On the road to peace : peace education as a driver for positive peace in post-agreement Colombia

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Freitas, Isadora : Martins de
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Although present since time immemorial, violence, unlike conflict, is not to be seen as a natural element of human interactions. It needs, instead, to be countered and replaced by a culture of peace. In November 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) signed an historical peace agreement that officially put an end to a conflict that lasted over half a century. To make the deal a reality, however, it is necessary to promote a wide societal transformation, so that the perception of violence as the normality is halted and positive peace can flourish. This is an endeavour of an education for peace. This thesis sustains that a true process of change is that which involves all agents of society and empowers children not only as peaceful human beings but also as peacebuilders. It has, thus, chosen an innovative educational model, named Escuela Nueva, as a case-study, for it has been widely recognised for its effectiveness in promoting social transformation and a culture of peace in Colombia. In accordance, it is herein highlighted the model’s component of community involvement and analysed, through surveys, its students’ capacity to actively participate in the construction of peace. This research, therefore, advocates that an education for peace with a component of peacebuilding is essential to ensure that the peace initiative in Colombia prospers and that a sustainable future is guaranteed. Key-words: positive peace; peace education; peacebuilding; Colombia.
Second semester University: University of Graz
peace, Colombia, education, human rights education, conflict resolution