Imagine a world without war and violence. Many world religions teach their followers to seek peace, yet at no time in history has civilization known absolute peace. Why is this? Are there social and physiological limitations to our capacity for peacefulness, or is that just an excuse that people use in order to justify violence? How are labels, microaggressions, and forms of violence? What is the role of education in the movement towards a more peaceful world?
This course is designed for students who would like to learn more about the historical and contemporary issues surrounding peace and nonviolence, especially as they pertain to the everyday lived experience of those whose collective lives make up the global community. We will study the works of educators, scholars and peace activists as well as other historical figures who worked for peace.
We will examine the idea of peace and discuss the distinctions between positive and negative peace, as well as the idea of peace as a way rather than a goal. Additionally, our work will address the impact that twentieth century social movements for peace have had on the political climate in the US, and attempt to define and understand terms such as " peace," and "pacifism" in the context of the twenty-first century. The course provides a broad introduction to the discipline of Peace Studies, with emphasis on the role of Peace Education within the broad spectrum of education and schooling.