such challenges are discussed in this paper as they appear to concern the very heart of peace education (as well as the other kinds of programs mentioned above). The discussion of the four major challenges is based on research and experience of peace education in Israel/Palestine, but seem to be of a much more general relevance. They are as follows:  (a) The creation of a "ripple effect" whereby the impact of peace education programs spreads to wider social circles of non-participants; (b) increasing the endurance of desired program effects in the face of their easy erosion; (c) the need for differential programs, given the differences in culture and in the role that each adversary plays in the conflict; and (d) the need to find ways to bridge between general dispositions, principles and values and their application in specific situations where competing motivations are dominant.
I single out these four, rarely addressed challenges, as they appear to pertain to the very core of peace education; they transcend questions of specific goals, methods, contents, age of participants and even relations with the surrounding socio-political context. In fact, these challenges face peace education whether it is carried out in contexts of ongoing conflict or in post-conflict contexts, between geographically separate, neighboring ethnic groups or within seemingly integrated societies, in conflicted societies or in more tranquil ones.
The creation of a ripple effect:
The UN called for the promotion of a culture of peace by educating people to see themselves as a peaceful people with norms that emphasize cooperation and the resolution of conflicts by dialogue, negotiation, and nonviolence.
    This can be achieved
…when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace." (Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education, 1999).
Clearly, the idea was not to educate for peace only individuals, but to affect whole societies. Thus, a major challenge facing educational programs such as peace and tolerance education is the near absence (or possibly rarely documented) of a "ripple effect" whereby programs' effects spread to wider circles of society.
Yet, the views and perceptions, attitudes and dispositions to be changed are not just an individual's; they are socially rooted in a "social ethos", and more specifically – in a collective narrative and "ethos of the conflict" (Bar-Tal & Salomon, 2006). It follows that if anti-racism, tolerance or peace education are to have any lasting effect they must affect the social ethos, not only the minds of a few program participants. If society does not express its desire to live in peace with an adversary, does not condemn intolerance of a minority, or fails to promote human rights, affecting the hearts and minds of a few individuals to become more peace oriented or more tolerant may not really matter much for the social context.
The issue here pertains to levels of influence: The level of the individual's psychology and the level of society. Dan Sperber (1985) likened these two levels to the meeting of psychology and anthropology. Whereas the former deals with the individual's cognitions, the latter deals with the spread of ideas and ideologies. However, as Sperber makes clear, the spread of ideas, underlying cultural traditions or fashions cannot be understood without understanding individuals' cognitions. He likens the two processes to the spread of disease, that is - to the relationships between the pathology of the cell and the spread of the pathology: "What pathology is to epidemiology of disease, psychology of thought should be to epistemology of representations" (p. 75). However, lest we exercise reductionism, the two need to be examined together; none is a sufficient explanation of the spread of pathology or of the spread of ideas. Still, the intra-individual's changed attitudes, beliefs and perceptions, and the inter-individual spread of these changes (the ripple effect), are two different processes that require two different, though related, sets of explanatory concepts.
Recent research concerns the way the fruits of intergroup contact can spread. This line of research focuses on the extended contact hypothesis (e.g., Pettigrew, Christ, Wagner & Stellmacher, 2007), whereby participation in contact groups affects non-participating friends of participants. Thus, whereas the effects of intergroup contact belong to the realm of changes in individuals, the extended contact touches upon the spread of these effects. But this line of research examined only rarely the spreading effects of indirect contact in the context of social tension or actual conflict (one exception is the N. Irish study of Paolini, Hewstone, Cairns & Voci, 2004). The context of a real tension or conflict between groups is qualitatively different from less threatening contexts as it entails strong feelings of anxiety, hatred, distrust and anger (Coleman, 2003; Salomon, 2002). It is an open question whether findings of studies carried out in the USA concerning relations between ethnic groups (Wright, et.al., 1997), or in Finland about relations with foreigners (Liebkind & McAlister, 1999) apply also to Kashmir or Lebanon, or to regions of tension between majority and profoundly discriminated ethnic minority?
According to the extended contact theory when and in-group person (A) learns that another in-group friend (B) has close contacts with an out-group person (C) then this leads, under certain conditions, to A's more positive attitudes, reduced anxiety and weaker prejudices toward C's out-group (e.g., Paolini, Hewstone and Cairns, 2007). This argument has been supported in a variety of countries and contexts with a variety of means, ranging from reading friendship stories in the UK (Cameron, Rutland, Brown & Douch, 2006) to knowledge of real face-to-face contact (Turner, et. al., 2007). A number of underlying mechanisms have been suggested and supported – reduced inter-group anxiety, changed in-group norms with respect to the out-group (Wright, et. Al., 1997), vicarious experience (Turner, Rhiannon, Hewstone, Voci & Vonofackou, 2008), and self disclosure (Turner, et. al., 2007).  
