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20 November 2014
The interaction between direct and structural peace education offers new prospects for sustainable peace education whose aim is to promote conflict transformation. Improving the structural conditions for a long-term conflict transformation culture can do much to enhance the development of learning spaces for peace.
The new Berghof Handbook Article on Peace Education offers an in-depth assessment of peace education and its role in encouraging and enhancing conflict transformation.
The first part of the Handbook develops a basic concept of internationally oriented, context-related and process-oriented peace education with clearly defined target groups. Against this background, the second part presents a comprehensive and practical approach to peace education in crisis and conflict regions, the aim being to promote conflict transformation.
In this context, a fundamental distinction is made between direct peace education (encounter, inspiration, training) and structural peace education (pilot projects, curricula, implementation). The context-related interaction between these two basic forms is identified as a promising approach and offered up for discussion.
Brief case studies from the practice of peace education are presented for the purpose of illustration. The summary at the end of the paper presents conclusions, unanswered questions and development priorities for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
The article is based on Berghof Foundation‘s longstanding experiences in peace education and global learning since 1976 and focused on the Foundation‘s current projects.
Current Activities in Peace Education at the Berghof Foundation
Conflict transformation is a mutual learning process. Reflection, learning and education therefore lie at the heart of many of our regional and thematic activities. Building on our longstanding experience in peace education and global learning, we also work with related approaches such as non-violent education, civic education and violence prevention. In practice, we focus on developing and implementing curricula, on providing training workshops for multipliers in the formal and non-formal education system, on developing and publishing learning media, and on creating spaces for joint reflection.