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Peace Education in Classrooms

Peace education has been defined as a process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values needed to bring about behavior changes that will enable children, youth, and adults to prevent conflict and violence (both overt and structural), resolve conflict peacefully, and create the conditions conducive to peace at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, national, and international levels (Fountain 1999: 1; UNESCO 2002).

For peace education to be effective, experts argue that it has to be comprehensively planned, embedded, and implemented both within and outside the different levels of the educational sector. Hence, while the formal educational sector comprising the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels are recognized as a key to vibrant peace education, many experts further recognize that in order to register the maximum impact in society, peace education should also integrate the informal and semi-formal training sectors. The informal sectors would, for instance, comprise the role of institutions like family, religious bodies, mass media, and community-based agencies as channels and networks of political socialization and, by deliberate design, education-for-peace. The semi-formal sector would include the role of special short-term training and capacity-building programs such as workshops and seminars in generating, spreading, and strengthening a peace culture (UNICEF Working Paper on Peace Education for Children).