Call for papers: Peace education from the grassroots

Saybrook students are invited to submit an abstract for consideration in an upcoming publication on peace education. The finished volume will be published by Information Age Press as part of its peace education series.

The end of the twentieth century marked the beginning of an upsurge of interest in peace education. Starting in the 1950s, as exemplified in the United States with the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), concerned citizens at the grassroots level developed peace education strategies to inform others about the dangers of violence and the need for peace. They mobilized to stop the build up of nuclear arms, to oppose the war in Vietnam, to cease support for cruel dictatorships, to support human rights, to endorse environmental sustainability, and to promote nonviolence. These campaigns. sprung up out of the hearts and minds of ordinary people concerned about their own welfare and the future of “Mother Earth.”

These grassroots peace education efforts throughout the globe teach children and adults how to live sustainably and how to resolve conflicts nonviolently. Ordinary citizens, parents, teachers, and community organizers become spiritual agents who initiate peace education programs that have contributed to the end of the war in Vietnam, disillusionment about nuclear power and weapons, regime change in places as diverse as Tunisia, Argentina, the Philippines, and Serbia, the preservation of ecosystems, the development of human rights, truth and reconciliation commissions, and the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Some of these peace education efforts took place entirely within civic society organized by community-based organizations. Some were directed towards churches and religious organizations. Others struggled to gain access to formal education systems. As a result of these efforts there are now over 300 colleges and universities around the world that have peace studies programs; schools in El Salvador, Uganda, the Philippines, and Nepal include peace education in their curricula; and schools throughout the world have adopted a variety of peacemaking strategies that teach violence prevention techniques to children and reduce violence and hostility on campuses.

This volume will tell the story of such campaigns–how they originated, how they organized themselves, and what they accomplished. Each essay will describe peace education efforts in a different country. Already two chapters have been written (Spain and the United States). If you are interested in contributing to this volume, submit a 300 word abstract by April 1, 2012 to Ian Harris at [email protected]. By May 1, 2012 proposals will be reviewed and invitations will go out to those selected to contribute to this volume. Your final essay, no more than 25 pages, should describe grassroots peace education efforts in countries other than Spain and the United States. It will be due on September 1, 2012. For a sample of the type of essay requested see, “Educating for Peace and Justice in America’s Nuclear Age,” If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact the editor at the e-mail address above.

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