Education for a Culture of Peace Workshops

Using data collected from the SDDP sessions once they are finished, we will be designing and holding Education for a Culture of Peace training sessions for educators and their students. These non-formal education workshops will introduce them to the field of Peace Education, providing an overview of the history, central concepts, research and practices within the field. The project will engage educators by training them to promote a Culture of Peace, in the place of a Culture of War, in a sustainable way within the school system. As Reardon states, “the training of teachers for peace education should be a major goal of educational policy throughout the world”. It is our hope that having participated in these workshops, educators and students will be able to spread the message of peace through peer education, not only to their colleagues and classmates, but also to the wider community.

  • Educators

The project aims to reach out to 80 educators across the divide. The project will implement the following workshops/seminars:

  1. Introductory Workshop on Education for a Culture of Peace (4 hours): second half of the school year 2014-2015
  2. Two-day Workshop using the Structured Dialogic Design Process (SDDP) (16 hours): second half of the school year 2014-2015
  3. Workshop on Education for a Culture of Peace (2 workshops Χ 6 hours): first half of the school year 2015-2016
  4. Workshop on Education for a Culture of Peace (8 hours): school year 2015-2016

The workshops will take place in different locations, eliminating any discrimination due to the area of residence of the participants. The workshops will entail various activities promoting the necessity of moving towards a Culture of Peace, along with clarifications and guidelines related to the various initiatives that the educators will be facilitated to carry out within their school settings. Such an initiative will provide opportunities for educators to apply Education for Peace methodology in their educational settings. The workshops will note how Education for a Culture of Peace works both within the formal educational system and through non-formal channels such as community-based movements and non-governmental organizations. Education for a Culture of Peace is not only about the content of education but also the process. This project aims to model peace pedagogy by promoting inquiry, collaboration and dialogue and giving educators the opportunity to practice these skills through their participation in the project’s activities. The aim will be for educators to transfer the skills learned into their daily teaching practices after assessing the needs of their students and engaging in a fruitful dialogical process with the stakeholders in their perspective educational settings.

  • Student Workshops

Having created a pool of young people enthusiastic about social change, we will be holding a series of workshops for 160 students. These sessions will employ peer education, (so that participants are encouraged to transfer their knowledge to classmates and friends) and other non-formal and informal learning activities which provide opportunities for empowerment and personal development. Through participating in our trainings, students will not only gain new attitudes and skills, but will also find a space for meeting and talking about common issues, and thinking critically to find new and alternative solutions for their individual and collective hopes, needs and dreams. The sessions will allow for experiencing, reflecting and sharing, while implementing a wide range of participant-centred, interactive and engaging tools and methods.

Watch this space for information on the dates and locations of the workshops!

While only 80 educators and 160 students will directly attend the workshops provided by the project, approximately 1600 students across the divide will have the opportunity to participate in Education for a Culture of Peace trainings designed by their own teachers, as well as some of their peers. The methodology, tools and material chosen will constitute a novelty in the educational process since experiential learning techniques will be used to engage students in a new and interesting field. All the above will deconstruct the paradigm of the teacher-student dichotomy and transform the school class into a more exciting and hopeful place to be.

Multi-communal Workshops:

Part of the aforementioned workshops will have a multi-communal character and all 80 educators and 160 students from around Cyprus are expected to participate. These workshops will provide the opportunity to educators and students from all communities to build bonds and strengthen their efforts towards achieving a Culture of Peace. Among others, the participating individuals will be awarded with certificates, will be informed regarding future activities and will discuss on how they will follow up once the project will reach its end.

 

Lesson Plan Team

Additionally, during the current workshops there will be a creation of a core team of ten educators and ten young individuals from those trained called the Lesson Plan Team. These people are going to be selected based on their interest and motivation during the trainings and they will be the main actors in producing a Trilingual Manual with Lesson Plans on Education for a Culture of Peace (see description under “Publications”). Their names are going to be included in publication as contributors. They will meet regularly in the upcoming months to come up with lesson plans and/or revisit the ones developed during the workshops. This team will gather ideas, lesson plans and guidelines for implementation from the other individuals trained and will select, together with the project team, the best practices to be published in the Training Manual. This process will be participatory and democratic and will involve both actors of the educational process: educators and students.