However, one factor that has not been sufficiently studied so far concerns different degrees of proximity to the actual contact. Not all candidates to be part of the extended contact are equally close to the contact itself or emotionally involved with the person who is in contact with an out-group member. It can be hypothesized that the effects of the extended contact and the need to establish balance (Heider, 1958) are stronger for those who are emotionally and/or physically closer to the individuals involved in real contact with adversaries than those who are farther away and/or less emotionally involved. It can also be hypothesized that the extent of non-participants to be affected is negatively related to the strength of their adherence to their collective narrative (Halperin, et. al., 2008) or to their authoritarian tendencies (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). Last, Shnabel and Nadler (2008), found that while a minority (Arabs in Israel) are driven by a need for empowerment the Majority (Jews in Israel) is driven by a need for moral justification. Thus, it is possible that the qualitative nature of the underlying mechanisms of the ripple effect are different for majorities and minorities, particularly in regions of conflict.
The challenge of the ripple effect of peace education programs in contexts of intractable conflict is twofold. First come the psychological questions of whether ripple effects resulting from peace- or similar educational programs do actually take place, how potent are they and what mechanisms underlie them and what conditions facilitate and hinder their creation? Are the mechanisms and conditions more or less similar to the ones observed in less conflicted contexts? Second, there is the more applied question of how can ripple effects be created and how can they be facilitated and be sustained?  
Increasing the endurance of desired program effects  
There is ample research to show that peace education and similar programs have a positive, albeit differential impact on the attitudes, prejudices, desire for contact and legitimization of the "other side" on program participants (e.g., Jones & Kmitta, 2000; Smith, 1999). But these positive results are more often than not obtained when measured right after the completion of programs. When such changes are measured a while later, the obtained effects appear to have been eroded and returned to their original state (Kupermintz & Salomon, 2005). (A rare exceptional study is the one carried out in Sri Lanka by Malhotra & Liyanage, 2005, where positive effects of a four day program were detected a year later).
Apparently, socio-political forces and events suppress the previously attained changes, suggesting that that which can be changed by a "shot in the arm" kind of educational intervention can as easily be changed back by external forces (Salomon, 2006).  A similar fate faces attempts to change teachers' understanding of "good learning" (Strauss & Shiloni, 1994) and and mothers' way of handling substance-dependent infants (Dakof, et. al., 2003).
While the research and theoretical literature pertaining to attitude change is rich there is far less research that pertains to the issue of maintaining changes. Two fields are much concerned with this issue: The medical (e.g., Mccrady, Epstein and Hirsch, 2002) and the therapeutic fields (e.g., McGuire, 2003). Different models of diffusion and social adoption of medical and technological innovations have been suggested (e.g., Kempe, Kleinberg & Tardos, 2003) including word-of-mouth and the two-step-flow of communication. However, it may well be the case that the models developed for the fields of medicine and technology diffusion of innovation may not fit issues concerning the impact of peace education, with its potential negation of prevailing views and the dominance of the collective narrative.
Still, Cockell,  Zaitsoff & Geller (2004), studying changes following eating disorder treatment, identified three main factors that support the maintenance of the change: The continued connection with social support, the self-application of cognitive and affective learned skills, and one's focusing on issues beyond the eating disorders. On the other hand, the loss of the strict structure provided by the intervention, self defeating beliefs and environmental challenges hindered the maintenance of the change.  
Of these factors the social support on the one hand, and the adverse effect of the social environmental challenges, on the other, appear to be the most relevant to peace education. In that field, one's  attitudes, feelings and perceptions vis a vis the other side in the conflict are deeply rooted in the collective narrative and its dictates and are vulnerable to the effects of adverse socio-political events. When the collective narrative, expressed by the media, significant others, politicians and the general social atmosphere, negates the kinds of attitudes and perceptions acquired in the process of peace education, the latter stand little chance of surviving by most individuals.
Three attempts to restore the eroded attainments of peace education programs were successfully carried out two months after the completion of a peace education program. The field-experimental interventions showed that when even brief interventions such as forced compliance (a form of role playing; Leippe& Eisenstadt, 1994), peer teaching of lessons learend during a peace education program to younger peers, and writing reflections on the programs, are carried out, the initial changes are revived and endure for at least another three months.
Such experimental interventions suggest that the changes may not have been totally eroded, allowing for a semi-spontaneous recovery. However, they are limited to settings that enable such interventions, thus not an answer to the question of how to maintain changes on a large social scale of other than school youngsters. Moreover, would the revived changes overcome truly dramatic or painful socio-political events, so common in situations of intractable contexts?
