Peace education is the attempt to promote the development of an authentic planetary consciousness that will enable us to function as global citizens and to transform the present human condition by changing the social structures and patterns of thought that have created it. The transformational imperative must be at the center, both in knowledge and values. Peace education seeks to draw out from people their own best instincts to live more peacefully with others, it implies working from within, starting the transformation of society beginning with each individual.
Peace education seeks to build on the philosophy and the processes of nonviolence to help us understand the role that conflict and violence have played in our own lives, seeking ways to transform them, it points out both the value of and the risk of conflict and social change.
Peace education appreciates the richness of the concept of peace, addresses fears, provides a futures orientation (imagination), teaches peace as both a process and philosophy, promotes peace as a concept alongside justice, promotes the care of and love of the Earth and respect for all life, and teaches nonviolence as a way to settle differences.
Peace education is practiced throughout the world in many settings:
- All have in common the idea of transforming conflict into something positive and sustainable so that our world will continue to turn.
- Peace education seeks to make and build peace through pedagogy.
- Peace education rests on the assumptions that morals and ethics cannot be separate from the classroom.
- The concept of responsibility, both individual and shared, is embedded in the philosophy.
Thus our modern concept of peace education rests on those values and attitudes often associated with women, peace as a concept, and thus peace education, cannot be separated conceptually from networking, connecting people in mutually productive, constantly interacting processes of teaching and learning.
A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems; have the skills to resolve conflicts constructively, know and live by international standards of human rights, gender and racial equality, appreciate cultural diversity and respect the integrity of the Earth. Such learning cannot be achieved without intentional, sustained and systematic education for peace.