Peace education (in its broadest sense) incorporates all approaches designed to promote and develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and sensibilities, that enable and empower people to address conflict and bring about peaceful change and social justice. Peace education principles can be found in formal and informal education curricula and policies, formal and informal civil society programs, and traditional practices, customs, and fora. The modes and venues of delivery are unlimited and can include the use of music, art, film, poetry, dance etc.
The worldwide demand for peace education has risen exponentially over the past few decades, not least, because it is understood as a response to the challenges of social division, polarization, environmental destruction, and conflict facing both specific societies and the international system. However, the nature of the demand and the approach to peace education varies depending on the context, and it is still under-represented in many formal institutions of learning. Furthermore, knowledge about the state of the art, and opportunities for mutual learning remain limited. In an era of crisis (and of multiple, interconnected crises), the conference will provide an opportunity for mutual dialogue and learning about peace pedagogy in general, and its delivery in the classroom and other learning environments.
The conference will bring together researchers, civil society, “educators” (including those working outside formal institutions of education) and policy makers. The conference is jointly organized by the Center for Conflict Management at the University of Rwanda, the Read Center for International and Intercultural Education at Kent State University (KSU) and the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at KSU.
The conference will be in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11-14 July, 2023. Rwanda has been chosen for two reasons. First, as part of a deliberate attempt to address the imbalance in the location of international conferences that exists between the Global North and the Global South. Secondly, because, in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the country has committed to embed peace education in the national curriculum and among communities.
The conference will highlight best practices from Rwanda and around the world and may include panels on primary, secondary, higher/tertiary education, and community-based education. It can also include education using innovative methodologies (e.g., art, sport, music, film, photography poetry, dance), technologies, and venues. The conference will also include an interactive skills workshop for educators and practitioners, as well as opportunities for participants to share their own experiences of the challenges and benefits of peace education. Themes for the conference proposals are: