A culture of peace in schools : the contribution of conflict resolution education

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Schiffer, Miriam
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This thesis outlines the concept of a Culture of Peace and the importance of working towards the development of such a culture in order to obtain sustainable peace on a global scale. Peace education plays a crucial role in the achievement of a long-lasting peaceful culture. The younger generation, in particular, who represent the future society, are an essential target group for peace education. To be able to contribute to a Culture of Peace in the future, children should not only receive peace and non-violence education, but also be given the opportunity to grow up and learn in a peaceful environment and thus be able to develop to their full potential. To achieve a Culture of Peace in schools, conflict resolution education (CRE), as a fundamental part of peace education, has to be practised. Through CRE students are given the opportunity to learn how to solve their conflicts with classmates non-violently and self-dependently. Today peace researchers and peace education experts have recognized the importance of CRE and therefore a great deal of educational material is available for teachers. Education guidelines primarily outline how to teach the two conflict resolution methods of negotiation and peer-mediation. Furthermore, this thesis contains an analysis of interviews on the subject of CRE conducted with staff of schools situated in Thessaloniki, Greece. Findings show that teachers are able to achieve positive outcomes through CRE, although education and implementation is not always in accordance with existing literature and further improvement in teachers’ knowledge is required.
Second semester University: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
conflict resolution, education, peace