The answer may lie in the attained depth of the attitudinal and perceptual change. It can be assumed that the deeper the change the more durable it might be. Apparently, this may depend on a number of factors. One such factor is likely to be the extent to which peace education programs satisfy the collective needs of participants. This can be implied from the study by Shnabel and Nadler (2008), mentioned above, about the differential needs of minority and majority participants. Another set of factors is suggested by Kelman (1958): Compliance, identification, and internalization. Ajzen and Sexton (1999) speak of depth of processing, belief congruence and attitude-behavior correspondence as relevant factors for change maintenance. Indeed, research on depth of processing (Ajzen & Sexton, 2000) would predict that the deeper the processing – more elaboration and more controlled rather than automatic connections to existing cognitive schemata would increase the chances of accessing the acquired attitudes and perceptions. However, deeper processing is less likely to take place when the desired attitudinal and perceptual change and one's belief system are incongruent, suggesting that deeper processing is more likely among the already partly converted.
Perhaps of greatest relevance is the social support of the change. This, indeed, is one of the conditions for the success of intergroup contact (e.g., Pettigrew, 1998). It appears to be also a necessary condition for sustaining the effects of peace education programs. Here, unlike the support needed for the creation of a ripple effect, the support needed is apparently of closer proximity: Family, neighbors, institutions, and their likes. The experiments in which we intervened with forced compliance, peer teaching and reflection could not have taken place and succeeded if not for the expressed support of the authorities of the experimental schools.
This challenge raises a number of questions such as whether longer-term programs succeed in preventing the expected erosion of their positive effects? As discussed above, would deeper processing of the information leading to change, and social support of the changes lead to longer endurance of programs' effects? These are questions that research needs to address.
The need for differential programs
So far, many of the contents and methods of peace education programs are the same for all sides of a conflict. This is particularly pronounced where the contact hypothesis is applied (Mania, et.al., 2009). It appears as if one size ought to fit all, regardless of whether they are majority or minority, conqueror or conquered, natives or immigrants. In a few cases programs are administered in uni-national or uni-ethnic groups. But even then, the contents and the methods are quite uniform. The underlying assumption appears to be that the processes of reconciliation, mutual understanding, humanization, and empathy are similar for all involved.
But as research shows, they are not (Yablon, 2007). In one study (Biton & Salomon, 2005), involving about 800 Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian youngsters, we found that while the former entered the program with a conception of peace as absence of violence ("negative peace"), the latter assumed that peace means independence and freedom ("structural peace"). The effects of that year-long school-based program which did not entail face-to-face meetings, were far stronger on the Jews than on the Palestinians since it dealt mainly with the psychological aspects of reconciliation, not with any political solution. And as other research shows, the Jews, being the majority, shun the political and prefer the interpersonal (Suleiman, 2004). Rosen (2008), applying the forced compliance intervention with peace education graduates, found positive effects that restored the already attained changes on the Israeli-Jewish participants, but found no effect on the Israeli-Palestinians. The same was replicated in another study with post-program attempts to restore attained changes. This suggests that while the Jews engaged in trying to convey the ideas acquired during the peace education workshop, the Palestinians engaged in asserting their position and becoming empowered. This was supported by yet another study (Hussesi, 2007) where it was found that participation in the same year long school-based peace education program, the Jews learned to give somewhat more legitimacy to the Palestinian collective narrative, the Palestinians used the same program to reinforce their own narrative; no legitimization of the Jewish collective narrative took place. Maoz (2000) found that while the Jewish participants rely on formal power which emanates from institutionally provided power, the Palestinians rely on informal ones – their knowledge of the local history of the conflict and their sense of deprivation and injustice.
A later study (Maoz, 2004) identified different models of peace education interventions applied in the context of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. These models range from the coexistence model that focuses on interpersonal relations and can be seen as generally preserving the status quo to the confrontational model that centers on discussing the conflict and aims at social change. Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages and fits different types of target populations in different phases of "readiness" to grapple with the conflict (Maoz, Under review) one size definitely, does not fit all.
The differences in the expectations, needs, culture, ways of processing the conflict-related information, etc. of each side to the conflict would require a differential approach to peace education. However, the challenge is to find some formulae in light of which different programs, based on different psychological principles, can be designed. Halabi, Sonnenshein & Friedman (2004) have indeed developed differential programs the emphasis of which is to strengthen the identity of the so-called oppressed minority and to liberate the so-called oppressor from its illusion of superiority.
