Peace education in the COVID-19 context (Part 2)
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a tremendous challenge for parents, children and teachers. And for non-profit organizations that deliver peace and social justice education programs, the pandemic has reduced opportunities for collaboration with teachers dramatically.
That’s why PeaceQuest, which is dedicated to promoting peace education and youth leadership, has been working with others to find ways to support teachers.
Last week we told you about the challenges that peace and social justice teachers are facing – and the challenges are not all caused by the pandemic.
School systems often seek to avoid controversial topics, there is a lack of a clear definition of peace education, and it is difficult to find opportunities to connect peace education within the official curriculum.
But PeaceQuest, along with other organizations, brought together 20 teachers, school board officials, and non-profit groups to find solutions to these problems .
Together, we considered over 30 ideas, and grouped them under three themes: curriculum (design, learning outcomes, resources), pedagogy (teaching methods), and professional development (for teachers and non-profits).
We need a, “clear definition of what peace education is. What restorative justice is. How to make peace education culturally responsive,” said one teacher.
“Where might we connect peace and social justice to curriculum from kindergarten to grade 12?” asked a person from a non-profit organization.
A strategy to overcome these changes soon emerged. It was decided to use this pandemic time period to prepare for recovery. Once past, there will be myriad ways to engage:
• in-class workshops,
• teacher/student resources,
• teacher professional development.
To deliver the strategy, participants agreed to establish a “community of practice,” or an informal group of peace and social justice education practitioners. It’s a participant-lead process to support those engaged in peace and social justice education.
Members of the community of practice have a mutual interest in peace and social justice education, support each other through regular engagement, and promote innovation teaching/learning.
PeaceQuest is inviting teachers who are interested in peace and social justice education to join us. Sign up below.