Peace education - a transformational curriculum for a pluralistic world
Learning to live together has become increasingly important in today's divided world. Fear of the other and the rise of populism are causing societies to fracture from within. History teaches us that these tensions can lead to violent conflicts. However, compassion and empathy for the other can be taught and nurtured. Education is the key. The line of education that leads to more peaceful societies is known under different labels in different parts of the world, however the impact remains the same: the prevention of violent conflict. Peace Education is a preventive action.
Education for peace is important in fragile contexts. It can help children deal with the trauma of war, manage and address conflicts and build dialogue processes for enhanced understanding of "the other". It is equally important in more stable societies, like in the Netherlands, where a recent influx of refugees has fuelled negative feelings towards migrants and inter-community tensions are having a harmful impact on the social fabric of society. Or in Australia, where the emphasis is on social cohesion and building a successful multicultural society out of significant cultural and religious diversity. Evidence suggests that such an approach can contribute to reducing racism, discrimination and prejudice.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia as the traditional owners and custodians of the land of our schools. We are inspired and nurtured by their wisdom, spirituality and experience. We commit ourselves to actively
work alongside them for reconciliation and justice. We pay our respects to the Elders; past, present and future. As we take our next step we remember the first footsteps taken on this sacred land.