Helping general dispositions and values to become applied in specific situations
Bar-Tal, Rosen and Nets-Zehngut (2009) question the value or direct peace education, as commonly practiced, as long as a conflict is in full force, as is the current situation in Israel/Palestine. The authors suggest instead engaging in indirect peace education: Cultivating general abilities, dispositions and values such as tolerance, critical thinking and ethno-empathy. While this appears as a sound idea, there is room for some questions. Do general abilities, dispositions and values become applied in highly specific situations where strong counter motivations are at play? Do believers offer their cheeks even to those whom they hate and despise? Are victims, even those with high morals, willing to show tolerance to their aggressors?
Past research, history and literature do not provide positive answers. Milgram's (1974) subjects were surly individuals who would not think of killing somebody else they don't even know. But still, when told that their continued participation in the study is important for science, they hesitated yet finally "killed" an experimental partner. Zimbardo's (2006) psychology students who role-played a prison were also normal individuals with no evil principles of hurting their peers. Yet, when playing guards they badly hurt their classmates who were unlucky enough to play inmates. Darley and Latane's bystanders (1968)  were also law abiding individuals with no hateful dispositions, yet refrained from even calling the police when a young woman was murdered in their backyard while screaming for help. In all these cases and in similar ones, the persons involved most likely had the right principles and values, but when an authority figure urged, when the situation afforded the opportunity to feel superior, or when responsibility could be thinly spread, behavior became truly ugly.
This is not limited to psychological studies and experiments. Perkins (1992), analyzed the problems facing schools, arguing that many of their failures are not the result of the absence of relevant knowledge. "The problem comes down to this: We are not putting to work what we know… We do not have a knowledge gap – we have a monumental use-of-knowledge gap" (p. 3). In one of my studies (Salomon, 1984) I found that intelligent children assume TV to be easy and forgo using their intelligence even when faced with a rather intellectually demanding program. They process the information not any better or deeper than significantly less intelligent children. When asked, they responded by saying that since TV is easy they see not need to really expand any mental effort in processing its materials. They behave very differently when the same material is presented in print.
Barbara Tuchman in her well known book The march of folly (1984) documents case after case where leaders' actions negate their own beliefs and interests. And Haffner (2000) tells how his colleagues in a German law school, believing in noble values gradually succumb to Nazi propaganda.
It appears that general values, dispositions and abilities are not easily applied in specific situations when alternative strong motivations – to comply with the scientist, to avoid being different, to appear as a sucker, to avoid effort, etc. – are at play. Would the acquired disposition to be tolerant apply when it concerns a threatening adversary? Would the ability to think critically become utilized when anger arouses by news about a terror activity?
All this does not mean that general abilities, dispositions, principles and values are not to be cultivated. On the contrary, they need to be cultivated and developed.  
However, the challenge is to make these more accessible and applicable when motivations that negate them come into play. While this is a general challenge, it is of particular importance in the case of peace education. This is so not only because indirect peace education – the cultivation on general abilities and dispositions - is proposed to replace direct peace education – e.g., dialogue - under certain conditions (Bar-Tal, Rosen, & Nets-Zehgut, 2009). It is important for peace education because even direct peace education needs to be accompanied by a wider context of more general abilities, beliefs and dispositions which provide justification and support for the more specific attitudes and perceptions that dialogue and conflict management skills cultivate. General dispositions, as I have tried to show above, may be insufficient for application in particular situations where contradicting motivations are at play. However, also changed attitudes, as pointed out earlier, may not suffice as they can be easily become eroded by stronger socio-political forces.  
The four challenges I chose to discuss are not the only ones that face peace education. Other challenges like severe inequalities, built into the social fabric of societies in conflict, are as challenging as the ones above. However, most other challenges do not pertain to the very core of peace education as are the challenges of the ripple effect, the endurance of effects, the need to provide differential approaches and the relations between general dispositions and their specific application. In the absence of any one of the four, peace education may likely be a local, well intended activity, but with little enduring and socially impacting value.
Another question is whether the points made here apply, partly or wholly, to education for human rights, anti-racism, tolerance, and their likes. The commonality between peace education and such programs lies in the fact that very often they operate in social environments that are not very supportive of their messages: Human rights and civic education in certain developing countries (e.g., Fok,, 2001), tolerance for minorities in particular minority-rich countries (e.g., Weldon, 2006), and anti-racism in multi-national countries (e.g., Penketh, 2000). Such programs – explicitly or implicitly – aim at having a societal, not only individual impacts, hope to attain enduring effects, need to take ethnic and social group differences into serious account and need to combine general dispositions and specific applications. In these respects, the challenges discussed here apply to them as well.
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Organization: Center for Research on Peace Education (CERPE)

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