Vol. 6 No. 2 (2021): Peace and Education

ISSN No: 2583-4347


Guest Editorial

Peace is a deliberate, hard to make, at times 'impossible' choice; it's not something that simply 'happens'. It's the responsibility of all, not the duty of a few. The most effective way to instil this knowledge in an ever-conflicted world is undoubtedly to include Peace Studies in the curriculum. 

Efforts at introducing Peace Education (PE) began in 1945 with the UNESCO declaring that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed”. Peace Education was contended to be the only means to create and sustain a long-term change in the thought and action of future generations which could possibly result in the absence of violence and the presence of social justice. PE was therefore designed to cultivate the knowledge, skills, attitudes, norms and behaviours conducive to the emergence and sustenance of peace, and also to aid the creating of systems that would actualize non-violence, non-discrimination, social justice, environmental care and sustainable development. The scope of PE later on widened to incorporate Gender Studies, Human Rights Education, International Relations, Non-violence Studies, Culture Studies, Disarmament Studies,

Environmental Studies and such other programmes. The efficiency and the impact of Peace Education interventions in schools and institutions of higher learning have been widely assessed and they have proven to result in decreased violence as well as improved attitudes and cooperation among pupils.

However, there is a conceptual dilemma of Peace Education which is most consequential, and which needs to be critiqued. Quite a number of theories of peace use conflict as their point of departure and the absence of violence as their dominant objective. By setting “conflict” at the crux of theories of peace and “conflict management” as its supreme goal, Peace Studies has moved away from its primary objectives which are —to explore the nature of peace as well as the possibilities of peace building; to give sufficient attention to the nurturing of the inherent capacities of citizens, organizations, communities, civil societies and governments, not just to prevent violence but to form harmonious relationships; to build a civilisation of peace— just and peaceful, diverse and united, benevolent and prosperous, environmentally healthy and technologically advanced, knowledge rich and morally strong. 

 The present issue of Samyukta has two major sections – (1) Peace Education – that is, education or the teaching/learning of peace related material, and (2) Education for peace, which is a holistic way of education which aims at instilling the notion of peace among individuals, communities and countries. We have included articles on the theoretical conceptualisation of Peace Education as well as the practice of it like transformative education and practical diversity, from all parts of the world. The purpose of this issue is to incite reflection on the very nature of peace as well as to the various approaches to Peace Studies; to suggest new directions for the debates on peace education; to identify questions that might generate discussion among a wide audience and stakeholders such as the necessity to ‘teach’ peace when violence comes naturally; to imagine that ‘one world’ where peace is the way of life; to encourage collaboration between different disciplines towards the practice of peace; and to offer practical suggestions and solutions that will engender lasting peace which is vital to the contemporary world. 

Editors: Sreedevi K. Nair (Managing Editor) & Parvati Menon (Guest Editor)

Published: 2021-07-30