Multipliers for peace: how peace education can contribute to conflict transformation

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Rodrigues, Adriana : Casulari Motta
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Violence represents threats to people’s lives and dignity and, yet, many still choose this path in response to conflicts. Global movements call upon peace education to stand as an alternative, transforming individuals’ choices to non-violence and a more just and peaceful world. In seeking to outline this effect, this thesis investigates how and to what extent peace education programmes may effectively contribute to conflict transformation. The author tests the theoretical analyses through a real project, the Peace Counts, using her own evaluation methods, interviews and questionnaire. The Peace Counts Project was chosen as it emphasises non-formal approaches to peace education that engage both the young and adults in the context of conflicts, giving a voice to ordinary people to become agents of change. Further, regarding the evaluation methods of peace education programmes, this thesis proposes to add an emotional sphere to the knowledge, skills and attitudes, measuring elements for its influence on people’s choices. It moreover fosters strategies to echo and sustain the learning outcomes. Optimistic results indicate that peace education is moving in small and longer reaching steps, transforming individuals who leave footprints in the path towards conflict transformation. This increases the possibility of establishing a culture of peace, valuing human rights and democratic principles. Keywords: peace education; conflict transformation; culture of peace; human rights principles; democratic principles; evaluation.
Second semester University: University of Graz
conflict, democracy, education, human rights education, peace